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Thread: give vs afford

  1. #1
    mokbon is offline Member
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    Smile give vs afford

    Hello :D

    ex)
    We can't not afford you an opportunity to speak
    We can't not give you an opportunity to speak

    Are these just formal and non-formal?
    Help me to find the difference between these.

  2. #2
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: give vs afford

    Quote Originally Posted by mokbon View Post
    Hello :D

    ex)
    We can't not afford you an opportunity to speak
    We can't not give you an opportunity to speak

    Are these just formal and non-formal?
    Help me to find the difference between these.
    Do you mean "We cannot...?"
    You are correct. In your examples they mean the same thing except that "afford" in this context is quite formal. .

  3. #3
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    Default Re: give vs afford

    Quote Originally Posted by mokbon View Post
    Hello :D

    ex)
    We can't not afford you an opportunity to speak
    We can't not give you an opportunity to speak

    Are these just formal and non-formal?
    Help me to find the difference between these.
    To answer the easy unasked question, the use of the negative in both of these questions is wrong. You must say "We can" rather than "We can't".

    As to the real question, I feel that "we cannot afford" is an older, less current form, but definitely not wrong.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: give vs afford

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    To answer the easy unasked question, the use of the negative in both of these questions is wrong. You must say "We can" rather than "We can't".
    The use of the negative is not wrong. It stresses the impossibility/unfairness of failing to give the opportunity. In speech, the 'not' would be stressed, and uttered almost as if it were hyphenated to the following verb.

    Here is a less formal example:

    A: I really don't want to go to the party this evening.
    B. Well don't go, then.
    A: I can't not go; it would seem terribly rude.

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