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I am comparing two countries: Norway and Greece. Obviously, Norway has a lot of moose. Which sentence is correct?

  • Greece doesn't have moose while Norway does.
  • Greece doesn't have moose while Norway has (them).
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  • I would use "does". But I would understand "has", maybe thinking it is usual in some other dialect.
    – GEdgar
    Dec 15, 2017 at 11:11
  • @Lawrence Yes, but the second part is about y. For instance, birds don't have roots, but trees do. Or should it be trees have?
    – takje
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:04
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    @takje The pattern to consider here for parallelism is doesn't ... does. So "birds don't have roots, but trees do".
    – Lawrence
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:50
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    The second form seems OK if you include the word "it", but feels unnatural if you elide. (See what I did there?)
    – Barmar
    Dec 18, 2017 at 18:17
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    Thanks takje. Still, both are correct and the question is one of style. Dec 19, 2017 at 23:26

1 Answer 1

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The second sentence sounds repetitive because you are referring to the object Z twice in the sentence. I would use the first sentence: "X doesn't have Z while Y does", as the word "does" sufficiently mirrors the "doesn't" in the first part of the sentence and replaces the "has it". "Does" is also more flexible in this case in that more words could be used to replace z.

For example: "Jane doesn't have a cat while Bill does"

As opposed to: "Paul doesn't have the ball while Rosy has it"
Which sounds awkward and repetitive.

edit:

The original post was changed, so to answer the new question, I would use either: "Greece doesn't have moose while Norway does" or "Greece doesn't have moose while Norway does have them". Both sound fine as long as the word "does" is included and "has" is conjugated to "have" to match "moose", which is plural.

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  • What do you mean exactly with "more words could be used to replace z"
    – takje
    Dec 18, 2017 at 22:17
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    Well "it" implies that a specific, singular object is being referenced, while the sentence using "does" allows Z to be plural or a more general item. For example, both "Paul doesn't have a ball, while Rosy has it" and "Paul doesn't have the balls, while Rosy has it" would not work since "it" is more constrained. Sorry if that was confusing!
    – adono
    Dec 20, 2017 at 2:44

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