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    #1

    the meaning of "if not gifted"

    Dear all,

    John loves soccer. He's an enthusiastic, if not a gifted, player.

    In the sentence above, what does if not a gifted mean?

    Thank you!

    OP

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    #2

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    Hi!
    Please note I'm not a teacher.
    I think 'if not a gifted player' suggests that John is more than just an enthusiastic player. In other words, the author considers John to be quite gifted in addition to being enthusiastic.

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    Dear all,

    John loves soccer. He's an enthusiastic, if not a gifted, player.

    In the sentence above, what does if not a gifted mean?

    Thank you!

    OP
    It means that he does not have a natural ability in this area.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hi!
    Please note I'm not a teacher.
    I think 'if not a gifted player' suggests that John is more than just an enthusiastic player. In other words, the author considers John to be quite gifted in addition to being enthusiastic.
    No, it means the opposite, he is enthusiastic but not particularly gifted.

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    #5

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    oops
    I thought in that case there would be 'but' (((
    I'll be more careful next time.

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    #6

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    The snow was two feet deep, making it difficult, if not impossible, to get the car out.

    Does 'if not' mean the same here? It was difficult, but not impossible, to get it out?

  3. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    The snow was two feet deep, making it difficult, if not impossible, to get the car out.

    Does 'if not' mean the same here? It was difficult, but not impossible, to get it out?
    No. This means that it was difficult, almost impossible, to get the car out.

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    #8

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    How do I differentiate then? From the context?

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    #9

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    Difficult and impossible are related- if something becomes too difficult, it is impossible- a question of degree. However, enthusiasm and talent are not related- you can be incredibly enthusiastic but have no talent.

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    #10

    Re: the meaning of "if not gifted"

    I got it, thank you!

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