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    #1

    how to do

    He doesn't know _______. (A) what to do (B) how to do

    The answer to the above question is option A. Is option B acceptable?
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how to do

    For B to be correct, there would have to be more words at the end.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 23-Nov-2015 at 13:51. Reason: left out a word

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: how to do

    I agree.
    There has to be an object of the verb "do".


  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: how to do

    I think 'so' is not an object in 'do so'.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: how to do

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    For B to be correct, there would have to more words at the end.
    For B to be correct, there would have to be more words at the end.
    I need native speakers' help.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: how to do

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I think 'so' is not an object in 'do so'.
    In that 'so' means 'what has just been mentioned' (definition), I think it can be considered an object.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: how to do

    I doubt that 'so' as an adverb can be an object.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: how to do

    Who said it was an adverb in "to do so"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: how to do

    The dictionary says so.

    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/so_1 Definition#4.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: how to do

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I doubt that 'so' as an adverb can be an object.
    So do I. It is functioning as a pro-form, not an adverb, in '... how to do so'. Quirk et al (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English language.1985) write:

    The combination of pro-forms do so, seen as a unit, acts as a substitute for a predicate or predication. (p 875)

    So
    is a versatile pro-form. Apart from its use as an adverb [...], it can substitute for an adjective, and adjective phrase, or a noun phrase functioning as complement:
    [...]
    If he's a criminal, it's his parents who have made him so. (p 877)

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