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Sometimes I have difficulty with sentences which can seemingly end in more than one way but retain the same meaning. Namely, I can think of several variations to use and they all sound natural and correct to me:

  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones do.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones get.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones become.

Are they all equally correct? Or is there more to it?

  • 1
    Generally I would not expect do as a substitute for verbs that are normally negated without does not. – Anton Sherwood Dec 25 '17 at 0:42
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Consistent with Jeff Morrow's answer, the following four options are grammatically correct:

  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the days are.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the days were.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest are.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest were.

There is a difference in meaning between "are" and "were". "Are" implies that all days will eventually be forgotten. For example, "yesterday" might not be forgotten yet, but the speaker is certain that it inevitably will be forgotten. "Were" might be specific to a set of days being discussed. "Were" implies that those days are already in the past, and that those days have already been forgotten.

"The rest" implies "of the days", because the beginning of the sentence mentions "this day" as being a sample item of an implied collection. In this context, "the rest" refers to the remaining items in the implied collection.

Although the pronoun "ones" is grammatically correct, it is not the best choice in this context. "Ones" is often used in formal speech to refer to subjects who can make choices, such as people. Except in unusual metaphors, "days" do not make choices.

A pronoun is usually a shorter substitute for a noun. In formal speech, if the pronoun is not shorter than the noun it replaces, it is usually better to just use the noun. (There are exceptions when the pronoun is consistently used in multiple parts of a parallel expression, or when the pronoun is used to generalize a specific example, or when the pronoun is used as part of word-play.)

  • 7
    To me, the most natural sounding option would be "This day will be forgotten just like the rest [of them / of the days] [will be]," where either or both of the repetitive parts in brackets could be omitted. Although you're right that the choice of the tense changes the meaning somewhat, so any of "were" / "are" / "will be" could be a reasonable choice. – Ilmari Karonen Dec 24 '17 at 21:28
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If "rest of the ones" refers to some set of days, then not one of your three options is idiomatic. The passive of a verb is constructed with a form of the verb "be" plus the verb's perfect participle. You use the passive correctly in "will be forgotten." You seem to mean "This day will be forgotten just as the rest of the ones were forgotten." You may choose not to repeat "forgotten," but you still need the proper form of "be."

  • "...just as the rest of the ones will" (or will be) sounds quite idiomatic to me. The 'will' in the original sentence indicates forgotten some time in the future, not already forgotten. – Bent Dec 25 '17 at 15:09
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    @Bent You are absolutely correct. You could say "will be forgotten," "will be," or "will," and my answer does not appear to cover the last of those. Given that the original question was not about what ellipsis of forms of the verb "be" are idiomatic, but rattler what verb other than "be" is appropriate, the nuances of ellipsis slipped my mind. – Jeff Morrow Dec 25 '17 at 15:54
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The phrasing "the rest of the ones" is grammatical, but sounds long and clumsy. Better options include:

  • the rest
  • the rest of them
  • the others
  • the other ones

As to your question of verbs, none of those feels correct or natural.

The problem is that the verbs at the end – "do", "get", "become" – are not the same as, or even compatible with, the main verb "be". By "compatible" I mean, it should be possible to join the verbs directly together, because there is an implied, omitted verb after the end of your sentence. The implied verb is the same verb written explicitly in the sentence: "be".

For example, your first sentence "This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones do" indicates that the omitted ending is "... just like the rest of the ones do be forgotten".

The verb "be" is fussy about which verbs are allowed to directly precede it. Although there are special cases where "do" is used with "be", such as commands like "Don't be silly" and "Do be quiet!", those are exceptional. When used without special meaning, "do be" feels completely wrong. That's why you can't use "do" here, even to end the sentence.

If the first verb was not "be", then ending with "do" could work:

  • This day will pass just like the rest do.

The two other options you listed have the omitted endings "get be forgotten" and "become be forgotten", which also don't make sense.

Verbs which can safely go at the end of your sentence are (a) any tense of "be", or (b) a verb which can normally precede "be", such as a modal verb ("can", "could", "may", "might", "must", "shall", "should", "will", "would"), or "have [been]". It's also perfectly fine to omit the entire verb:

  • just like the rest were.
  • just like the rest are.
  • just like the rest will be.
  • just like the rest will.
  • just like the rest have been.
  • just like the rest have.
  • just like the rest.

All this gives you a lot of possible combinations, but my preferred phrasing is the shortest:

  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest.
3

The final verb in a comparison must match either the modal verb used in the main clause, or the verb "to be", if it was also used in the main clause.

  • He is as strong as I am
  • He will go, as will I
  • He jumps as high as I do (implied modal "do" as in "He does jump")
  • He must eat, just as I must
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest have been

Your sentence can end in "are", "were", "have been", "will be", "are going to be", depending on the effect you want to give. You can also choose to repeat the modal "will" by itself:

  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest will

Usually, using "do" like this in a positive statement indicates emphasis, so it is omitted when emphasis is not required.

  • He must eat, as must I ... otherwise all spot on :o) – Will Crawford Dec 25 '17 at 2:03
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    @WillCrawford Either order is fine. I've given one example of each: "will I" and "I must". Verb first sounds a little old-fashioned nowadays, although still acceptable. – CJ Dennis Dec 25 '17 at 2:06
  • My apologies, I somehow failed to notice that. – Will Crawford Dec 25 '17 at 2:43
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  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones do.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones get.
  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest of the ones become.

Are they all equally correct? Or is there more to it?

Not really.

The main issue (in my opinion) is that "the ones" just isn't remotely idiomatic in this context. You could say "the other ones" (synonymous with "the rest"), although it isn't terribly idiomatic.

Aside from that, the first two are almost equivalent, but again, not idiomatic. I think you could say "... get forgotten, just like the rest" and finish with either do or get. The third ... just feels wrong; the "become" doesn't match the "be", even though the meaning does.

Honestly the best option as @ilmari-karonen suggests (I've voted your comment useful!) is to drop the whole tail and end with "... like the rest". Even pithier, you could just say:

This, too, shall pass.

0

Let's break up the thought into two parts: "This day will be forgotten" and "Just like the rest". As you can see we have two perfectly valid thoughts. So we get a complete valid sentence:

  • This day will be forgotten just like the rest.

We can see that the verb "forget" in respect to the second thought "just like the rest" can refer to the Past, the Present or the Future. The "rest" can refer either to the days before this day, to the days in general, or to the days ahead. Knowing this we may form the following:

  1. This day will be forgotten just like the rest were forgotten. (Like all the days before this day)
  2. This day will be forgotten just like the rest are forgotten. (Like any other day)
  3. This day will be forgotten just like the rest will be forgotten. (Like any other day to follow)

In my opinion the most obvious choice is "were". Although this day will too be forgotten there is hope that the following day won't. The present tense is too general - it may seem that any day is eventually forgotten, which isn't very pleasing. The future tense entirely leads to despair, since any day in future will be forgotten and you can't do anything to change it.

I would argue about using "have" or "have been" since the original thought doesn't contain the Perfect. But it's possible to use that too.

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