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    Smile Nonassetive???

    What means: 'used in a nonassertive sentence'?
    and then given example: We dont have much time.

  1. AlexAD's Avatar
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    Re: Nonassetive???

    I am not a teacher nor a native speaker

    I consider that that has the same meaning as negative sentence, as per example you've mentioned.

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    Re: Nonassetive???

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabakita View Post
    What means: 'used in a nonassertive sentence'?
    and then given example: We dont have much time.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Member Alex has given you and me an excellent answer.

    (2) I like your question, for this matter also confuses me.

    (3) I checked my books and am happy to share some ideas:


    (4) One book says that assertive words (such as some and already)

    are usually used in AFFIRMATIVE sentences. One book explains that

    "to assert" is "when we say that something is true."

    (5) Non-assertive words (such as any, yet, much) are usually used

    in QUESTIONS and NEGATIVE sentences.

    (6) Remember the word "usually." Sometimes an assertive word can

    be used in questions; sometimes a non-assertive word can be used in an

    affirmative sentence.

    (7) Your sentence is:

    (a) negative

    (b) has the word "much."

    (c) So we say that "We do not have much time" is a

    non-assertive sentence.

    (8) Can you change your sentence to an assertive sentence?

    (Remember: it should be affirmative -- not a question and not


    I think the answers would be:

    We have plenty of time. / We have a lot of time.

    (9) Are these sentences assertive or non-assertive:

    (a) Haven't you finished yet?

    (b) I have already finished.

    (c) I like her a great deal.

    (d) We haven't had any lunch.

    (e) Have you planted some flowers already?

    (f) Any small flowers would be fine.

    Answers: (a) non-assertive (b) assertive (c) assertive (d) non-assertive
    (e) assertive. Yes, "already" is assertive and usually not used in
    questions. But it can be used in questions if the idea of the question is
    positive. (f) assertive. Yes, "any" is non-assertive and usually is used only in questions and the negative. But it can be used in an affirmative sentence if the idea is positive.

    ***** My sources:

    Michael Swan, Practical English Usage (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

    Sylvia Chalker and Edmund Weiner, The Oxford Dictionary of English

    Grammar (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994).

    Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum, A Concise Grammar of
    Contemporary English (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973).
    Last edited by TheParser; 14-Mar-2011 at 22:04.


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