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  1. #1
    bieasy is offline Senior Member
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    Cool not to or to not..

    Hi,

    Should I say: They forced me not to do it or They forced me to not do it

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    Hi,

    Should I say: They forced me not to do it or They forced me to not do it
    For this context the second sounds better but as to why, I can't really say.

  3. #3
    2006 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    I agree that the second one sounds better.
    I think the reason is that "(he)(she)(they)forced me to" can be considered to be a set phrase and sounds correct, regardless of whether it is followed by a positive or negative action.

    Another reason, or maybe just another way of saying the same thing, is that "to not do (something)" is a more direct and emphatic phrase, and sounds better, than the rather limp "not to do something".

  4. #4
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I agree that the second one sounds better.
    I think the reason is that "(he)(she)(they)forced me to" can be considered to be a set phrase and sounds correct, regardless of whether it is followed by a positive or negative action.

    Another reason, or maybe just another way of saying the same thing, is that "to not do (something)" is a more direct and emphatic phrase, and sounds better, than the rather limp "not to do something".
    At first, both sound perfectly correct and natural. After analyzing different real examples of usage, I could infer that "NOT TO" is preferred among educated speakers. That may be so because grammar says that the negative of an infinitive is formed by adding NOT before it.

    - Drink water.
    He told Janny to drink water.

    - Don't drink water.
    He told Janny not to drink water.

  5. #5
    2006 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    [quote=

    - Drink water.
    He told Janny to drink water.

    - Don't drink water.
    He told Janny not to drink water.[/quote]

    I think either way is okay in your sentence, but we were specifically talking about the "They forced me..." sentence.

  6. #6
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    Hi,

    Should I say: They forced me not to do it or They forced me to not do it
    There is a slight change in meaning between them.

    They forced me not to do it (I was going to do it but they forced me to give up the idea)
    They forced me to not do it (I was doing it but they stopped me forcibly)

    It is very subtle though.

    [/quote]

  7. #7
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    Quote Originally Posted by williambosich View Post
    At first, both sound perfectly correct and natural. After analyzing different real examples of usage, I could infer that "NOT TO" is preferred among educated speakers. That may be so because grammar says that the negative of an infinitive is formed by adding NOT before it.

    - Drink water.
    He told Janny to drink water.

    - Don't drink water.
    He told Janny not to drink water.
    I think, William, that you might be mistaking a "preference" for a normal neutral. With certain parts of speech, notably adverbs and negations, a change in position often reflects a change in the strength, in the emphasis.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: not to or to not..

    You are surely right! I missed this approach. Thanks for being so tactful. ;-D

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