Student or Learner
I am wondering whether or not these two sentences are different in meaning.
If so, could you tell me what differences there are? Thank you.
1. Which one don't you like?
2. Which one do you not like?
I agree that the meaning is the same. The contracted form is less formal and more common.
NOT A TEACHER
(1) I do not know whether there is any difference between your two
sentences, but I have found some information to share with you.
(2) Sometimes there is a difference between the formal
sentence (with no contraction) and the informal one.
(a) Mesdames Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman in their 1983 edition
of The Grammar Book give these examples:
(i) Why didn't you do your work?
(ii) Why did you not do your work?
The two scholars say that (i) has a negative tone. "Why didn't
you do your work? You should have. [My words: I told the class
many times to do the work. Don't you ever listen to me?]
(ii) has a more neutral tone. [My words: Why did you not do your
work? Were you ill? Was there a family emergency?]
(3) Professor L.G. Alexander in the Longman English Grammar (1988)
says that the full form (no contractions) sometimes expresses
anger, surprise, etc.:
Have I not asked you again and again to be here on time?
[I think that the speaker is very angry.]
The professor also says the full form is often used in
rhetorical questions. [My words: when we do NOT expect an
answer. We only want to express our opinion.]
Are there not more than enough weapons of destruction on earth?
P.S. This is, of course, ONLY my humble opinion, but maybe your
first sentence could show some anger or impatience if you added
Which one don't you like now!!! = You don't like A; you don't like
B; you don't like C. Is there any one that you do like? I have
been very patient with you, but you are driving me crazy. Either
make up your mind or leave my store.
Last edited by TheParser; 17-May-2011 at 14:05.
Thank you, James. The examples you offered were very helpful.
So the two sentences could have difference nuances or tones
depending on how they are uttered in different situations.