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    #1

    Thumbs up pray for nothing to happen

    Just now I wrote a letter which concluded with "Let's pray for nothing to happen." I will invite you to take a look at my short letter:

    Hi,Rich.
    It may be signalling doomsday but no one is sure of it. We all know everything will come to an end but we just do not know when its end comes. It is decided by God. The year of 2008 does not lack events--- expected and unexpected--- in the world. It may mean something for us, something perhaps disastrous which we hate to think of. Many times our fate is in others' hands, not under our own control. It's a shame! Let's pray for nothing to happen.
    Richard

    Can we say "Let's pray for nothing to happen"? I consulted my dictionaries but they gave me no hint about it. Please do me a favour.
    Thanks.
    Richard

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    It is okay, but you may want to say instead "Let us pray that nothing happens."

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    #3

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It is okay, but you may want to say instead "Let us pray that nothing happens."
    Thanks for your revision. Grammar books always tell us that there's difference between "let us" and "let's". So,in this case, is it better to use "Let's[pray that nothing happens.]"? Thanks.
    Richard


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    #4

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    The only difference between them is that "let us" is more formal that "let's".

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    #5

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    The only difference between them is that "let us" is more formal that "let's".
    I never expected them to have such different shades of usage. Now I've thought carefully and ascended to this understanding. Really your explanation is enlightening. Thanks.

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    #6

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    "Let us pray that nothing happens."
    I thought you just don't pray that nothing happens, but you pray that nothing bad or untoward happens.

    'Let's pray' is a contraction of 'let us pray', otherwise there is not difference.


    not a teacher

  2. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    I thought you just don't pray that nothing happens, but you pray that nothing bad or untoward happens.

    'Let's pray' is a contraction of 'let us pray', otherwise there is not difference.


    not a teacher
    (not a professional teacher) There is no difference in the meaning, but there is a difference in the usage and tone, as Anglika has pointed out. When contractions have become the norm, as with "let's" for "let us", use of the expanded form does sound markedly more formal, and would normally be done deliberately for that very reason.

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    #8

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    I thought you just don't pray that nothing happens, but you pray that nothing bad or untoward happens.

    'Let's pray' is a contraction of 'let us pray', otherwise there is not difference.


    not a teacher
    Frankly, although "let's" and "let us" usually can be used interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning between them in a particular situation. Think carefully about the following two sentences,which are taken from Collins CoBuild English Usage and you may get this difference:
    Let's go outside.
    Let us know what progress has been made.
    It is for sure that there is a difference between them in some cases.
    Richard

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    I didn't even realize I'd made the change from "Let's" to "Let us" -- I was looking at the "for nothing to happen" and changing it to "that nothing happens."

    I think I wrote "let us" because at church, the minister usually says "And now let us pray..." so I was hearing that in my head.

    I really didn't intend to change the tone or fomality - I was just typing what those voices in my head told me to!

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    #10

    Re: pray for nothing to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I didn't even realize I'd made the change from "Let's" to "Let us" -- I was looking at the "for nothing to happen" and changing it to "that nothing happens."

    I think I wrote "let us" because at church, the minister usually says "And now let us pray..." so I was hearing that in my head.

    I really didn't intend to change the tone or fomality - I was just typing what those voices in my head told me to!
    I feel grateful to you for your help. And I like to hear you explain things this way, the way you just tell whatever there is on your mind.This way of explaining enables me to have a better understanding of the English language and also causes me to think about how to learn it in a better way.Thanks.
    Richard

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