Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #1

    nothing etc.

    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions to ask:



    No.1
    The sentence 'People who can resist EVERTHING except temptation is very likely to end up in prison' means 'The only thing that people can't resist is temptation'. Is that right?

    Is the sentence 'People who can resist ANYTHING except temptation is very likely to end up in prison' correct? In other words, can I replace EVERYTHING with ANYTHING? If not could you please kindly explain why?

    No.2
    In my dictionary it reads 'any event, act or object whatever, or (especially in questions or negatives) something, e.g.
    If he eats anything with wheat in it he's very sick.
    Is there anything I can do to help?
    Let me know if anything happens.
    I didn't know anything about computers till I started this job.

    My question is :
    Does the word bear different meanings in statements or questions or negatives?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 163
    #2

    Re: nothing etc.

    'Any' is so closely related to the negative that I teach it as meaning 'not none' which can be broken down further (but is less intuitive as) 'not not one'

    The subtler point is that if I will accept ANY kind of ice cream, ALL kinds of ice cream are acceptable, as long as they are ice cream

    in No. 1 then, 'anything' and 'everything' are interchangeable, because EVERYTHING that comes up is SOMETHING, ie: NOT NO-THING, which equals ANY-THING.

    For all the phrases in No. 2, you can paraphrase using 'everything,' although it sometimes makes an akward sentence:

    Everything that has wheat in it will make him sick if he eats it.

    Please tell me everything there is that I can do to help.
    ::note that this is not a good paraphrase
    ::For one, it is a command and not a question, and even so
    ::we should use SOMETHING::
    Is there something I can do to help?
    Please tell me if there is something I can do to help.
    ::because EVERYTHING, unlike ANY, is always a totality.

    Let me know everything that happens.
    :: again, easier to do with SOMETHING

    Everything that I know about computers, I've learnt in this job.
    :: Here, it is not easy to use SOMETHING, notice that
    :: NOT ANYTHING == NOT NOT NO THING == Absolutely Nothing!!
    :: So not absolutely nothing is everything.

    To your final question: No, the meaning of ANY never ever changes (any!), but its usage in compound words, questions, and negatives make it hard to understand, and in addition, it is itself a negative compound of NOT NONE.

    Good luck with EVERYTHING you do. Post back if there is ANYTHING that you dont understand about this. ANY and EVERY time that I can help, I like to try.

    Jesse

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: nothing etc.

    I'm always tail-gating behind Jesse, letting her do all the work and just adding a few observations!

    There's a difference between these two, though in practise they may be very close:

    Please let me know if there's anything I can do.


    and

    Please let me know if there's something I can do.

    The first is often used for rhetorical/social/political effect - maybe someone trying to ingratiate himself with a young widow. The second is more of a credible offer of real assistance in a particular case:

    Please let me know if there's something I can do - organize the flowers, maybe?

    [I apologize for the rather funereal choice of example, but it sprang to mind because it happened to my mother when she was a young widow: my father had been a founder member of the ACTT (film technicians' union), and the union secretary used the word anything in the standard rhetorical way but was surprised by her answer: 'Approve my son's application for membership'. People who use this form of words ('let me know if there's anything I can do') don't usually expect an immediate answer of real
    help wanted.]

    b

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #4

    Re: nothing etc.


    Dear JSmiley,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. But it is too complicated for me to understand. I could only understand your first point, that is the two words are interchangeable. But I can't understand the explanation. Could you please make it easier?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by JSmiley View Post
    'Any' is so closely related to the negative that I teach it as meaning 'not none' which can be broken down further (but is less intuitive as) 'not not one'

    The subtler point is that if I will accept ANY kind of ice cream, ALL kinds of ice cream are acceptable, as long as they are ice cream

    in No. 1 then, 'anything' and 'everything' are interchangeable, because EVERYTHING that comes up is SOMETHING, ie: NOT NO-THING, which equals ANY-THING.

    For all the phrases in No. 2, you can paraphrase using 'everything,' although it sometimes makes an akward sentence:

    Everything that has wheat in it will make him sick if he eats it.

    Please tell me everything there is that I can do to help.
    ::note that this is not a good paraphrase
    ::For one, it is a command and not a question, and even so
    ::we should use SOMETHING::
    Is there something I can do to help?
    Please tell me if there is something I can do to help.
    ::because EVERYTHING, unlike ANY, is always a totality.

    Let me know everything that happens.
    :: again, easier to do with SOMETHING

    Everything that I know about computers, I've learnt in this job.
    :: Here, it is not easy to use SOMETHING, notice that
    :: NOT ANYTHING == NOT NOT NO THING == Absolutely Nothing!!
    :: So not absolutely nothing is everything.

    To your final question: No, the meaning of ANY never ever changes (any!), but its usage in compound words, questions, and negatives make it hard to understand, and in addition, it is itself a negative compound of NOT NONE.

    Good luck with EVERYTHING you do. Post back if there is ANYTHING that you dont understand about this. ANY and EVERY time that I can help, I like to try.

    Jesse

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #5

    Re: nothing etc.

    Dear BobK,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I think I got confused by 'everything' and 'anything' . Could you please explain the difference in the sentences I cited?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'm always tail-gating behind Jesse, letting her do all the work and just adding a few observations!

    There's a difference between these two, though in practise they may be very close:

    Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

    and

    Please let me know if there's something I can do.

    The first is often used for rhetorical/social/political effect - maybe someone trying to ingratiate himself with a young widow. The second is more of a credible offer of real assistance in a particular case:

    Please let me know if there's something I can do - organize the flowers, maybe?

    [I apologize for the rather funereal choice of example, but it sprang to mind because it happened to my mother when she was a young widow: my father had been a founder member of the ACTT (film technicians' union), and the union secretary used the word anything in the standard rhetorical way but was surprised by her answer: 'Approve my son's application for membership'. People who use this form of words ('let me know if there's anything I can do') don't usually expect an immediate answer of real
    help wanted.]

    b


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 163
    #6

    Unhappy Re: nothing etc.

    First: Bob, I am a man. A big, hairy, manly, goateed, smelly, disheveled, belching, farting, messy, lazy, overweight man. But if you think I'm still attractive, and my wife agrees, lets cyber girl.

    okay jokes aside:

    Jiang, the only way I can make it simpler is by only telling you this:

    any = not none!
    :: a little bit more than the opposite of every!

    every = all

    Read that, remember that. Do not forget that any is not none!

    Go back to Bobina and my answers and read line by line while remembering that ANY=NOT NONE. If you have questions about how we did a particular example, ask about that and we will attack it in detail.

    Notice that some grammar acrobatics were needed to put the word "everything" into those phrases, this is because the words are not synonyms; not exactly the same.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #7

    Re: nothing etc.

    Dear JSmiley,
    Thank you very much for your reply. Could you please kindly tell me if my explanation of the following sentences are correct or not?

    No.1
    People who can resist EVERTHING except temptation is very likely to end up in prison. This sentence means 'The only thing that people can't resist is temptation'. Is that right?

    No.2 People who can resist ANYTHING except temptation is very likely to end up in prison. This sentence means 'The only thing that people can resist is temptation'. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by JSmiley View Post
    First: Bob, I am a man. A big, hairy, manly, goateed, smelly, disheveled, belching, farting, messy, lazy, overweight man. But if you think I'm still attractive, and my wife agrees, lets cyber girl.

    okay jokes aside:

    Jiang, the only way I can make it simpler is by only telling you this:

    any = not none!
    :: a little bit more than the opposite of every!

    every = all

    Read that, remember that. Do not forget that any is not none!

    Go back to Bobina and my answers and read line by line while remembering that ANY=NOT NONE. If you have questions about how we did a particular example, ask about that and we will attack it in detail.

    Notice that some grammar acrobatics were needed to put the word "everything" into those phrases, this is because the words are not synonyms; not exactly the same.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 163
    #8

    Re: nothing etc.

    One thing we haven't told you is that the phrase:

    "I can resist everything/anything except temptation"

    is a joke. It is funny because temptation is, by definition, something which is difficult or impossible to resist! Therefore this applies to everyone

    So your sentence:
    People who can resist EVERTHING except temptation are very likely to end up in prison.
    is really talking about all people (because in reality, nobody can resist temptation), and saying that all people are likely to end up in prison. This sentence form makes your question unnecessarily complicated.


    To focus on the meaning of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, it will be easier if you make your sentences shorter.
    ::"People can resist EVERYTHING except temptation"
    ::"People can resist ANYTHING except temptation"

    .. okay all for now, I have a class starting. Maybe someone can pick it up from here.

    Jesse

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #9

    Re: nothing etc.

    Dear JSmiley,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see. What is strange is that in my exercise book the key is 'everything' not 'anything'.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by JSmiley View Post
    One thing we haven't told you is that the phrase:

    "I can resist everything/anything except temptation"

    is a joke. It is funny because temptation is, by definition, something which is difficult or impossible to resist! Therefore this applies to everyone

    So your sentence:

    is really talking about all people (because in reality, nobody can resist temptation), and saying that all people are likely to end up in prison. This sentence form makes your question unnecessarily complicated.


    To focus on the meaning of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, it will be easier if you make your sentences shorter.
    ::"People can resist EVERYTHING except temptation"
    ::"People can resist ANYTHING except temptation"

    .. okay all for now, I have a class starting. Maybe someone can pick it up from here.

    Jesse

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #10

    Re: nothing etc.

    Dear JSmiley,

    I think I am totally confused. I have further questions on this:

    No.1 Does it mean everything and anything are always interchangeable? For example, I can say 'I can do everything/anything', 'I can't do everything' and I cannot do anything'. Is that right?

    No.2 I think I was confused by the meaning of each of the following sentences:
    a. He can do nothing but cry. That means the only thing he can do is cry. Is that right?
    b. He can do anything but cry. That means the only thing he cannot do is cry. Is that right?
    No.3 In my dictionary under 'anything' it read (usu.) in interrogative and negative. But many examples, like the one above are statements. Could you please explain if there is any difference in meanings?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by JSmiley View Post
    One thing we haven't told you is that the phrase:

    "I can resist everything/anything except temptation"

    is a joke. It is funny because temptation is, by definition, something which is difficult or impossible to resist! Therefore this applies to everyone

    So your sentence:

    is really talking about all people (because in reality, nobody can resist temptation), and saying that all people are likely to end up in prison. This sentence form makes your question unnecessarily complicated.


    To focus on the meaning of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, it will be easier if you make your sentences shorter.
    ::"People can resist EVERYTHING except temptation"
    ::"People can resist ANYTHING except temptation"

    .. okay all for now, I have a class starting. Maybe someone can pick it up from here.

    Jesse
    Last edited by jiang; 16-Nov-2006 at 09:14.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •