Dear teachers

I've had a hard time understanding why 'to not' is preferable here instead of 'not to':

How do you get the lions to not eat you?

How do you get him to not do that?

I'm given the understanding these sentences should read well:

I advise you not to do that.

I was told not to do that.

I must get him not to do that.

If the last one is not OK, it must have something to do with the verb 'to get'.

Thanks
Read my post here and see if it will help you to begin to understand the difference in use and meaning of 'to not' and 'not to'.

Then ask more questions.
So, which ones of my sentences are incorrect?

Thanks
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offroadDear teachers I've had a hard time understanding why 'to not' is preferable here instead of 'not to':
"to not" is the correct grammar to express your meaning in the following two sentences.



How do you get the lions to not eat you? [Y]

How do you get him to not do that? [Y]

I want you to not use my computer again without first asking me. [Y] = I want you to stop using my computer without first asking me.



I'm given the understanding these sentences should read well: I don't like them. They are wimpy imprecise sentences.

I advise you not to do that. [N] but to do what?

I was told not to do that. [N] but to do what?

I must get him not to do that. [N] but to do what?

Many native speakers say the above, but in my opinion "to not" would be very much better in the above three sentences.

'to not" in the above sentences is precise and elegant English.
Well... I must say that I am a bit chocked those sentences are imprecise!

Thank you very much
offroadI've had a hard time understanding why 'to not' is preferable here instead of 'not to'
Opinions vary on this 'split infinitive' issue. My personal opinion is this: Never use 'to not'. If you're using 'to not', you're not using the right phrasing for the thought.

How do you get the lions not to eat you?

How do you get him not to do that?

I advise you not to do that.

I was told not to do that.

I must get him not to do that.

Note that these rephrasings are possible if you find the forms above unsuitable:

How do you keep lions from eating you?

How do you keep him from doing that?

CJ
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CalifJimOpinions vary on this 'split infinitive' issue. My personal opinion is this: Never use 'to not'. That's a very strong statement that deserves a strong rebuttal.

I am not the only person who thinks that "to not" is a distinct and useful grammar. After all, someone told offroad that "to not" is preferable over "not to" in those two sentences in the OP, and offroad wants to understand why that might be so.

By the way, I am guessing that your aversion to "to not" is not just because of the split infinitive.

I admit that many people still prefer "not to" and that can only mean that they have not made the effort to understand the difference between the two grammars.

In the old post that I referred to in my first response to this thread, the difference in the use of the two grammars is very clear. Both grammars have their place.

If you're using 'to not', you're not using the right phrasing for the thought. Well that's your opinion; it's certainly not mine.

Others will have to decide for themselves.

CJ
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