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Hello Everyone

I have a great doubt! In the Students course book it is explained the structure WANT/ASK/TELL someone to do something. It also explains that you say "I don´t want you to tell anyone". Then it says:

Verbs ASK and TELL have a similar construction in the negative form. Note the position of not:

He told us not to worry.

Then, when we turn over the page, there is an exercise that says: Make the sentences negative.

1) He told me to leave.

The teacher´s book provides de following answer: He didn´t tell me to leave.

So, I wonder:

1) What is the difference between:

a) He told me not to worry

b) He didn´t tell me to worry?

2) Is the teacher´s book wrong? If no, I do not understand why they provide an explanation that does not agree with the exercise (moreover, this confuses the students and teacher too!)

thank you very much.

Soprano
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Hi,

I have a great doubt! In the Students course book it is explained the structure WANT/ASK/TELL someone to do something. It also explains that you say "I don´t want you to tell anyone". Then it says:

Verbs ASK and TELL have a similar construction in the negative form. Note the position of not:

He told us not to worry.

Then, when we turn over the page, there is an exercise that says: Make the sentences negative.

1) He told me to leave.

The teacher´s book provides de following answer: He didn´t tell me to leave. It should be 'He told me not to leave'.

So, I wonder:

1) What is the difference between:

Consider these examples.

a) He told me not to worry The 'not' applies to the verb 'worry'. His actual words were 'Do not worry'.

b) He didn´t tell me to worry? The 'not' applies to the verb 'tell'. Perhaps he said nothing at all. Or perhaps he said something completely different, eg 'Hi, how are you?'.

2) Is the teacher´s book wrong? Yes. If no, I do not understand why they provide an explanation that does not agree with the exercise (moreover, this confuses the students and teacher too!)

Same comment for these examples.

- He asked me not to worry.

- He didn't ask me to worry.

But it's different with 'want', because you can have what you might call 'a negative want'. There is usually no real difference in meaning, with these examples.

- He wanted me not to worry.

- He didn't want me to worry.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
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I have the same questions. Please anyone can help us?
Can I say : "He didn't tell me to leave."
Thanks
Both of these below are right, but consider the differences in meaning.

He told me not to leave. This means he spoke, eg 'Do not leave!'

He didn't tell me to leave. This means he didn't speak or, if he spoke, he just have said something unrelated.

Clive
Anonymous1) What is the difference between:a) He told me not to worryb) He didn´t tell me to worry?
a) He said, "Don't worry".
b) He didn't order/command me to worry. (He probably said nothing at all about worrying.)
Anonymous2) Is the teacher´s book wrong? If no, I do not understand why they provide an explanation that does not agree with the exercise (moreover, this confuses the students and teacher too!)
The book is partially wrong. The rule about "not to" is correct for negating the act not to be done, but the pairing of explanation with example is faulty. In other words, what the book is attempting to teach is correct, but the teaching technique is poor.

CJ
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"The rule about "not to" is correct for negating the act not to be done, but the pairing of explanation with example is faulty."

Sorry, can you please tell me what the rule here is. Is that
"want/tell/ask someone not to do something"; and " don't want/tell/ask someone to do something" are all correct but the meanings are different?
I'm really confused.
Thanks so much
Anonymous"want/tell/ask someone not to do something"; and " don't want/tell/ask someone to do something" are all correct but the meanings are different?
Yes. The difference was explained above both by Clive and by me.

CJ

Dear Soprano

To me,

1) Semantically speaking, both sentences seem not different in meaning and result. The difference would be in

i) 'He told me not to worry' : He actively told me... whereas 'He didn't tell me to worry' : He was not active to tell me...

2i) Grammatically, 'He told me not to worry' : not (adv) modifies 'to worry'. Whereas 'He didn't tell me to worry', not (adv) modifies 'tell'.

To sum up, there are two ways of making the above -mentioned sentence negative, it depends on which part you want to negate : a) He told me not to worry; b) He didn't tell me to worry

2) I dare not to comment on The Teacher's book, however, it should be added another possibility as above.


Best wishes

James Thanh

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