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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 559
    #1

    if not

    Hi there!

    I'd like to ask about the meaning of the phrase in bold letters.

    ...With the development of the camera-cellphone combination, sharing photos has become even more convenient. The trend continues with many traditional camera makers announcing that they will stop producing most, if not all, of their film-based cameras...


    I'm not sure which interpretation would be correct.

    1. even if they're not going to stop producing all of their film-based cameras.

    2. or they're going to even stop producing all of their film-based cameras.

    I'd appreciate Native English speakers' replies.

    Thank you

    OP


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: if not

    1.We will stop producing most of our film-based cameras, and just continue to offer our high-end professional range.

    2. We will stop production of all our film-based cameras.

    most, if not all: here, 'most' refers to the first scenario, and 'if not all' indicates that the camera makers could, instead, opt for the second scenario. Hence, there will be a large reduction in film-based cameras produced by these manufacturers at least, and possibly, they may cease production of them altogether.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #3

    Re: if not

    It might be used here to soften the blow a bit; I get the feeling that the all option is pretty likely. I imagine that most will stop completely, with the possibility that some manufacturers may buck the trend.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,599
    #4

    Re: if not

    most, if not all =

    -most or all
    -most and possibly all
    -almost all or all


    It's actually a very literal phrase, not just an idiom. Take it word by word and you'll get the sense of it.

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