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    #1

    will do it for nothing

    1) I will do it for nothing.

    Can this sentence have both these meanings:
    1a) I will do it without getting anything in return.
    1b) I won't do it for anything.

    ============

    2) I am going to do it for nothing.

    Can this sentence have both these meanings:
    2a) I am going to do it without getting anything in return.
    2b) I am not going to do it for anything.

    I think '1' is ambiguous but '2' can only mean '2a'.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: will do it for nothing

    1) is not ambiguous for me. It clearly means 1a).
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: will do it for nothing

    There's no way I can get 1b) as a meaning from that either.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: will do it for nothing

    I will do it for nothing = I don't expect to be paid anything in return for my doing it, as you think correctly.
    I won't do it for anything = I am unwilling to do it, no matter how much I'd be paid for my doing it. I'm not doing it.
    In this case, you don't transfer the negative particle 'not' from 'won't' to 'anything' and make it 'nothing'.
    I will do it for anything = I am very eager to do it, whether being paid for the doing or not.

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