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  1. #1
    Barman is offline Member
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    Affirmative to Negative - He is a man of marked ability & He is a great poet

    If I transform the following affirmative sentences into negative ones, are they all grammatically correct?

    1) Affirmative: He is a man of marked ability.

    Negative: a)He isn't a man of mean ability.
    or
    b) He is a man of no mean ability.


    2) Affirmative: He is a great poet.

    Negative: a) He isn't a mean poet.
    or
    b) He is no mean a poet.
    Last edited by Barman; 24-Oct-2020 at 10:31.

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Affirmative to Negative - He is a man of marked ability & He is a great poet

    Quote Originally Posted by Barman View Post
    If I transform the following affirmative sentences into negative ones, are they all grammatically correct?

    1) Affirmative: He is a man of marked ability.

    That means he is very able.


    Negative: a)He isn't a man of mean ability.

    That's unnatural. It means he's not very able.


    or
    b) He is a man of no mean ability.

    That means he is very able.



    2) Affirmative: He is a great poet.

    That means he's a great poet. (Duh.)


    Negative: a) He isn't a mean poet.

    It might mean:

    - He's not a bad bad poet. (But the phrasing isn't natural.)
    - He's not a nasty poet. (The phrasing is natural.)


    or
    b) He is no mean a poet.

    As corrected, it means he's a good poet.
    Does that answer the question?
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 24-Oct-2020 at 19:12.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. #3
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: Affirmative to Negative - He is a man of marked ability & He is a great poet

    Your question is all wrong, Barman.

    Look:

    + He is a man of marked ability.
    - He is not a man of marked ability.

    + He is a great poet.
    - He is not a great poet.


    Why are you trying to use the word (not) mean as the opposite of marked and great? Don't do that.

    What I assume you're trying to do here is understand the usage of no mean. Here: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dic...mean-something
    Last edited by jutfrank; 24-Oct-2020 at 16:59.

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