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    #1

    the interpretation of "almost if not completely"

    Dear all,

    The sacrifices that the two nations have been told they should make to restore stability to the world economy are almost if not completely the opposite of each other.


    In the sentence above, what is the meaning of "almost if not completely"?

    I think there are two possible interpretations.

    1. almost or perhaps even completely

    2. even if not completely, but almost

    Thank you!

    OP
    Last edited by optimistic pessimist; 19-Dec-2011 at 15:41.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the interpretation of "almost if not completely"

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    Dear all,

    The sacrifices that the two nations have been told they should make to restore stability to the world economy are almost if not completely the opposite of each other.


    In the sentence above, what is the meaning of "almost if not completely"?

    I think there are two possible interpretations.

    1. almost or perhaps even comoletely

    2. even if not completely, but almost

    Thank you!

    OP
    Your first interpretation is closer to the original. Even though it says "are almost ..." we cannot be sure that it is just "almost" because of the addition of "if not completely". I would say that it means that it is probably the case that they are "almost the opposite of each other" but there is a small chance that they are "exactly the opposite of each other".

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    #3

    Re: the interpretation of "almost if not completely"

    The writer may think that they are completely opposite, but could be hedging their options to allow for the possibility of some differences.

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    #4

    Re: the interpretation of "almost if not completely"

    Dear all,

    emsr2d2, Tdol, thanks for your replies.

    I'd like to make sure if I fully understood what you guys said.

    The news was accurate in many, if not most, respects.

    Does this sentence mean something like

    "The new was accurate in many, or perhaps even most, respects"?

    Thanks again!

    OP
    Last edited by optimistic pessimist; 20-Dec-2011 at 03:16.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the interpretation of "almost if not completely"

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    Dear all,

    emsr2d2, Tdol, thanks for your replies.

    I'd like to make sure if I fully understood what you guys said.

    The new was accurate in many, if not most, respects.

    Does this sentence mean something like

    "The new was accurate in many, or perhaps even most, respects"?

    Thanks again!

    OP
    Yes that's right. Do you mean "news"?

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