Is it possible to convert
He stopped smoking.

He learned not to smoke.

1 2 3
You can convert, "He stopped smoking" into "He decided not to smoke anymore."

"He learned not to smoke." does not necessarily mean "He stopped smoking." just like, "He learned not to make mistakes." does not necessarily mean "He stopped making mistakes" because he could still be making mistakes inadvertently.
Hi Taka,

'He stopped smoking.' is a very simple statement. You can change it to these other statements, but you are adding additional meaning.
We have absolutely no idea at all why he stopped smoking. Perhaps he died.

Best wishes, and don't smoke!
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lol. I don't smoke.Emotion: big smile

So, strictly from a grammatical point of view, 'He leared not to smoke' is correct, but the meaning is slightly different from 'He stopped smoking'.

But, what about the negative of 'come to do'? It's grammatically unacceptable to say 'come not to do'. So, we cannot say 'He came not to smoke,right?
( I do Emotion: sad )

How about: "he finally stopped/quit smoking" ? "he managed to stop/quit smoking" ?
Maybe quit is more effective, to say that he really doesn't smoke at all anymore.
To Taka,

Re: It's grammatically unacceptable to say 'come not to do'.

That is NOT correct. Here are some examples for you to take into consideration:-

a) I have come here not to criticize, but to learn.

b) They have come to drink and not to eat.

c) He has come not to quarrel but to reconcile.
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Hi again,
Yes, 'He learned not to smoke' is OK.
The 'to' here is part of the infinitive 'to smoke'.

But 'He came not to smoke' sounds unacceptable to me.
I think it's because the 'to' here is part of the two-word verb 'come to', and the words should not be separated. For this reason, I might say 'He came to not smoke'. It's a little ugly, and it looks like a split infinitive, and there are other, better ways to say it, but to me it sounds at least minimally "acceptable", at least in everyday speech. Other people may disagree with me?

I agree that we have to distinguish between a) 'come to do = arrive here to do' and b) 'come to do = 'became accustomed to do, over time'.

The former seems able to take the 'not' construction, as Temico suggests, and as we find in the ?fairly common distortion of Shakespeare:

1. I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him [= 'I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him'].

But I can't find an idiomatic example of sense b) in the negative:

2. ??With time, I came not to care.

It seems that any negative sense has to reside in the verb:

3. Over the years, I came to despise his high voice and ceaseless prattle.


OK, so the negative of the ideomatic 'come to do' is not acceptable whreas that of 'lean to do' is fine.

Am I right?
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