Is it correct to say: "I don't think so he will come."

Thank you very much Mr Alan for your remarkable explanation of the modal verbs: Can/Could.Here’s another question:Is it correct to say/write, “I don’t think so he will come.” Some say it’s redundant to use ‘so’.They suggest it’s better to say,"I don’t think he will come."Can Mr Alan or anyone who’s good at grammar answer my question?Thank you! JPS

Hi JPS

You can write either “I don’t think he will come.” or “I don’t think so.” It is incorrect to combine the two because the word “so” functions as a replacement for “he will come” in this case.

You can use the word “so” as a replacement for “he will come” only if “he will come” has already been mentioned. For example:

John: Do you think he will he come?
Mary: No, I don’t think so.

If “he will come” has not been mentioned, then you cannot use “so” to replace it:

John: I invited him to the party.
Mary: I don’t think he will come. He’s got a really bad cold, and I think the only thing he will be interested in doing after work is going to bed.

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JPS, did you mean that “I don’t think that he will come” versus “I don’t think he will come”? “So” doesn’t belong at all. The best is “I don’t think he will come”…no need for the “that”.