Don't let on anything!

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blizzy

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Please proofread my sentences.

1. Even though it was hard for him to keep his composure, he didn't let on anything.

2. Even though it was hard for him to keep up his composure, he didn't let on anything.

3. He didn't let on anything, even though it was hard for him to keep his composure.

4. He didn't let on anything, even though it was hard for him to keep up his composure.

Perhaps, however, with regard to punctuation, it would be better to put a point between the two sentences.

5. He didn't let on anything. Even though it was hard for him to keep his composure.

6. He didn't let on anything. Even though it was hard for him to keep up his composure.
 

Rover_KE

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Your meaning is unclear. What do you mean by 'let on'?

(It's not a point, but a full stop or a period.)
 

carat

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With the phrase "He didn't let on.", I mean that a person doesn't show his feelings in a difficult situation.
He just do as though nothing had happened. Obviously I'm totally wrong here.

What is correct here?
I mean that a person doesn't show his feelings in a difficult situation.
I mean that a person doesn't show its feelings in a difficult situation.
 

GoesStation

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What is correct here?
I mean that a person doesn't show his feelings in a difficult situation.
I mean that a person doesn't show its feelings in a difficult situation.
That's a surprisingly difficult question. The second version is not possible. My mother, who learned English as a second language and whose first language was strongly inflected (and thus used far fewer pronouns than English does), would have endorsed the first. Careful writers nowadays don't accept the old convention (which my mother was taught) that he, him and his are both masculine and neuter pronouns. I'd write a person doesn't show their feelings, and I think this usage will be nearly universally accepted in twenty or thirty years. It meets a lot of opposition today, though, leading to the clunky but always acceptable his or her feelings.

Many writers avoid the issue with some judicious rewriting: people don't show their​ feelings in a difficult situation.
 

emsr2d2

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To use "let on", you would need to specify the feeling the person was experiencing.

He was having trouble keeping his composure during the meeting but he didn't let on.
She was incredibly unhappy that evening but she didn't let on.
 

SoothingDave

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But "let on" isn't followed by "anything." Or anything. "He didn't let on."
 

emsr2d2

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It can only be followed by something if you change the word order:

He didn't let on that he was having trouble keeping his composure.
She didn't let on that she was very unhappy.
 

blizzy

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Posted by Soothing Dave
But "let on" isn't followed by "anything." Or anything. "He didn't let on."

Let me repeat this once again please.

He didn't let on anything.

The sentence above is wrong with "anything" at the end. This goes for both American English and British English as well.

Did I understand you perfectly right?

The reason I'm asking you again is simple. I found this set phrase in the online dictionary dict.cc.

Using this example you can also see, why the contact with native speakers is so important to me.

You can't even depend yourself on dictionaries!

The heading in my thread would therefore also be wrong.

It should read here:"Don't let on!" and not "Don't let anything on!"

He didn't let on.
 
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SoothingDave

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You understood me correctly.
 

blizzy

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I think the following two sentences also work and do have the same meaning as "He didn't let on."
1. He never let it show.
3. He didn't let it show all the time.
 

SoothingDave

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