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    #1

    do it for anything


    1-He will not do it for anything.

    2-He will do it for nothing.

    I think '1' and '2' have opposite meanings.
    To me '1' means' there is no way he will do it; nothing can motivate him to do it. '2' seems to mean he will do it for free or without being motivated in any way.

    To me there is no ambiguity so far.


    3-He did not do it for anything.

    4-He did it for nothing.

    In these case, '4' seems to me to mean he did it for free, or for no particular reason at all. I am not sure about '3'. I think it is a bit odd, but it seems to me that the meaning would be the same as 4.
    But at the same time both sentences could mean: he never did it. There was no reason for which he would do it.



    Am I correct?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    Last edited by navi tasan; 12-Apr-2014 at 09:24.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: do it for anything

    #3 doesn't make sense.

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    #3

    Re: do it for anything

    Thank you very much Bhaisahab,

    I think the same structure could make sense in another context.

    3a-He did not do it for anybody.

    4a-He did it for nobody.

    3b-He did not go there for anything.
    4b-He went there for nothing.

    I think '4b' could be ambiguous. It could mean 'He went there without having a reason to' but it could possibly mean the same as '3b', ie. He never went there.


    As usual, I am a bit confused although I might not sound like it!!


    Gratefully,
    Navi.

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    #4

    Re: do it for anything

    These work

    (Sorry- I clicked on the wrong button by mistake. I didn't mean to disagree.)

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