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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    I don't find it

    When is it appropriate to use/say "I don't find it" rather than I can't find it?

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    #2

    Re: I don't find it

    They are so similar it's hard to tell the difference.

    To say "I don't find it" is to say you are still looking, but, as yet, you have not found it.
    To say "I can't find it" is an admission of failure.

    Generally, we say, "I can't find it" but I have learned, with my current boss, to say "I don't find it yet..." because he will come in and point to it and then I can say, "Ah, yes! There it is! Thank you!" But when I say, "I can't find it" it looks like I am incapable, and have given up.

    I don't know if it makes any difference, but it works for me!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I don't find it

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post

    Generally, we say, "I can't find it" but I have learned, with my current boss, to say "I don't find it yet..."
    This must be AmE. The standard way of saying this is "I haven't found it yet."
    I have never heard "I don't find it" except in constructions such as "I don't find it at all amusing".

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    #4

    Re: I don't find it

    Not here either. I can't find it. I don't see it. But not "I don't find it."

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    #5

    Re: I don't find it

    Okay, so it's not common here either. I was just saying that if you used it, that's what it would mean to me.

    I don't find it easy to always give the best answers here!

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I don't find it

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    Okay, so it's not common here either. I was just saying that if you used it, that's what it would mean to me.

    I don't find it easy to always give the best answers here!
    We all make mistakes occasionally when we're answering difficult questions.
    But you seem to have constructed a good case to prove a wrong answer. There should be no need for that. Sometimes the best response, if you're not sure, is to pass over the question.
    Did you really learn to say "I don't find it yet..." from your current boss?

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    #7

    Re: I don't find it

    Dear you all,
    So, what is wrong with "I don't find it"?
    thanks a bunch.

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    #8

    Re: I don't find it

    Yes, I have said it, Raymott, but that's hardly the point. The point was to illustrate the rather subtle difference in meaning, to me at least, between I don't find it, and I can't find it.

    The subsequent illustration with I don't find it amusing is a better example, I grant you.

    If I erred here, it was to go onto a tangent about I can't find it, when the question was asking when it was appropriate to use I don't find it. My assumption was that the original questioner thought it meant I can't find it, which it does not, to my ear.

    There is nothing wrong with I don't find it, Hanky.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I don't find it

    Quote Originally Posted by hanky View Post
    Dear you all,
    So, what is wrong with "I don't find it"?
    thanks a bunch.
    There's nothing wrong with it as a phrase. It depends on how you use it.
    If you use it to mean "I can't find it", it's not standard English.

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    #10

    Re: I don't find it

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    Yes, I have said it, Raymott, but that's hardly the point. The point was to illustrate the rather subtle difference in meaning, to me at least, between I don't find it, and I can't find it.

    The subsequent illustration with I don't find it amusing is a better example, I grant you.

    If I erred here, it was to go onto a tangent about I can't find it, when the question was asking when it was appropriate to use I don't find it. My assumption was that the original questioner thought it meant I can't find it, which it does not, to my ear.

    There is nothing wrong with I don't find it, Hanky.
    Oh, now I see the point. You know, your assumption is what I have in my mind because of I did not read the question carefully though. That made your first answer sounds good for my ear.
    thank you all.

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