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    #1

    didn't

    Didn't John go back to US?

    Did John not go back to US ?

    Whether both sentences are correct way of writing ? I understand that as per English grammar rules "not" must be used after John.

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    #2

    Re: didn't

    Quote Originally Posted by Anil Giria View Post
    Didn't John go back to the US?

    Did John not go back to the US?

    Whether both sentences are correct way of writing ? Are both sentences correct? I understand that as per English grammar rules "not" must be used after John.
    Both sentences are correct. I know of no such 'rule'.

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    #3

    Re: didn't

    It would be very strange to have a rule which is applied only to one man's name!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: didn't

    There is no such rule, but in most cases we would say Didn't John go back to the US? if we wanted to use the negative in the question. However, Did John not go is perfectly correct.

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    #5

    Re: didn't

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Anil Giria:

    Many of my books explain that occasionally one may use the second version when one wants to emphasize one's surprise, anger, confusion, etc. Also, some people feel that it is more formal. (If you are writing something at the university, it is my OPINION that it might be a good idea to avoid contractions as much as possible. Contractions are fine for everyday English, of course.)

    I have made up this fictional situation:


    James: John has died in [name of country] and his relatives here in the United States are raising money to bring his body home. Would you like to contribute?

    Mona: Of course. But I'm a bit confused. Did John not return to our country after he had finished his studies in ____? That's what someone told me five years ago.

    James: Actually, he had planned to, but he met a girl there and they got married. So he stayed in _____ until his death.

    Mona: Oh, now, I understand.


    Some more examples from an expert *:

    "Have I not asked you again and again to be here on time?" [My note: I am tired of telling you to be here on time!]

    "Are there not more than enough weapons of destruction on earth?" [My note: This kind of question does not need an answer. The speaker is just giving his emotional opinion!]

    Some examples from an American comic strip **:

    "Could you not see I was eating?" [ My note: Why did you show me that horrible picture? Now I don't want to continue eating!]



    James


    * L.G. Alexander, Longman English Grammar (1988).

    ** Doonsbury by Garry Trudeau

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