"I've done everything I can"

"I've done everything I can do"

Which of the above is the grammatically correct version? Is the "do" at the end needed?



3 Answers 3


Both are grammatically correct.

I believe that the first is more common, but I do not find the second one at all strange.


It is fine to elide a verb after an auxiliary verb. It's simply a matter of omitting a verb whose meaning can be ascertained from the prior clause. Since it's understandable, it's acceptable.

This is also discussed here.

Another example would be

He ran as far as he can

instead of

He ran as far as he can run.


Be good, if you can

instead of

Be good, if you can be good.


"I've done everything I can" is correct


Rather "I've done everything I can do" one might say "I've done all I can do"

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