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    #1

    did I not - I did not - did not I

    The sentence below is a quotation from a book I am reading:

    "I said you're absolutely right - of course - how did I not see this?"

    If it is an embbeded question (which I do not think is the case) I guess it should read "how I did not see this?"
    If it is a regular question, I guess it should read "how did not I see this?" To reinforce my claim observe the contracted form "how didn't I see this?"

    However, a google search for "did I not" brings us 45.000.000 hits.
    Continuing the search, I think expresions like "do you not believe" are used in the Christian Bible.

    How and when structures like "does she not" "did they not" are used?

  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: did I not - I did not - did not I

    I am not sure I understand you question, because they are fully interchangeable and common English:

    Why don't you go outside?
    Why do you not go outside?

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    #3

    Re: did I not - I did not - did not I

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad View Post
    I am not sure I understand you question, because they are fully interchangeable and common English:

    Why don't you go outside?
    Why do you not go outside?
    It was just a simple question Offroad. I really wasn't aware that the second form was also common English. I think I have already heard it but I never really payed enough attention.

    Just to confirm, are both forms grammatically correct, even in formal English?
    Regarding usage, any conditions where one would prefer one form rather than the other?

  2. Offroad's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: did I not - I did not - did not I

    The later is more formal than the former.

  3. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: did I not - I did not - did not I

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post

    "I said you're absolutely right - of course - how did I not see this?"
    Yes, that's fully okay in my opinion.

    Use of how I did not:

    It's a wonder how I did not see this!
    (Not a good sentence, but I hope it shows you the direction.)

    And yes, never forget:
    Can't you do this?
    Can you not do this?
    Didn't I tell you?
    Did I not tell you?

    Never make the mistake to compare google hits.
    I did this once with "A UT3" and "An UT3" - "An UT3" won, but it's wrong!

    Cheers!

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    #6

    Re: did I not - I did not - did not I

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    The sentence below is a quotation from a book I am reading:

    "I said you're absolutely right - of course - how did I not see this?"

    If it is an embbeded question (which I do not think is the case) I guess it should read "how I did not see this?"
    If it is a regular question, I guess it should read "how did not I see this?" To reinforce my claim observe the contracted form "how didn't I see this?"

    However, a google search for "did I not" brings us 45.000.000 hits.
    Continuing the search, I think expresions like "do you not believe" are used in the Christian Bible.

    How and when structures like "does she not" "did they not" are used?
    (NOT a teacher) Very interesting. (1) He did not see this. (2) How did he not see this? = good English. Move auxiliary"did" to the front of the subject, "he" (3) How didn't he see this" = good English. Move contraction of "did" + "not" to the front of the subject. (4) How did not he see this = "bad" English because you moved two words (did not) to the front of the subject. (In No. 3, "didn't" counts as one word.) Apparently, the "rule" is: you may move only one word to the position in front of the subject: (1) He is not sick/ Is he not sick?/ Isn't he sick?/ "bad" = Is not he sick?

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