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Are the sentences below grammatically correct?

  1. I didn't support Gheddafi and I will never support him.

  2. I didn't support Gheddafi and will never support him.

  3. I didn't support Gheddafi and never will support him.

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Calling never an adverb is of no use; never is a negative, and has its own special syntax. – John Lawler Mar 1 '13 at 19:58
@JohnLawler "Never" is an adverb according to many well-known dictionaries like Cambridge, Oxford and Artha. What about the big elephant sitting in the corner of the room which is my question? – Bright Polyglot Mar 1 '13 at 20:05
@Bright, John Lawler is a linguist who has his personal point of view on English language and puncutation, and, alas, no one here can confute what he says. – user19148 Mar 1 '13 at 20:27
Adverb is a wastebasket category. It covers everything that doesn't fit well into the other seven, so many different kinds of word get labelled adverbs. Consequently, there is no consistent set of rules for adverb usage; there is, however, a consistent set of rules for negative usage, and that's why using the correct label can be useful. That's all. – John Lawler Mar 1 '13 at 20:31
1'- I supported Gheddafi and I WILL ALWAYS support him. Few would argue that the word always is not an adverb, and the distribution would be identical in these three examples. I'm with John Lawler on the overuse of the adverb analysis, but would argue that the distribution even of adverbs defined strictly as 'words modifying verbs only' is fairly unpredictable. eg *Always, we take the garbage out at night. but Usually, we take the garbage out at night. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 1 '13 at 20:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are two different factors at work in the three sentences, all of which feature automatic pronominalization (Gheddafi ==> him) in the second clause.

Sentence 1 is the basic sentence. Two main clauses conjoined with and. Both clauses have first person singular subject (I), and both clauses have verb phrases headed by auxiliary verbs (did and will). This is certainly grammatical.

Sentence 2 is just Sentence 1 after Conjunction Reduction has applied. That process deletes the repeated I subject in the second clause, thus reducing the conjoined clauses to a single clause with a single subject, but a conjoined verb phrase. This is also grammatical. Neither 1 nor 2 is problematic, and there is no meaning difference between them; both occur and individual usage varies.

Sentence 3 is Sentence 2 with a different placement of never. This is where noticing that never is a negative turns out to be useful, since the rule for negative placement says that

A negative may occur
either immediately before its "focus"
(the constituent in the sentence that's getting negated -- here it's the verb phrase support him)
or immediately before the beginning of any constituent that contains the focus.

So the following are all OK:

  • I will never support him.
  • I never will support him.
  • I have never supported him.
  • I never have supported him.

because will support him and have supported him are VPs that contain the focussed VP. So never can go either immediately before will/have, or immediately before support(ed). Again, such placement makes no difference in meaning or grammaticality; this is another matter like Conjunction Reduction where individual usage varies.

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1- I didn't support Gheddafi and I WILL NEVER support him.

2- I didn't support Gheddafi and WILL NEVER support him.

3- I didn't support Gheddafi and NEVER WILL support him.

1 -I didn't support Ghaddafi and I shall never support him

2 -I didn't support Ghaddafi and shall never support him.

Number two sounds better, though. You have already mentioned it is you who is supporting him. About the replacement for will, shall sounds better, even if it is old fashioned.

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