'Not having finished" or 'Having not finished'?

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wotcha

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1.Not having finished homework, she could not go out.

2.Having not finished homework, she could not go out.

Which is correct?
 

Barb_D

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I would certainly expect #2.
 

Barb_D

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konungursvia

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I disagree, and think 1 is far more correct (if her is added). Sorry, Barb.
 

emsr2d2

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Just for once, I disagree with Barb.

Not having finished her homework, she could not go out.

Not having been skiing for three years, I'm not sure I can remember how to do it.

Not having eaten cake for six months, I may feel really sick after this huge slice!
 

Barb_D

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Regional?

I would say "Having not been skiing,..." or "having not eaten cake for six months..." also.

Well, come to think if it, I would never hope to say "having not eaten cake for six months" but I wouldn't say it as "Not having eaten cake" either.

Anyway, I simply said I would expect it, not that the other was wrong.

Somewhere, there was once a long conversation about whether there is a difference between "not do do something" or "to not do something" that was meaningful beyond splitting the infinitive. I wonder if this is just another form of that.
 

Raymott

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I also prefer #2 in this case.
I can see how they might be equally correct, but I'd be interested in knowing on what grammatical basis kon believes #1 is far more correct.
 

konungursvia

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Okay, there are 2 or 3 approaches that might help me clarify my thoughts:

To have done something, taken as a grammatical construct, sounds more like an act of achievement, completion, finishing, perfection, etc. The negation of it would be not to have done the thing, rather than to have not done the thing, which would be having nothing completed.... I know it sounds rather silly, but it seems far less sensible a declaration than not having completed something. It makes me think of Douglas Adams` prose in The Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy.`

The second strand, and the stronger one in my view, is made clearer by taking a step back and comparing the structure with being, which can be taken as grammatically analogous.

Would we say....

Not being a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.
.... or, ....
Being not a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.

Either you have an archaic and unnecessary inversion here, or a malapropism, if you ask me.

The third argument I suppose would be centuries of written English which exclude the second answer. Having not completed my homework is probably nearly as normatively `new` or `urban` as `me and him both agree.` You hear it, but it`s not the norm from the grammars.

Hopefully this is an okay explanation of what I was thinking.
 

Raymott

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Okay, there are 2 or 3 approaches that might help me clarify my thoughts:

To have done something, taken as a grammatical construct, sounds more like an act of achievement, completion, finishing, perfection, etc. The negation of it would be not to have done the thing, rather than to have not done the thing, which would be having nothing completed.... I know it sounds rather silly, but it seems far less sensible a declaration than not having completed something. It makes me think of Douglas Adams` prose in The Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy.`

Au contraire. By your own argument, it is more sensible to refer to positive occurrences. If there has been a failure to complete a task, that is the positive consequence; it's what we have:
Having (not completed the task) - a positive statement of what currently obtains.
Not (having completed the task) - a negative statement.

Not having (completed the task) - another negative statement.

The second strand, and the stronger one in my view, (I'd hope so! ;-)) is made clearer by taking a step back and comparing the structure with being, which can be taken as grammatically analogous.

Would we say....

Not being a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.
.... or, ....
Being not a doctor, I wouldn`t want to give a prognosis on her condition.

Either you have an archaic and unnecessary inversion here, or a malapropism, if you ask me.

The mistake you've made here is to use "be" as the main verb. This same mistake can be illustrated, more relevantly, with "have".
1. Not having a car, I couldn't drive to work.
2. * Having not a car, ...
Even so, it's quite normal to say
3. Having no car, ...
However, in the question at hand, "have" is a modal verb. The argument is "not having <main verb>" v. "having not <main verb>

The third argument I suppose would be centuries of written English which exclude the second answer. Having not completed my homework is probably nearly as normatively `new` or `urban` as `me and him both agree.` You hear it, but it`s not the norm from the grammars.
Can you cite one of these grammars?
I can't accept on face value that, "Having not completed" is new. I'm willing to find examples from literature if necessary.

Hopefully this is an okay explanation of what I was thinking.
So, point 1. seems right, point 2. is about a different structure, and point 3. is assertion? I'll accept that that's what you were thinking.
Apart from the above, here's what I was thinking:

a. Condition (finished homework) -> Consequence (watch TV)
b. Condition (not finished homework) -> Consequence (not watch TV)
c. Not condition (finished homework) ->
Consequence (not watch TV)

The condition is what we have:
b. "Having (not finished his homework), he can't watch TV."
I think it's more logical to base the sentence on b. what the current condition is, rather than what it's not.
 

2006

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Apart from the above, here's what I was thinking:

a. Condition (finished homework) -> Consequence (watch TV)
b. Condition (not finished homework) -> Consequence (not watch TV)
c. Not condition (finished homework) -> Consequence (not watch TV)

The condition is what we have:
b. "Having (not finished his homework), he can't watch TV."
I think it's more logical to base the sentence on b. what the current condition is, rather than what it's not.
My thoughts are very similar to the above.
Here, 'having done something' and 'having not done something' are situations that the person is in. The situation the person is in is what is emphasized, not an action or lack of action. Thus, 'Having not finished....'. seems better.
 
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BobK

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Opinions differ. One strategy for dealing with this is to use a verb that implies the negative: e.g. 'Having failed to complete his homework...' - that way you don't have to worry about where to put the 'not'.

b
 

konungursvia

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Apart from the above, here's what I was thinking:

a. Condition (finished homework) -> Consequence (watch TV)
b. Condition (not finished homework) -> Consequence (not watch TV)
c. Not condition (finished homework) ->
Consequence (not watch TV)

The condition is what we have:
b. "Having (not finished his homework), he can't watch TV."
I think it's more logical to base the sentence on b. what the current condition is, rather than what it's not.

I think it`s important to remember we`re not actually talking about logic so much as grammar, which doesn`t have to be logical but must reflect norms in a social milieu.

I think I failed to express my first point well enough: you can`t express the having completed of an action which is a non-action, when it`s more natural to express the not having completed of an action which can be imagined.

This reminds me of a poem my British mum used to say when I was little: I made up a new ending for my North American students, so I can`t remember the British ending:

Yesterday, upon the stair
I met a man who wasn`t there
He wasn`t there again today
I think he`s from the CIA.


Anyhow, to me, `having not done my homework` is almost as awkward as `having done my non-homework` to express the failure to get it done.

By the way, have any of you looked up an exact search of these in the corpuses... (looking for a question mark, my bloody computer has been stuck in French Canadian keyboard for 24 h)....
 

emsr2d2

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This reminds me of a poem my British mum used to say when I was little: I made up a new ending for my North American students, so I can`t remember the British ending:

Yesterday, upon the stair
I met a man who wasn`t there
He wasn`t there again today
I think he`s from the CIA.

I believe the last line was "Oh, how I wish he'd go away".

Edit: Or possibly "I wish, I wish he'd go away".
 

konungursvia

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Another way of trying to express what I meant by the assertion it`s ridiculous to describe as a state of achievement anything which is in fact a non-action. To stretch it a bit:

Having not completed her homework, she decided it was not unpleasant attaining the heights of incompletion; later that day, she went on to leave unfinished a short story, and by nightfall, she had not finished an entire novel. She would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Inaction, for during her forties and fifties she managed not to translate the complete works of Balzac into the complete works of Dickens. In her old age, she revealed her secret: `Not completing things is an art; we must begin by not starting, and then, every day, we must remember to devote several seconds to not continuing. Before you know it, you`ve got your non-work ready to leave unpublished.`

Do you see what I mean....

It`s `Not having completed,` not `having not completed.`
 
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wotcha

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I want to say thank you all who have contributed to this thread. You guys are brilliant. ^_^
 

konungursvia

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My meaning is that using the gerund "having" with a participle implies a declaration regarding a state of completion, or implies an assertion of achievement; using it for later negations, for things not at all done, sounds strangely awkward. "Having" is used for something, but not for the absence of the thing.
 
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