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Thread: help


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 7
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    #1

    Question help

    Hello,everyone!There's a sentence in my teaching book like this: But there wes a man......that made me wonder if he might not have something interesting to tell.Why there's a "not" in this sentence?is there any grammar mistake in it?thank you!

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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    #2

    Re: help

    Hello Alysa

    No, the sentence is fine; it's a stylistic variant, and means the same as it would mean if there were no "not"!

    This may seem confusing; but consider these two sentences:

    1. I wonder if there is a bottle of beer in the fridge.
    2. I wonder if there is not a bottle of beer in the fridge.

    #1 implies two possibilities: 1) beer in the fridge 2) no beer in the fridge.

    #2 also implies two possibilities: 1) no beer in the fridge 2) beer in the fridge.

    Thus both #1 and #2 imply the same two possibilities. The only difference is in the emphasis: in #2, on the absence of beer; in #1, on the presence of beer.

    (I feel suddenly thirsty.)

    MrP

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