for again

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navi tasan

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Is this sentence correct:
1-I didn't say the truth for you.

Could this have two meanings:
a-I did say the truth, but not for you
and
b-In order to help you, I didn't say the truth.

(This is a follow-up on the question I asked a while ago)
 

navi tasan

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That's not what I meant. I meant, I didn't tell the truth to him (them, her) for you. It doesn't matter to whom I didn't say it. Maybe I didn't say it to you for you.

Take:
I didn't tell him the truth for you.
 

MikeNewYork

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navi tasan said:
That's not what I meant. I meant, I didn't tell the truth to him (them, her) for you. It doesn't matter to whom I didn't say it. Maybe I didn't say it to you for you.

Take:
I didn't tell him the truth for you.

That would be clearer as "I didn't tell him the truth for your benefit." or
"I told him the truth for his benefit, not yours."
 

navi tasan

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Thanks Mike,
How about:
It was for you that I didn't tell him the truth.
and:
It wasn't for you that I told him the truth.
 

MikeNewYork

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navi tasan said:
Thanks Mike,
How about:
It was for you that I didn't tell him the truth.
and:
It wasn't for you that I told him the truth.

Those are a little better, but the "for you" part could still be clearer.
 

RonBee

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How about:
  • I lied for you.
Or:
  • I didn't lie for you. (It was for another reason.)

:wink:
 

navi tasan

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Thanks RonBee,

That is the problem in a way. Lying isn't the opposite of saying the truth!

I kept silent for you.
I refrained from speaking the truth for you.
I talked about something else and avoided addressing the issue altogether for you.

But, at the end of the day, the conclusion seems to be that in English I can say:
I did something for somebody;
I did something for somebody to be able to do something else

bit when I say:
I didn't do something for...
the ambiguity becomes annoying. Nobody says straight out it is wrong, but nobody likes that structure.
 

RonBee

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I think you stated the problem succinctly. If somebody just says that he didn't tell the truth it is unclear what is meant. Your examples, however, made things plainer and easier to understand.

:)
 
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