1

As I understand it, "You" are not a subject in these sentences, but like a dummy pronoun - it's not about a particular person, it's one person thoughts. Right? So, the first sentence must contain "You" because of Past tense ("didn't"). Right? But if we compare the second and the third sentences, are they the same in their meaning? Or is the third one awkward and we must use "You" anyway?

You did not have to be a clairvoyant to see that the war would go on.

You do not have to be a clairvoyant to see that the war would go on.

Not have to be a clairvoyant to see that the war would go on.

1
  • The third one is grammatically incorrect - it needs "you" as the subject (and a verb).
    – Ryan M
    Oct 3 '21 at 0:36
1

The first two are grammatically correct, but the meanings are different for them.

Sentence 1:

You did not have to be a clairvoyant to see that the war would go on.

The first sentence is in past tense, with "did". It means that you previously did not have to be a clairvoyant.

Sentence 2:

You do not have to be a clairvoyant to see that the war would go on.

The second sentence is in present tense, or future tense. It means that this time you don't need to be a clairvoyant.

Sentence 3:

Not have to be a clairvoyant to see that the war would go on.

The third sentence is just simply incorrect... As @RyanM mentioned, it needs a subject (like "you"), also it lacks of a verb (like "do"). But if you add "you" and "do" into the sentence, it would be the same as the second sentence.

3
  • Do you mean that "You" is a certain person, not abstract? Sometimes, "You" are people in general, i.g. abstract. Can it be in this case?
    – Sergei
    Oct 3 '21 at 6:06
  • @Sergey It could also be anyone, like "Bob" "Jon" Oct 3 '21 at 6:15
  • 1
    You in this case is a less formal equivalent of one,, meaning any person. Oct 3 '21 at 8:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .