'Do' as substitute verb and its tense

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22389

New Member
English - UK

A) You'll probably run off, as you did so last week.

B) You'll probably run off, as you did do so last week.


Does sentence A) suffice, or is 'did do' required to ensure tense agreement between the clauses' verbs?

C) You'll probably run off, as you [ran off] last week.

D) You'll probably run off, as you did [run off] last week.
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Does sentence A) suffice
    Sentence A is wrong (in American English, at least) -- "so" should be removed -- and sentence B is extra-wrong.

    Edited to add: now that I look at it again, sentence A could be correct if the meaning of "as" is supposed to be "since, because" -- i.e., "Because you ran off last week, I conclude that you'll probably run off now." In that case, the addition of "do" in sentence B is incorrect.
     
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    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    Sentence D, without the part in brackets, is good. Just use "as you did", not "as you did so".

    You'll probably run off, as you did last week.

    Cross-posted with Glenfarcas, with whom I agree.
     

    Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    I agree with the above, and would add that it's probably more common to say "like", rather than "as" - "You'll probably run off, like you did last week".
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    A) You'll probably run off, as you did so last week.

    B) You'll probably run off, as you did do so last week.


    Does sentence A) suffice, or is 'did do' required to ensure tense agreement between the clauses' verbs?

    C) You'll probably run off, as you [ran off] last week.

    D) You'll probably run off, as you did [run off] last week.
    Do is known as a pro-verb (or pro-form), a word that substitutes for another verb or predicate: She likes football, and I do too (She likes football, and I like football too). In using do, we don't repeat the earlier verb; so it's a stylistic use.

    A variation of do is do so, which also functions as a pro-verb. However, there are restrictions on the use of do so. For example, do so is not used in comparative constructions (in this case, with comparative "as"), so we must use do (or did, to refer to past time): You'll probably run off, as you did last week. You could say "You'll probably run off, as you did run off last week," but you don't have to, because do replaces "run off" (as you did last week).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I think of it this way: every verb has a "do" form. "you ran" = "you did run". In theory you could use that form any time, but in practice we only use it in certain situations. Here are a few:

    1. questions: Did you run? Did you or didn't you?
    2. responding to a question: Yes, I did run. Yes, I did.
    3. emphasis: I did run! I did!
    4. avoiding repetition: (in this use, we always omit the repeated verb, and just use the "do" portion)

    You'll probably run off, like you ran off last week.:tick:
    You'll probably run off, like you did (run off) last week.:tick:

    I think that in British English you may replace "like" with "as".
     
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    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    I agree with dojibear here. When these two are used as a conjunction, "like" is less formal, and I would avoid it in this context in writing. I suspect that the perceived difference with Dretagoto's usage may be to do with regionalism and/or age. AE usage is becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK mainly due to TV and films.
     

    22389

    New Member
    English - UK
    Thanks for your answers so far.

    I want to be absolutely sure that using did (past tense) as a substitute for run off (present tense) was okay, and that they need not match.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I want to be absolutely sure that using did (past tense) as a substitute for run off (present tense) was okay, and that they need not match.
    "Did" is a subsititute for "ran off" (past tense).

    Your sentence needs future tense in the first part (predicting what she probably will do), and needs past tense in the second part (stating what she did last week). The two clauses should not have the same verb tense.
     
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