To avoid confusion with this question, here is an example

We consider Nigeria a developing country as we do Angola.

So, is that grammatical? Should I put a preposition? Can I instead say do it with?

P.S. I do understand that there are less clumsy ways to say the sentence. But that's not in my field of interest right now.

  • This is a very nice question. +1 from me.
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 27, 2017 at 19:11

3 Answers 3


The original sentence is perfectly grammatical. If I understand you correctly, yes, the part of the sentence after as does inherit the grammar of the first part. I think part of what might be tripping you up is the many different uses of as and the different structures we use for the different meanings.

In this case, there's no place for it because there's nothing for "it" to refer to, except Nigeria and that doesn't make any sense. We consider Nigeria a developing country as we do Nigeria with Angola? You would use "as it" if the sentence was something like "The situation is in Nigeria as it is in Angola" because then there is something for it to refer to: the situation.

Similarly, there's no place for with because the usage is "We consider Nigeria (or Angola)", not "we consider with Nigeria (or Angola)" - and the structures need to be parallel in both parts, which means if the first half has no preposition, the second half should have no preposition either. With would be appropriate if the verb in the first half was something like negotiate: "We negotiate with Nigeria as we do with Angola."


The grammar

Your sentence uses an ellipsis. The "underlying sentence" is:

  • We consider Nigeria a developing country as we consider Angola a developing country.

Grammatically, do is considered a pro-verb in your original example, since it "stands in" for the verb or verb phrase (like a pronoun "stands in" for a noun). The verb phrase "consider ___ a developing country" is what was swallowed up as part of the ellipsis.

Can we use "with"?

No, it should be more obvious now, looking at the underlying sentence, that it wouldn't make sense grammatically to add with:

  • We consider Nigeria a developing country as we (do) with [consider] Angola [a developing country].
  • We consider Nigeria a developing country as we (do) [consider] with Angola [a developing country].


I think your example sounds awkward, but it's hard to pinpoint why.

It might have something to do with the fact that as usually allows inversion, but that doesn't work in your sentence.

It's also not clear to me what you meant with as. It doesn't sound like a comparison should.

You might want to look at some real world examples, like these ones from Wikipedia:

  • They swam, but I didn't.
  • He looks smart, and so do you.
  • You fell asleep, and I did, too.
  • Thanks for the answer:) On the awkwardness: yeah, as I said in the description, the example is not that brilliant, since I was more concerned with the grammar rather than good looks.
    – Rusty
    Mar 2, 2017 at 16:27

I would say in most cases yes, "do" does inherit all the meanings of the verb, at least with this particular grammar. An example:

Sue eats dinner precisely at 7pm, as do I.

Both of us eat dinner at 7pm, exactly. Another example:

The searching algorithm employs a recursive bubble sort, as does the queuing algorithm.

It doesn't matter if you understand what a "recursive bubble sort" is -- you know that both the searching algorithm and the queuing algorithm employ it.

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