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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    #1

    Imperative question.

    Hello!

    First, thanks for all the information you give to us, foreign speakers.

    Ok here's my question.

    Actually, a friend of mine (if you look at my thread history, you will see it's the same pattern, and yes, it's the same person) said that my formulation was incorrect for this imperative.

    "Don't you think you can measure up to her".

    Of course you can say it like this:

    "Do no think you can measure up to her"


    But I'm pretty sure both are possible!

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  1. apbl's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Imperative question.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterkak View Post

    "Don't you think you can measure up to her".
    This is interrogative and not imperative.


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    #3

    Re: Imperative question.

    Can't this be a prohibitive?


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    #4

    Re: Imperative question.

    Well, I found this paper on the Internet:

    Phrase structure of the english imperative.

    The lack of an exclamation mark maybe makes my sentence weird ?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Imperative question.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterkak View Post
    Well, I found this paper on the Internet:

    Phrase structure of the english imperative.

    The lack of an exclamation mark maybe makes my sentence weird ?
    Yes, with an exclamation mark this could be imperative "Don't you think you can measure up to her!" Although it would be clearer if you omitted the first "you". "Don't think you can measure up to her!"


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    #6

    Re: Imperative question.

    Ok, thank you for this answer !

    Can I ask another question ?

    Is the prohibition more stressed in the "don't + you" form, or is it just a fancier fashion to say it?

    Sincerely, I used it naturally (I think I heard it somewhere) and I lost confidence when I was told it was wrong.

  3. apbl's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Imperative question.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes, with an exclamation mark this could be imperative "Don't you think you can measure up to her!" Although it would be clearer if you omitted the first "you". "Don't think you can measure up to her!"
    Your reply surprised me for a moment but in effect, on deeper reflection, the negative imperative does sometimes get used with the subject pronoun you.

    Don't you go walking all over the flower beds!

    However, it is relatively rare, I think, and possibly risky for students who might then start to use it in negative imperatives where it doesn't really work.

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    #8

    Re: Imperative question.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterkak View Post
    Ok, thank you for this answer !

    Can I ask another question ?

    Is the prohibition more stressed in the "don't + you" form, or is it just a fancier fashion to say it?

    Sincerely, I used it naturally (I think I heard it somewhere) and I lost confidence when I was told it was wrong.
    It is quite natural, and you will hear it, it's just that it looks unusual when it is written. Yes, when somebody says "Don't you..." the prohibition is emphasized.

  5. apbl's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Imperative question.

    It also depends a bit on the verb that follows, I think.

    "Don't you think I love her."

    It would be quite difficult to make the above sound like a negative imperative rather than a negative question.


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    #10

    Re: Imperative question.

    Quote Originally Posted by apbl View Post
    It also depends a bit on the verb that follows, I think.

    "Don't you think I love her."

    It would be quite difficult to make the above sound like a negative imperative rather than a negative question.
    Well, couldn't this depend on what word you stress and the intonation of the whole sentence ?

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