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  1. #1
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    let him try ever so hard...

    Teachers , can we say "Let him try ever so hard, he cannot pass."?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: let him try ever so hard...

    I wouldn't use it. I would use something like No matter how hard he tries, he won't pass.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: let him try ever so hard...

    About 100 years ago, one could say 'Let him try never so hard, he won't pass'. If you break that down like this, you can see why it's 'never':

    A. However hard he tries, he won't pass.

    B: But he should try harder; wouldn't he pass then?

    A: He could never work so hard that he'd pass.

    But because 'ever so' is a common collocation in other circumstances (e.g. 'If he worked ever so hard, he'd pass'), people trying to use the archaic 'Let him try...' construction often say 'ever'. In fact I fully expect that at least one reader will think (though maybe not write ) 'But I'd say 'ever' there.'

    b

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