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Dear teachers,

Would you please tell me if we can have a negative construction with unless? example:

Unless we DON'T HEAR from you, the order WILL NOT BE cancelled.

instead of:

Unless we HEAR from you, the order WILL BE cancelled.

See you,
Hela
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Comments  
Seems eminently possible to me, Hela, especially in conversation:

'Unless I don't have to wear a monkey suit, I'm not coming to your wedding!'
Do you mean that if I you DO NOT WEAR a monkey suit you WILL NOT COME to my wedding ??
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No, Hela. It means that if he does have to wear a monkey suit, he won't come!
Is this standard English or just spoken / informal English ?

So is the following sentence correct ? If yes, what does it mean?

"Unless we DON’T hear from you… , the order WILL NOT be cancelled.

Thanks
Actually, Hela, even though Mr. M says it sonds fine, it does sound strange to me. It makes sense, and is undoubtedly logical (somewhere), but I find it rather confusing.

I think it would be better to say "if we don't hear from you, the order will not be cancelled"

or, better yet, "We will not cancel the order unless we hear from you"
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I agree with Abbie.

Unless (predicate) = If not (predicate).

So
Unless we don't hear from you
= If not (we don't hear from you)
= If we hear from you

So
Unless we don't hear from you, the order will not be cancelled.
= If we hear from you, the order will not be cancelled.(??)

Hella's sentence should be one of the three:
[1] If we don't hear from you, the order will not be cancelled.
[2] Unless we hear from you, the order will not be cancelled.
[3] Only the case we hear from you, the order will be cancelled.

paco
Hi paco - it's an odd use of a double negative. I can't get my head round it!

I think #3 s/b

Only the case that we hear from you will the order will be cancelled.
My initial question was : Are the following 3 sentences correct and do they mean the same ?

1) If we DON NOT HEAR from you within seven days, the order WILL BE cancelled.

2) Unless we HEAR from you within seven days, the order WILL BE cancelled.

3) Unless we DO NOT HEAR from you… , the order WILL NOT BE cancelled. (correct English ?)

Thanks to everyone!
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