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    #1

    don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    "Social psychologist Jane Adams says it's a long ride through the 20s because these are bright, talented young adults " who seem to be not doing anything with it. "

    Is "seem to be not doing anything..." similar in meaning to"don't seem to be doing anything..."?
    Last edited by ostap77; 05-May-2012 at 20:49. Reason: changed "as" to "to"

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Is "seem to be not doing anything..." similar in meaning as to"don't seem to be doing anything..."?
    Yes, and to "seem not to be doing anything".

  2. FreeToyInside's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    More than similar, they're the same. Although, instead of "who seem to be not doing" I'd be likely to say "who seem to not be doing," and your example of "don't seem to be doing" is the most likely in AmE, I'd say.


    Also note the usage: "similar in meaning to..." and "the same meaning as..."


    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

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    #4

    Re: don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    Would there be any difference where to put the adverb "not"? "Not to be doing ...","to not be doing...'' or "to be not doing...."?
    Last edited by ostap77; 06-May-2012 at 00:22.

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    #5

    Re: don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    They all sound virtually the same to me, except perhaps "to be not doing..." maybe stresses a bit that there's no activity, no doing. Though in spoken English you could just actually stress the 'not' in any of those orders and get a stronger sense of no activity.


    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

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    #6

    Re: don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    "That's going to not be in the best interest of the paitent."

    OR

    "That's not going to be in the best interest of the paiten."

    As to the position of the adverb "not", are these sentences similar in meaning?
    Last edited by ostap77; 07-May-2012 at 13:40.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: don't seem to be doing vs seem to be not doing

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeToyInside View Post
    They all sound virtually the same to me, except perhaps "to be not doing..." maybe stresses a bit that there's no activity, no doing. Though in spoken English you could just actually stress the 'not' in any of those orders and get a stronger sense of no activity.


    (not a teacher, just a language lover)
    Yes - 'virtually'. I certainly wouldn't say 'they mean exactly the same'. Each suits a different range of contexts, and there's a large are of overlap.

    b

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