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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #1

    Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    The sentence:
    Most British businessmen are not so jealous of their diaries that they will decline to meet a visitor even at relatively short notice.
    Does it means that businessmen will not decline a meeting even if they have only short note about this in their diaries?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    It means that if the business man feels this meeting may be of use, then no notice is needed. He will agree to it immediately.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #3

    Re: Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    Hm... but "decline to meet" has negative meaning, am I right?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    In this sentence there is a double negative:

    Most British businessmen are not so jealous of their diaries that they will decline to meet a visitor even at relatively short notice.

    The first counters the second and turns it into a positive. The businessman is not exclusively tied to what is in the diary for that day.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #5

    Re: Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    Oh, I see ! Many thanks :)


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 3
    #6

    Re: Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by drwolfik View Post
    The sentence:

    Does it means that businessmen will not decline a meeting even if they have only short note about this in their diaries?
    Yes.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #7

    Re: Help me to understand the sentence, please.

    It has nothing to do with a note in your diary, whether long or short. It is to do with the amount of advance knowledge you may have of a possible meeting.

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