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Thread: hurt someone

  1. Key Member
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    #1

    hurt someone

    1) I will not hurt anyone.
    2) I will not hurt someone.

    I suppose 'anyone' in '1' could be used instead of 'just anyone' if it is pronounced with strong emphasis. I don't think that would work in formal English, but would probably work in informal English.

    I think 'someone' in '2' could refer to a specific person the speaker does not want to name. It would be equivalent to 'you-now-who'. Again this would work in informal English.

    But could '2' be used as a general statement meaning I will not hurt anyone?
    I will not commit the act of hurting someone.

    It might be used that way if one is echoing something that has already been said.
    You will hurt someone.
    No, I will not hurt someone.

    But other than that, would it be possible to use '2'?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2

    Re: hurt someone

    Just about possible, but very unlikely without the added context.

  3. Key Member
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    #3

    Re: hurt someone

    Thank you very much, Tdol, for all your replies.

    How about:

    3) I will never hurt someone.


    Isn't that a possible sentence? Doesn't the 'never' make the sentence more likely?

    It is just a theory I have. I think if one uses never then 'hurt someone' could have the meaning 'commit the act of hurting someone'.
    It is just a theory, and it is probably going to be refuted very soon...

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

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