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  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • Student or Learner
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      • Korean
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      • South Korea
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    #1

    difference between "He tried not to smile" and "He didn't try to smile"

    Is there any difference between the following two?

    1. "He tried not to smile"
    2. "He didn't try to smile"

    I barealy see any difference, but if there's any, please answer me.

    • Member Info
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      • Other
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      • English
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    #2

    Re: difference between "He tried not to smile" and "He didn't try to smile"

    Hi,

    There is a world of difference.

    In 1 he is clearly amused by something and trying not to smile.
    In 2 he is not amused or at best indifferent to something which others find funny and hence didn't even attempt a smile.

    Rgds

  2. NikkiBarber's Avatar
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      • Academic
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      • United States

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    #3

    Re: difference between "He tried not to smile" and "He didn't try to smile"

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post

    1. "He tried not to smile"
    2. "He didn't try to smile"
    I am not an English teacher but this is my opinion:

    In #1 he had to make an effort not to smile, in #2 he didn't even attempt to smile.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

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    #4

    Re: difference between "He tried not to smile" and "He didn't try to smile"

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1. "He tried not to smile"
    2. "He didn't try to smile"
    #1 - It is possible that he felt the desire to smile, but, for some reason, he made an effort to keep his face straight - he did not want others to think that he was smiling.

    #2 -it is possible that he was in a situation in which it would have been appropriate for most people to smile. However, he did not feel it necessary to follow common practice. He did not feel like smiling, so he made no attempt to look as if he were smiling.

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