David_Tuggy at SIL.ORG David_Tuggy at SIL.ORG
Mon Apr 21 14:19:00 UTC 1997

     Phil Bralich wrote:
>>     You be good for Grandma, now, and if you do / ??*are I'll buy you an
>>     ice-cream cone.
>>     "Are" sounds pedantic if not just plain wrong.
>>     Anybody concur?

>C'mon now, this is a very ordinary structure. This is just an imperative
>correctly using the simple form of a main verb.
>I mean this is pretty basic grammar.  There's nothing mysterious about the
>choice of 'do.'

     Must be something at least a little mysterious: respondents so far are
     divided about half and half between finding "do" just plain wrong and
     agreeing with me that (for them) it's probably more likely than "are".
     For myself, I'm conscious of (mysteriously) feeling like "are" *ought*
     to be right, but I doubt I'd ever say it unless I was carefully
     watching my speech. Also, note that non-volitional "be" doesn't
     produce "do":

     You'll probably be a couple of inches taller by the end of summer, and
     if you are/**do I'll get you a new dress.

     I've also noticed that "do" is an even stronger choice, for me, when
     it's negative:

     You be good/quiet: If you don't/**aren't I'll send you to your room.

     David Tuggy

     **If the human mind were simple enough to understand, we'd be too
     simpleminded to understand it.** (Corollary: it is, and we are. Or,
     maybe, it isn't and we still are.  In any case, not *It does and we

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