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  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default make + not + infinitive

    Hello,

    I was asked today if structures with "make + not + infinitive" are common, for example

    Our boss makes us not be late

    My immediate reaction was to change the verb "Our boss doesn't let us be late". Should I have kept 'make'?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I was asked today if structures with "make + not + infinitive" are common, for example

    Our boss makes us not be late

    My immediate reaction was to change the verb "Our boss doesn't let us be late". Should I have kept 'make'?

    Thank you.
    No, "Our boss makes us not be late" is unnatural.

  3. #3
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I was asked today if structures with "make + not + infinitive" (not a normal collocation) are common, for example

    Our boss makes us not be late. I don't understand how someone would/could "make" someone not be late.

    My immediate reaction was to change the verb "Our boss doesn't let us be late". Should I have kept 'make'? No. And "let" doesn't work either. How can he/she prevent lateness? Punish/penalize OK, as in "Our boss penalizes us for being late".

    Thank you.
    b.

  4. #4
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Thank you! But are there any contexts where they would sound fine? For example,

    During the shooting process the director made her not smile

    No, it sounds wrong

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Thank you! But are there any contexts where they would sound fine? For example,

    During the shooting process the director made her not smile

    No, it sounds wrong
    Yes, it sounds wrong.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  6. #6
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    But are there any contexts where they would sound fine?
    NOT A TEACHER

    Yes. I'll give it a go:

    The book did not make me laugh as much as it made me think.

  7. #7
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    NOT A TEACHER

    Yes. I'll give it a go:

    The book did not make me laugh as much as it made me think.
    Infinitive?

  8. #8
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Infinitive?
    Oops, sorry .

  9. #9
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    I've just reread billmcd's reply - why doesn't 'our boss doesn't let us be late" work? How do I express lack of permission then? I can imagine people saying to each other:

    - My boss is great. I arrived about forty minutes later - got stick in a traffic jam - and he didn't even say a word!
    - I envy you. My boss doesn't let us be late for work. (or doesn't allow us to be late for work)

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: make + not + infinitive

    They work IMO.

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