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      • Greece
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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #1

    Question problem with a sentence

    Hi there!!!

    I have some difficulty understanding the syntax of the following sentence:

    "I don't think I'm going to do well on my exam."
    "Not if you don't study you_____."

    a. will
    b.won't

    b. won't is the correct answer according to my book but I can't see why...Is it because two negatives make an affirmative, and the sentence means " If you study, you won't (have those thoughts)"?It doesn't make sense to me...

    Thank you in advance


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: problem with a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by zahari View Post
    Hi there!!!
    I have some difficulty understanding the syntax of the following sentence:
    "I don't think I'm going to do well on my exam."
    "Not if you don't study you_____."
    a. will
    b.won't
    b. won't is the correct answer according to my book but I can't see why...Is it because two negatives make an affirmative, and the sentence means " If you study, you won't (have those thoughts)"?It doesn't make sense to me...
    Thank you in advance
    "Not if you don't study you_____.",

    means,

    A) If you don't study, you won't do well on your exams.

    But it is much stronger in tone than A). The understanding is that the person taking the test has not been studying. It's similar to,

    Well, because you haven't been studying you probably won't pass the test.


    ----------------------

    Is it because two negatives make an affirmative

    You may have gotten this idea from the prescription against double negatives, Zahari, but I can assure you that the "proof" for that "rule" is completely specious.

    "I don't got no money"

    does not mean, to any speaker of English that the person who said that has money.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Greek
      • Home Country:
      • Greece
      • Current Location:
      • Greece

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 79
    #3

    Re: problem with a sentence

    Hi riverkid

    So, it's for emphasis,is that what you mean?

    Thank you very much!

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