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I saw the following sentences in a grammar book.

Jill thinks Ed's better off than he is.

Jill thinks Ed's better off than he does.

I guess "'s" is the abbreviation for "is". Why the second sentence uses "does" instead of "is" in its comparative clause? Are there semantically different in meaning?

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  • 1. Jill thinks Ed's better off than he actually is (Jill makes an error of fact). 2. Jill thinks Ed's better off than Ed thinks he is (they differ in opinion). Aug 4 '20 at 17:33
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Yes they have different meanings. The first sentence compares Jill's opinion about Ed's welfare to his actual welfare. (what his welfare "is")
The second compares Jill's opinion about Ed's welfare with Ed's opinion about his own welfare. (what Ed "does think" about his welfare)

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