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Hi,

Could you please comment for me if I am correct in these patterns?


You can do anything you want. (Plain form)

You can do anything that you wanted. (With a conjunction, two clauses)

Did you have enough money to do anything you want?

Did you have enough money to do anything that you wanted?


Cheers

John Aki

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John AkiYou can do anything you want. (now)

Correct. Present tense.

In the past,

You could do anything you wanted.


You can add 'that' to either the present or the past:

You can do anything that you want.
You could do anything that you wanted.

John Akienough money

The same four sentences are possible here.

Do you have enough money to do anything (that) you want?
Did you have enough money to do anything (that) you wanted?

In all of the sentences you mentioned in your post here, "that" is optional. Even when you don't say or write "that", everybody will know that it's there. The meaning is the same either way.


everything (that) you want(ed)
something (that) you want(ed)
the only thing (that) you want(ed)

Don't use "-ed" at the end with present tense words like 'can' and 'do'.
Use "-ed" at the end with past tense words like 'could' and 'did'.

CJ

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Thanks Mr. CJ,

Here is where I am confused, after "do/does/did" are supposed to be plain form in the same sentence isn't?


1) You can do anything you want. (A plain form rule, make sense)

2) You could do anything you wanted. (Here is no plain form, does not match the rule, unless add a conjunction to break the rule)

3) You could do anything (that) you wanted. (Technically this is two clauses, a plain form rule doesn't apply. In practice and reality, we omit "that" however we all know that it's there, just like you mention)


My examples, plain from after "do/did"

All you need to do is ask.

All I did was make it worse.

I did at least write to say thanks.

You do criticize a lot.


Please advise your thought, this issue bother me sometimes

Many thanks

John Aki

John AkiHere is where I am confused, after "do/does/did" are supposed to be plain form in the same sentence isn't?

Yes. You are a little confused. Auxiliary do goes with a plain form in the same clause. But in your first group of sentences do is the main verb. It's not an auxiliary verb. can / could is the auxiliary verb. The other verb (want) is in a different clause.

| shows clause division.

You [can]aux [do]main anything | (that) you []no aux [want]main.

Here's how it's two clauses:

You can do anything.
You want that same thing.

John Aki2) You could do anything you wanted. (Here is no plain form, does not match the rule, unless add a conjunction to break the rule)

No, no, no. The conjunction 'that' is understood to be there even if you don't say it or write it. The meaning alone divides the sentence into two clauses. Again, could is the auxiliary, not do, and wanted is in a different clause.

John Aki3) You could do anything (that) you wanted. (Technically this is two clauses, a plain form rule doesn't apply. In practice and reality, we omit "that" however we all know that it's there, just like you mention)

The plain form rule always applies for every clause. It's just that you have two clauses here, and neither one contains auxiliary do, so there's nothing there you could apply the rule to.

CJ

John Aki

[All [(that) you need to do] is [ask]].

[All [(that) I did] was [make it worse]].

These are cases of dummy do. do is not an auxiliary in these. It's the main verb within its clause. do/did is considered a dummy because it's just an unspecified word for the real verb that comes later.

Note that the pattern of the whole sentence in each case is that some unspecified action is equal to (is, was) a specified action.

The unspecified action is represented by an expression with do (do, did).

The specific verb replaces the unspecific do:
You need to do. > You need to ask.
I did. > I made it worse.

You can express this by using the plain form when you mention the real action in the second part of the sentence.


All in these kinds of sentences is equivalent to The only thing (that).

All I did was make it worse. = The only thing that I did was make it worse.

This is the same as adding only to the shorter sentence with the correct tense.

I only made it worse.


Complicated way to say it. > Simple way to say it.

All I wanted to do was help. > I only wanted to help.
All I do is sit here and wait. > I only sit here and wait.
All I did was go to work every day. > I only went to work every day.

CJ

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John Aki

I did at least write to say thanks.

You do criticize a lot.

These contain auxiliary do. Here did and do are used for emphasis.

Both are correct because the follow the rule I gave you about auxiliary do.

CJ

Thanks a lot Mr. CJ,

Guess I fully understand it this time.


John Aki