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  1. #1
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default "not as many" as "not as few", and "before long"; strange uses of negation?

    Why would someone say
    "...though this does not cause as many problems as you think..."
    when they seem to mean
    "...though this does not cause as few problems as you think..."
    `
    To me, the first sounds like
    "Contrary to what you think, it will not cause too many problems."
    and this second sounds like
    "Contrary to what you think, it will actually cause more problems."
    `
    ------
    Do "before long" and "not before long" both mean "soon"?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "not as many" as "not as few", and "before long"; strange uses of negation?

    The first should mean what you say, so if you've heard it used the other way, I'd suggest that it could have been an error.

  3. #3
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: "not as many" as "not as few", and "before long"; strange uses of negation?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen
    Do "before long" and "not before long" both mean "soon"?
    Do they?

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: "not as many" as "not as few", and "before long"; strange uses of negation?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    Do "before long" and "not before long" both mean "soon"?
    No.

    b

  5. #5
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: "not as many" as "not as few", and "before long"; strange uses of negation?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    No.
    Then what does "not before long" mean?

  6. #6
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "not as many" as "not as few", and "before long"; strange uses of negation?

    .
    I wouldn't use "not before long". To me, it's meaningless.
    .
    Here's a link:
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...ng-before.html

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