Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 151
    #1

    He did what he can ...

    He did what he can to help poor people.

    I think the sentence is wrong. Because "can" is always followed by the basic form of a verb. Could you tell me wether it's correct or wrong?

    Thank you!

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 26,946
    #2

    Re: can

    'He does what he can to help poor people.'

    'He did what he could to help poor people.'

  3. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,674
    #3

    Re: He did what he can ...

    Can is not always followed by a bare infinitive.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 6,538
    #4

    Re: He did what he can ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike12345 View Post
    I think the sentence is wrong. Because "can" is always followed by the basic form of a verb.
    You're basically right. This is a potentially confusing example because there is an 'ellipsis' happening. Think of it like this, with the basic form of the verb, which you mention, being omitted.

    He does what he can [do] to help poor people.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •