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    #1

    too...to, but also

    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions to ask:

    No.1
    He was clever not to know what I meant.
    Could you please explain what structure is it? I can say "to be clever enough not to do something", which means I am clever so I don't do something. According to this the origianl sentence means "He was clever so he doesn't know what I meant". To me it doesn't make sense at all.
    Could you please explain that to me?

    No.2
    Please read the following two sentences:

    1. He not only invited his friends but also entertained them. (...but also he entertained is not correct. Is that right? )
    2. Not only did he invite his friends but also he entertained them. Here I must use "he". Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: too...to, but also

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    dear teachers,

    i have two questions to ask:

    No.1
    he was clever not to know what i meant.
    Could you please explain what structure is it? I can say "to be clever enough not to do something", which means i am clever so i don't do something. According to this the origianl sentence means "he was clever so he doesn't know what i meant". To me it doesn't make sense at all.
    Could you please explain that to me?
    i agree; it wouldn't normally make sense.
    One could strain some sense out of it perhaps. There are certain things one doesn't want to know about. If someone told you a few mafia secrets, making you a target, you might be clever not to understand what is meant.

    no.2
    please read the following two sentences:

    1. He not only invited his friends but also entertained them. (...but also he entertained is not correct. Is that right? )
    i would say the original, without a second he.

    2. Not only did he invite his friends but also he entertained them. Here i must use "he". Is that right?
    yes, but i would say "...but he also ..."

    looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    r.
    PS: Excuse my lower case letters; the program is not accepting capitals.

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    #3

    Re: too...to, but also

    Dear Raymott,

    I asked the question once and I think I understand what your explanation. There appears in another book a sentence almost the same with my original one:

    She was _________ know what I meant.
    a. too clever to b. too clever not to
    c. not clever to d. clever not to

    The key is "a". "too + adjective+ to do" means "somebody is so...that he can't do something". According to this structure "a" means "He was so clever that he didn't know what I meant". Does it bear the same meaning as you explained last time? That is "He was clever and he pretended not to know what I meant".
    To me "b" and "d" bear the same meaning : he was clever enough to know what I meant but he pretended not to understand me. I think "c" means "He was not clever enough" to know what I meant.
    Any how I am totally confused. Could you please kindly explain them one by one?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    r.
    PS: Excuse my lower case letters; the program is not accepting capitals.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: too...to, but also

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    dear raymott,

    i asked the question once and i think i understand what your explanation. There appears in another book a sentence almost the same with my original one:

    She was _________ know what i meant.
    A. Too clever to b. Too clever not to
    c. Not clever to d. Clever not to

    a. She was too clever to know what i meant. wrong this doesn't make sense. (as above). Grammatically correct though.
    b. She was too clever not to know what i meant. good. syntax and semantics both common and correct. This is the only reasonable answer.
    C. She was not clever to know what i meant. wrong. not grammatical
    but c2.
    she was not clever enough to know what i meant. good
    d. She was clever not to know what i meant. wrong.

    the key is "a". it shouldn't be.

    "too + adjective+ to do" means "somebody is so...that he can't do something". According to this structure "a" means "he was so clever that he didn't know what i meant". Does it bear the same meaning as you explained last time? That is "he was clever and he pretended not to know what i meant". yes it could, but as i explained last time, it's odd, and it's certainly not the best answer.
    "too + adjective+ to do" is a perfectly good syntax template, but, as with all templates, you can't just pour anything at all into it. They have to be words that make sense. The following are grammatical, but they are absurd:
    "she was too tall to reach the floor"
    "he was too rich to afford a new car"
    "he was too intelligent to pass the exam"
    now, some cognates for your a - d:

    e. He was too strong to lift the baby. This is grammatical, but it's nonsense. This is similar to a.
    f. He was too strong not to be able to lift the fallen cupboard off the baby.
    Same as b. Good, correct, meaningful.

    g. He was not strong to lift the cupboard. Incorrect syntax. Like c.
    H. He was strong not to be able to lift the cupboard. Doesn't make sense.


    to me "b" and "d" bear the same meaning : He was clever enough to know what i meant but he pretended not to understand me.
    no, they aren't the same. B. Implies that she knew what you meant. D. Implies that she didn't.

    i think "c" means "he was not clever enough" to know what i meant.
    exactly! But it's not correct without the "enough"

    any how i am totally confused. Could you please kindly explain them one by one?
    b is the correct answer. B is the only answer that makes without concocting a silly context, as i did with the above mafia example.

    b. She was too clever not to know what i meant.
    b. Is right. I'll put it in yet another way.
    i. You are clever enough to understand this post. =
    j you are too clever not to understand this post. =
    k you are clever enough that it is impossible that you can't understand this post.

    looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    r.

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    #5

    Re: too...to, but also

    Dear Raymott,

    Thank you so much for your explanation and patience. There often mistakes in the in exercise books which make it extremely for us learners to decide. With your explanation I now fully understand the "too...to" structure.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    r.

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