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  1. #1
    vectrum is offline Newbie
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    Default ask him not to do OR ask him to not do

    I frequently get confused which one of the following is correct;

    I ask him not to do it. OR I ask him to not do it.

    Please let me know which one is correct and why.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: ask him not to do OR ask him to not do

    NOT A TEACHER


    I ask him not to do it.
    This is correct.

    'ask' is followed by infinitive and 'not' is put before the infinitive.
    Last edited by tom3m; 23-Sep-2012 at 21:17.

  3. #3
    vectrum is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ask him not to do OR ask him to not do

    Thank you very much for your help.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ask him not to do OR ask him to not do

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,

    1. You are a learner. So I respectfully suggest that you follow the rule:

    The adverb "not" goes before the infinitive "to do."

    2. One expert says that a sentence such as "I asked him to not do it" is "weak." She says that a sentence such

    as "I asked him not to do it" is "better."

    3. I am sure that you have heard about the famous English writer Shakespeare. Well, some of us remember the

    rule by recalling these famous words of his: "To be, or not to be: that is the question."

    *****

    NEVERTHELESS:

    4. Many teachers in 2012 would NOT call "I asked him to not do it" incorrect.

    (If you are taking a test, however, it would be very wise to choose "I asked him not to do it.")

    5. Many good writers have "split" (divided) the infinitive. Here are two examples:

    a. (from the year A.D. 1454) "Y schall ... swere to not discouere hem." ("I shall pledge myself to not inform on them.")

    b. (a more modern example) "How could people be so insensitive as to not know they've got wax in their ears."



    Sincerely,


    James

    Sources:

    Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D. (Google books)
    A Grammar of the English Language (Vol. II) by Professor George Oliver Curme, page 460.
    The Oxford English Grammar (1996) by Professor Sidney Greenbaum, page 583.

    P.S. When you have time, you may wish to google "split infinitives."
    Last edited by TheParser; 24-Sep-2012 at 00:54.

  5. #5
    vectrum is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ask him not to do OR ask him to not do

    Thank you very much The Perser for your help. Yes, I became confused because of this kind of construction;

    "How could people be so insensitive as to not know they've got wax in their ears."
    Thanks for referring to this kind of usage. From now on if any ambiguity occurs then I will remember this line.

    To be, or not to be: that is the question.
    We like it or not, we have to read at least once in our life (no matter what stream you choose) it.

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