There is a sentence:
"Doris, be careful that the water is not hot," Smith said.

In the sentence above, what do Smith want?
Is "the water is not hot"?
Or is "the water is hot"?
Thanks a lot in advance.
1 2 3 4 5
In the sentence above, what do Smith want?

He wants Doris to take care not to allow the water to become/remain hot.
Is "the water is not hot"? Or is "the water is hot"?

The former.

Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
There is a sentence: "Doris, be careful that the water is not hot," Smith said. In the sentence above, what do Smith want? Is "the water is not hot"? Or is "the water is hot"? Thanks a lot in advance.

Not just the syntax, but the old-fashioned name Doris, and the curious use of Smith's surname but Doris' first name (I bet she's the maid, natch) indicate we're in no more recent times than the 1920s. If you aren't an L1 speaker I wouldn't attempt to use this structure.

DC
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
There is a sentence: "Doris, be careful that the water ... is "the water is hot"? Thanks a lot in advance.

Not just the syntax, but the old-fashioned name Doris, and the curious use of Smith's surname but Doris' first name

Smith is talking to Doris. He's probably going to use her first name because he knows her. The narrator, who is telling you who said what was quoted, might use last names to refer to characters, perhaps to remain more distant, disinterested.
(I bet she's the maid, natch) indicate we're in no more recent times than the 1920s. If you aren't an L1 speaker I wouldn't attempt to use this structure.

What is wrong with telling someone to be careful the water isn't hot?:

"I turned up the water heater yesterday. Before you take a shower, be careful (that) the water isn't too hot."
In the case of:
"Be careful that the water is not hot."
The speaker is worried that the water might be too hot. In the case of:

"Be careful that the water is not cold."
The speaker is worried that the water might be too cold. The exact temperature of the water isn't material, just the fear that it might be out of spec. Binary expressions on the same theme can exist:

A father is telling his son about driving a car: "Before you pull out into the intersection, be careful the light isn't red."

"Throw me that lipstick, darling, I wanna redo my stigmata."

+-Jennifer Saunders, "Absolutely Fabulous"
Not just the syntax, but the old-fashioned name Doris, and the curious use of Smith's surname but Doris' first name

Smith is talking to Doris. He's probably going to use her first name because he knows her. The narrator, who is telling you who said what was quoted, might use last names to refer to characters, perhaps to remain more distant, disinterested.

Fair enough, it's reported speech. How old was the last piece of fiction you read where the narrator identified characters by their second names? But the antique and faintly comical Doris is a clincher that this is quite an old peice of writing.
(I bet she's the maid, natch) indicate we're in no ... an L1 speaker I wouldn't attempt to use this structure.

What is wrong with telling someone to be careful the water isn't hot?: "I turned up the water heater yesterday. ... telling his son about driving a car: "Before you pull out into the intersection, be careful the light isn't red."

Fine, no arguement there.
Eagleloch's rubric and the fact the example caused problems for him/her suggests she/he isn't a native speaker. While it's laudable for learners to experiment with new structures, the chances of getting this wrong, the fact that it's fairly unusual and that the intonation would need to be got exactly right if used in speech, means it might well not be understood and might be best not used.
DC
Fair enough, it's reported speech. How old was the last piece of fiction you read where the narrator identified characters by their second names? But the antique and faintly comical Doris is a clincher that this is quite an old peice of writing.

I don't see anything "old" about this writing. I read works of fiction that are modern and still identify characters by both first and last names, depending on the circumstances and the author's preferred style.
Eagleloch's rubric and the fact the example caused problems for him/her suggests she/he isn't a native speaker. While it's laudable ... got exactly right if used in speech, means it might well not be understood and might be best not used.

The intonation wouldn't really matter much in speech. It would be understandable even with no intonation at all, like most English sentences.

Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Fair enough, it's reported speech. How old was the last ... clincher that this is quite an old peice of writing.

I don't see anything "old" about this writing. I read works of fiction that are modern and still identify characters by both first and last names, depending on the circumstances and the author's preferred style.

So do you know a lot of Doris's?
Eagleloch's rubric and the fact the example caused problems for ... well not be understood and might be best not used.

The intonation wouldn't really matter much in speech. It would be understandable even with no intonation at all, like most English sentences.

You are a tease Micks.
DC

Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/
So do you know a lot of Doris's?

'Dorises', I'd write.
I have an Aunt Doris out California way. She's in her early 80s. I think 'Doris' may have survived about a generation longer than in the UK or wherever you were referring to; indeed, I think 'Doris' was at one time a fashionable AmE name.
Cf. Doris Day, who's about 80. She's from Cincinnati, but she might as well be a matron goddess of Chicago wrt her heyday persona. Bwahahaha!

BTW, in New York English (and, indeed, unreconstructed AmE generally) 'Doris' is in the 'orange' class(tm).
Areff > misc.education.language.english,alt.usage.english in <
I have an Aunt Doris out California way. She's in her early 80s. I think 'Doris' may have survived about a generation longer than in the UK or wherever you were referring to; indeed, I think 'Doris' was at one time a fashionable AmE name.

Onelook.com says it's still common in the US.
Doris
A female given name (very common: 1 in 298 females; popularity rank in the U.S.: #55)

(T)EFL online communities
http://groups.msn.com/TEFL
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more