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Thread: , not~

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    , not~


    One must be able to assess the situation first before coming with solutions, not the other way around.

    Q: What kind of phrase is the red part?
    What is the grammatical construction of it?

    I think I remember that it's a relative clause reduced from "which is not the other way around." Is that correct?

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    Re: , not~



    (1) Thanks for your question. That kind of construction (sentence) is one of my

    favorites. So I really want to know what the teachers tell us.

    (2) Here are some comments. They are not answers.

    (a) I believe that you are referring to sentences such as "I like broccoli, not

    mushrooms." Am I right?

    (b) Well, IF I am, the grammar books seem to call that an example of contrasted


    (c) Let's simplify your sentence for easier analysis:

    One should assess the situation first before coming up with solutions,

    not come up with solutions first before assessing the situation.

    (d) Here's the BIG problem:

    It seems that there are many theories about contrasted elements.

    (i) You mentioned one: the reduced relative clause:

    He bought a Ford, not a Buick. = He bought a Ford, which is not a Buick.

    (ii) Some think it is a short way to write a compound sentence:

    He bought a Ford, but he did not buy a Buick.

    (iii) Some think it is a so-called negative appositive. Yes, appositives are

    usually affirmative (He is an ophthalmologist, an eye doctor.) But some books

    (such as Professor Quirk's) allow negative appositives:

    He bought a Ford (not a Buick).

    (e) Maybe the teachers will show us other ways to understand this interesting and

    very popular construction:

    Mother: Why did you break this vase?

    Mona (daughter): Tom did it, not me. (Actually, in "perfect" English "not I." That is:

    Tom, not I, did it.)


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