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    #1

    which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    How do I know if I can't put a 'not' after an adverb? See if that adverb can modify a verb or not? I already know that constructions such as 'too not', 'that not', 'this not', 'very not', and 'so not' are wrong.
    Last edited by dihen; 24-Dec-2005 at 18:55.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    Consider the following distributional facts:

    [1] "too" and "very" modify the adjective "cold", and "not" negates the verb:

    It is not very cold outside.
    It is not too cold.

    [2] "that not" works in questions, where the subject ("that") and the verb ("Is") are inverted. "not" still modifies the verb:

    Is that not what he said? <question>
    That is not what he said. <statement>

    [3] "this not" doesn't work. There isn't a verb for "not" to negate.

    [4] "so not" works if there's a comma after "so":

    So, not that he would notice. <"not" is separated from the verb "notice">
    So that he would not notice. <"not" modifies the verb "notice">

    Hope that helps.

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    #3

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    So it seems that "not" itself cannot negate an adjective or adverb without a verb...
    Last edited by dihen; 21-Jan-2006 at 16:37.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    Not really. Have you tested your assumption?

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    #5

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    Is 'quite not [adjective]' incorrect?

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    #6

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    I'd use 'not quite'.

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    #7

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    [3] "this not" doesn't work. There isn't a verb for "not" to negate.
    Isn't "Is this not what you wanted?" also correct?
    By the way is "It is just as not good" (means "It is just as bad") correct or not?

  3. Hayseed's Avatar

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    #8

    Thumbs up Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen
    Isn't "Is this not what you wanted?" also correct?
    By the way is "It is just as not good" (means "It is just as bad") correct or not?
    It works if you rearrange the sentence: "It is just not as good".
    A native speaker would be more likely to say it like this though:"It just isn`t as good." Or this, without the contraction "It just is not as good."

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen
    Isn't "Is this not what you wanted?" also correct?
    It's correct. Here's how it works. With the verb To Be (is, am, was, etc.), questions are formed by inverting (i.e., switching) the subject and the verb, like this:

    Statement: She ishappy.
    Question: Is she happy?

    Now let's add in the adverb "not". If "not" contracts with the verb, it moves with the verb:

    step 1 Statement: She is not
    step 2 Contraction: She isn't
    step 3 Question: Isn't she?

    If "not" doesn't contract with the verb, it doesn't move:

    step 1 Statement: She is not
    step 2 Question: Is she not?

    In short,

    Non-contracted "not"
    subject + verb + "not" => verb + subject + "not"
    EX: She is not => Is she not?

    Contracted "not"
    subject + verb + "n't" => verb +"n't" + subject
    EX: She isn't => Isn't she?

    Hope that helps.

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    #10

    Re: which adverbs can't have a 'not' after them?

    What about 'completely not [adjective]' and 'extremely not [adjective]'?

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