Student or Learner
I wonder if there is any difference in meaning/implication:
1. John is not friendly.
2. John is unfriendly.
Thank you very much.
I don't know that I agree.
If John makes a point of saying hello, he is friendly.
If John doesn't make a point of saying hello, he is not friendly.
If you say hello to John and he does not say hello back, he is unfriendly.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
To clarify Barb_D's point, saying John is not friendly means that he isn't friendly. It is not a trait he possesses. Whereas saying John is unfriendly means that he is the opposite of friendly.
[Not a teacher]
Last edited by billmcd; 14-Jun-2012 at 02:54. Reason: typo
I agree with Barb. If a person behaves in a way that is the opposite of friendliness, for example by being rude, they are "unfriendly."
A person can be "not friendly" and also "not unfriendly" at the same time.
As always, context matters. You could use not friendly to mean unfriendly, but decontextualised, I would agree that the absence of friendliness doesn't automatically imply unfriendliness.
And finally (at least from here), consider the following dialogue:
(She) Remember, we're going to dinner at my sister's on Saturday.
(He) Oh no. You know I don't like to go there.
(He) Because her husband, John, is unfriendly/not friendly. (Either one works for me .)