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  1. #1
    wotcha's Avatar
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    Default 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    1.Not having finished homework, she could not go out.

    2.Having not finished homework, she could not go out.

    Which is correct?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    I would certainly expect #2.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I would certainly expect #2.
    I agree, but one would usually say 'her homework'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    Oops!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    I disagree, and think 1 is far more correct (if her is added). Sorry, Barb.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    Just for once, I disagree with Barb.

    Not having finished her homework, she could not go out.

    Not having been skiing for three years, I'm not sure I can remember how to do it.

    Not having eaten cake for six months, I may feel really sick after this huge slice!

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    Regional?

    I would say "Having not been skiing,..." or "having not eaten cake for six months..." also.

    Well, come to think if it, I would never hope to say "having not eaten cake for six months" but I wouldn't say it as "Not having eaten cake" either.

    Anyway, I simply said I would expect it, not that the other was wrong.

    Somewhere, there was once a long conversation about whether there is a difference between "not do do something" or "to not do something" that was meaningful beyond splitting the infinitive. I wonder if this is just another form of that.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    I also prefer #2 in this case.
    I can see how they might be equally correct, but I'd be interested in knowing on what grammatical basis kon believes #1 is far more correct.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    Okay, there are 2 or 3 approaches that might help me clarify my thoughts:

    To have done something, taken as a grammatical construct, sounds more like an act of achievement, completion, finishing, perfection, etc. The negation of it would be not to have done the thing, rather than to have not done the thing, which would be having nothing completed.... I know it sounds rather silly, but it seems far less sensible a declaration than not having completed something. It makes me think of Douglas Adams` prose in The Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy.`

    The second strand, and the stronger one in my view, is made clearer by taking a step back and comparing the structure with being, which can be taken as grammatically analogous.

    Would we say....

    Not being a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.
    .... or, ....
    Being not a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.

    Either you have an archaic and unnecessary inversion here, or a malapropism, if you ask me.

    The third argument I suppose would be centuries of written English which exclude the second answer. Having not completed my homework is probably nearly as normatively `new` or `urban` as `me and him both agree.` You hear it, but it`s not the norm from the grammars.

    Hopefully this is an okay explanation of what I was thinking.

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Okay, there are 2 or 3 approaches that might help me clarify my thoughts:

    To have done something, taken as a grammatical construct, sounds more like an act of achievement, completion, finishing, perfection, etc. The negation of it would be not to have done the thing, rather than to have not done the thing, which would be having nothing completed.... I know it sounds rather silly, but it seems far less sensible a declaration than not having completed something. It makes me think of Douglas Adams` prose in The Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy.`

    Au contraire. By your own argument, it is more sensible to refer to positive occurrences. If there has been a failure to complete a task, that is the positive consequence; it's what we have:
    Having (not completed the task) - a positive statement of what currently obtains.
    Not (having completed the task) - a negative statement.

    Not having (completed the task) - another negative statement.

    The second strand, and the stronger one in my view, (I'd hope so! ) is made clearer by taking a step back and comparing the structure with being, which can be taken as grammatically analogous.

    Would we say....

    Not being a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.
    .... or, ....
    Being not a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.

    Either you have an archaic and unnecessary inversion here, or a malapropism, if you ask me.

    The mistake you've made here is to use "be" as the main verb. This same mistake can be illustrated, more relevantly, with "have".
    1. Not having a car, I couldn't drive to work.
    2. * Having not a car, ...
    Even so, it's quite normal to say
    3. Having no car, ...
    However, in the question at hand, "have" is a modal verb. The argument is "not having <main verb>" v. "having not <main verb>

    The third argument I suppose would be centuries of written English which exclude the second answer. Having not completed my homework is probably nearly as normatively `new` or `urban` as `me and him both agree.` You hear it, but it`s not the norm from the grammars.
    Can you cite one of these grammars?
    I can't accept on face value that, "Having not completed" is new. I'm willing to find examples from literature if necessary.

    Hopefully this is an okay explanation of what I was thinking.
    So, point 1. seems right, point 2. is about a different structure, and point 3. is assertion? I'll accept that that's what you were thinking.
    Apart from the above, here's what I was thinking:

    a. Condition (finished homework) -> Consequence (watch TV)
    b. Condition (not finished homework) -> Consequence (not watch TV)
    c. Not condition (finished homework) ->
    Consequence (not watch TV)

    The condition is what we have:
    b. "Having (not finished his homework), he can't watch TV."
    I think it's more logical to base the sentence on b. what the current condition is, rather than what it's not.

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