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  1. #1
    panicmonger is offline Member
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    Default not knowing/not to know

    Deat teachers,

    Hi, hello everyone. (Would you like to be more formal(my question)? )

    Which one would you choose?
    Are they all correct and expressing different things?

    1. You are happier not knowing the truth.
    2. You are happier not to know the truth. (Does it imply you shouldn't or must not know? e.g. Advice from a superior to a subordinate)

    Thank you very much indeed.
    Last edited by panicmonger; 28-Nov-2010 at 14:29.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: not knowing/not to know

    I would use 1. 2 doesn't work for me; I would use something like 'It's better for you not to know the truth'.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: not knowing/not to know

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    Deat teachers,

    Hi, hello everyone. (Would you like to be more formal(my question)? )

    Which one would you choose?
    Are they all correct and expressing different things?

    1. You are happier not knowing the truth.
    2. You are happier not to know the truth. (Does it imply you shouldn't or must not know? e.g. Advice from a superior to a subordinate)

    Thank you very much indeed.

    NOT A TEACHER


    Panicmonger,


    (1) Mesdames Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman in their

    acclaimed The Grammar Book quote Professor D. Bolinger's

    theory that:

    the infinitive expresses something hypothetical,

    future, unfulfilled, whereas the gerund expresses something

    real, vivid, fulfilled.

    (2) That is why I feel (rightly or wrongly) a slight nuance.

    (3) Tom: Do you know why Mona and George are getting divorced?

    Martha: Yes.

    Tom: Why haven't you told me?

    Martha: Because I feel that you would prefer not knowing the

    reason. (If you knew the reason in this very real case, you

    would become very upset.)

    *****

    Nancy: How come you never tell me about your work as a police officer?

    Ralph: Because I love you.

    Nancy: What do you mean?

    Ralph: You are the kind of person who prefers not to know about

    unpleasant matters. (That is, Ralph is talking in general, hypothetical

    terms. He is describing his wife's overall attitude toward life.)

    *****

    Here is an example from The Grammar Book:

    I like camping in the mountains. = It's so peaceful here. = more immediate and more vivid.

    I like to camp in the mountains. = It's so peaceful there. = more remote and more objective.


    THANK YOU & HAVE A NICE DAY

  4. #4
    panicmonger is offline Member
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    Default Re: not knowing/not to know

    Thanks, It helps a lot.

    Do you feel this is a little rude for a native?
    Last edited by panicmonger; 01-Dec-2010 at 08:01.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: not knowing/not to know

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    Thanks, It helps a lot.
    Thanking Parser for his help was a courteous gesture.

    However, it is not necessary to quote the whole of his advice when you thank him - it makes the thread rather long. For a simple thank you just click on the thanks button in the bottom right-hand corner of your message.

    If you feel that that is a little impersonal, then just post a simple message, addressing the person you are thanking by name:

    Thanks, TheParser, that helped a lot.


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