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    #1

    Don't let's fight

    Hi,

    Let's not fight.
    Is "Don't let's fight" common in BrE?

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Don't let's fight

    I don't know if it's common, but it isn't grammatical.
    I am not a teacher

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    #3

    Re: Don't let's fight

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I don't know if it's common, but it isn't grammatical.
    Hmm, are you sure? I think "Oh, do let's ..." and "Don't let's ..." sound quite normal.
    What's wrong with them?

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    #4

    Re: Don't let's fight

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Hi,

    Let's not fight.
    Is "Don't let's fight" common in BrE?

    Yes, it's quite common. There is no semantic difference between the two. Both would be used to propose/suggest that we do not fight: the difference is simply stylistic, with "Don't let's fight" being a tad more informal than "Let's not fight".

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    #5

    Re: Don't let's fight

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Hmm, are you sure? I think "Oh, do let's ..." and "Don't let's ..." sound quite normal.
    What's wrong with them?
    Each to his own.

    The question was, 'Is it common?' I said I don't know, because I never say it, and nobody I frequent ever says it. That doesn't mean there aren't millions of BrE speakers who do, but I am not aware of them.

    As for its grammatical correctness, I am just a lay practitioner of the language, but my view isn't an isolated one. Look at this old thread, for example.
    I am not a teacher

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Don't let's fight

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    As for its grammatical correctness, I am just a lay practitioner of the language, but my view isn't an isolated one. Look at this old thread, for example.
    And look at

    Swan (2005), 323): Negatives are Let us not / do not let us (formal) let's not (informal).


    Quirk et al (1986.831): First person imperative [...] are generally negated by the insertion of not after let:
    [...] Let's not say anything about it.
    Let us not say anything about it.

    Informally, however, the negation with Don't is frequently heard:
    Don't let's say anything about it. <esp BrE>

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    #7

    Re: Don't let's fight

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    Each to his own.

    The question was, 'Is it common?' I said I don't know, because I never say it, and nobody I frequent ever says it. That doesn't mean there aren't millions of BrE speakers who do, but I am not aware of them.

    As for its grammatical correctness, I am just a lay practitioner of the language, but my view isn't an isolated one. Look at this old thread, for example.
    I can 100% assure you that "Don't let's fight" is grammatical. The OP asked if it's common in BrE and it is, though I don't know off hand how it compares usage-wise with "Let's not fight". Nothing to make a fuss about.

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    #8

    Re: Don't let's fight

    We can also look at Huddleston &Pullum (2002. 935):

    i a Don't lets go with her.
    ii a Let's not go with her


    There is no [...] semantic difference between [1a] and [iia] Both would normally be used to propose/suggest that we not go with her: the difference is simply sylistic, with [ia] a little more informal than [iia]

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    #9

    Re: Don't let's fight

    Don't let's fight about how common it isn't.

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    #10

    Re: Don't let's fight

    When this thread appeared, I immediately thought of don't let's fight as a typically British phrase. I have a feeling I got that association from having read the Narnia books of C.S. Lewis. I don't know whether the usage is less common than it was when Lewis was writing or, indeed, whether it was common then. I'm pretty sure I've heard a lady I know whose family immigrated from England in the late fifties say it.
    I am not a teacher.

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