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English grammar notes - auxiliaries - avoiding repetition

 
 

full statement + linker + shortened statement with auxiliary

I don't like action movies but Andy does.
I 'm not going to the party but Mandy is.
She thought she 'd locked the door but she hadn't.


 

General usage

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In the examples above, the auxiliaries are used to make the sentences shorter.
If we didn't use auxiliaries in this way we would have to say:

I don't like action movies but Andy likes action movies.
I'm not going to the party but Mandy is going to the party.
She thought she 'd locked the door but she hadn't locked the door.

Of course, we could shorten the second part a little by using pronouns, but the sentences would still contain a repeated verb and this sounds rather clumsy in English.

I don't like action movies but Andy likes them.
I'm not going to the party but Mandy is going there.
She thought she 'd locked the door but she hadn't locked it.

 

When the first part contains an auxiliary...

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When the first part of the sentence - the part we don't want to repeat - contains an auxiliary (all tenses except present and past simple), we use that auxiliary in the second part:

First part:
I've never been to Australia... (auxiliary verb: have)
Second part:
...but Donna has. (auxiliary verb: have)

First part:
I didn't see the film... (auxiliary verb: did)
Second part:
...but the others did. (auxiliary verb: did)

 

When the first part does not contain an auxiliary...

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When the first part of the sentence - the part we don't want to repeat - does not contain an auxiliary (present simple / past simple), we use do / does for present simple, and did for past simple in the second part:

First part:
I like action movies... (present simple, no auxiliary)
Second part:
...but my brother doesn't. (auxiliary verb doesn't)

First part:
I went to the party... (past simple, no auxiliary)
...but Sarah didn't. (auxiliary verb didn't)

 

When the main verb is 'be'...

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When the main verb is 'be', we can also avoid repetition in this way:

Who was absent yesterday?
I wasn't but Sandy was



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