Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 475
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    "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"?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 45,473
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    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.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 475
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    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?

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 15,873
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    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

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 475
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    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?


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    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

Similar Threads

  1. "not few"?
    By dihen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Dec-2005, 15:40
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Nov-2005, 03:14
  3. "not bad" and "not too bad"
    By phalkun in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 24-Sep-2004, 18:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •