OK. Thanks, GG.

Oh, by the way, I've found something interesting in your sentence. I said 'I think a native English speaker would not say...', not ' I don't think a native English speaker would say...' Is that negation possible? When you'd like to emphasize the negative content of your idea, is it OK to say 'I think S' is not.../S' does not...'?
If it were the contracted form: I think a native speaker wouldn't do that

Does that sound more natural?
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I learned that when we say something negative in our opinion, it HAS TO BE 'I don't think it is so' not 'I think it isn't/is not so.' But you said 'I think a native speaker wouldn't/would not do that' not 'I don't think a native speaker would do that,'  So I'm wondering if what I learned is not always the case or not.
Taka, I created a new thread for us for this one.

Let's get some other opinions.

For me, if I say "He wouldn't do that," I'm sure he wouldn't do it.

If I say "I think he wouldn't do that," I'm not completely sure he woudn't. It's not a very common construction. It's the sort of thing you say in the middle of a dialogue, to clarify or empahasize a point that may have been lost.

A: Peter and Mary. Now that would be a couple.
B: You think Peter will ask Mary out?
A: No, I think he will NOT do that, despite saying he would. He's still in love with Betsy. But time will tell, I guess.

If I say "I don't think he would do that," I don't see a lot of difference, but it's the more natural order. It doesn't have the same emphasis as the one before. (To me, it's also less certain than the one before, the "I think he will not" structure.)
I agree, GG (if I understand correctly). I think is always more compelling than I don't think. "I don't think so" often borders on "I don't feel very strongly about that."

I believe McCain can beat Clinton. What do you say?

(a) I don't think so.

(b) I think not.

In my experience, (b) is the stronger (more positive) opinion, and the one I would use if I felt strongly about it. As you suggest, (a) is more comfortable (Google prefered three to two).

Edit. There's something curious about the mechanics of your new thread: when you post, it shows title only. You must renavigate to return to the thread.

- A.
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