A - OK, but maybe he wants it back if he comes back sometime.

B - He's not./He won't.

What would be correct and natural here?

  • His coming back is conditional, so maybe He wouldn't? He won't is ambiguous - compare He won't [come back] and He won't [want it back] Jan 13 at 9:59

"maybe he wants it back if he comes back" is poor English.

Poor style:

If there's any alternative to the repeated "back", a native speaker would prefer it: "...wants it back if he comes home" or "... needs it if he comes back."

Poor grammar:

To speak about the future it should be:

"...maybe he will want it back if he comes home sometime."

But if he does sometimes come back/home it should be:

"...maybe he wants it back when he comes home sometimes."

The answer to the first might be "He won't"
The answer to the second might be "He doesn't".
But as Andrew said, the replies are ambiguous. Do they mean he doesn't/won't need it OR he doesn't/won't come back?

You must log in to answer this question.

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