Well, it is for me, anyway:
It is not necessarily speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary.
How to explain the need to use the adverb "necessarily" in the above sentence? Is it just a sentence adverb like "possibly" or "certainly"?

Best wishes
Dave
1 2
Well, it is for me, anyway: It is not necessarily speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary. How to explain the need to use the adverb "necessarily" in the above sentence? Is it just a sentence adverb like "possibly" or "certainly"?

The need arises because the writer requires it to express a view. "It is not speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary." is perfectly grammatical and rules out the three skills mentioned. "It is speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary." restricts the reasons to one of three.
"It is not necessarily speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary." suggests that they may be other reasons for but implies that it makes sense to look at one or more of the reasons quoted.
So the "need to use the adverb" arises from the fact the adverb makes the sentence mean something different.

John Dean
Oxford
Well, it is for me, anyway: It is not necessarily ... Is it just a sentence adverb like "possibly" or "certainly"?

The need arises because the writer requires it to express a view. "It is not speed or grammatical perfection or ... to use the adverb" arises from the fact the adverb makes the sentence mean something different. John Dean Oxford

Sorry, I didn't express my question clearly enough. The meaning is perfectly clear; I am questioning the grammatical reason for using an adverbial form, "necessarily", here not an adjective. I need to explain the construction to a foreign learner of English.
Dave
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Sorry, I didn't express my question clearly enough. The meaning is perfectly clear; I am questioning the grammatical reason for usingan adverbial form, "necessarily", here not an adjective. I need to explain the construction to a foreign learner of English.

Ah, right. Choose between adverb modifying the verb "is", or adverb modifying the adverb "not". I'd go for "modifying 'is'". Compare "is not always" "is not infrequently", etc. A possible sentence would be "It is necessarily...", which is why I say it's the verb which is modified here. (I could make a much more complex case about the sentence, but it would be pointless.)
Adjectives, of course, can't modify verbs or adverbs: for that you need an adverb.
Mike.
Adjectives, of course, can't modify verbs or adverbs: for that you need an adverb.

You're dead right.

Ross Howard
Well, it is for me, anyway: It is not necessarily speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary. How to ... an adverbial form, "necessarily", here not an adjective. I need to explain the construction to a foreign learner of English.

We have to start by considering the sentence as
a whole: and it is a negative existential proposition. Generally there is seldom any grammatical need
for existential propsitions (e.g. It is speed that kills rather than Speed kills); and even less for negative ones (It is not speed that kills, cf. speed does not kill or perhaps not necessarily kill.)
The original sentence omits the positive statement to which it leads. If it was that non-XYZ wins contracts, we could put it in a non-existential form:
"speed, grammar or vocabulary do not necessarily
XYZ (persuade the listener/elicit votes, etc.)"
which incidentally makes the commonest use of
the adverb necessarily.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
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Adjectives, of course, can't modify verbs or adverbs: for that you need an adverb.

You're dead right.

So are you: this "dead" is an adverb.
Mike.
So are you: this "dead" is an adverb.

You're deadly right again.

Ross Howard
Well, it is for me, anyway: It is not necessarily speed or grammatical perfection or breadth of vocabulary. How to explain the need to use the adverb "necessarily" in the above sentence? Is it just a sentence adverb like "possibly" or "certainly"?

I think you are asking specifically about the difference between:

It is not A, B, or C. (meaning) It is not A, it is not B, it is not C.

It is not necessarily A, B, or C. (meaning) It might be A, B, or C, but it might not be any of those things. It is not necessary that it be one of those things.

Best Donna Richoux
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