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Teachers,

Let's say you are invited to a party and your answer is:  "I can come to the party as long as nothing else happens." Which of the following sentences can you use to say the same thing? 

1.Unless something else comes up, I can make it. (Unless something else comes up, I'll be there.)

or

2.Not unless something else comes up, I can make it. (Not unless something else comes up, I'll be there.)

Thank you.
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AnonymousLet's say you are invited to a party and your answer is: "I can come to the party as long as nothing else happens." Which of the following sentences can you use to say the same thing?

1.Unless something else comes up, I can make it. (Unless something else comes up, I'll be there.)

or

2.Not unless something else comes up, I can make it. (Not unless something else comes up, I'll be there.)
Only the first one means the same thing.
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unless itself is like except if, except in the case where.

I can make it unless something else comes up.
= I can make it except in the case where something else comes up.
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In not unless, the not negates the preceding idea, not the unless.

-- Can you come to the party?
-- Not unless someone can drive me there. My car is at the repair shop.
(not unless ... = I cannot come to the party unless ... = I cannot come to the party except if ... )

CJ
Comments  
Anonymous1.Unless something else comes up, I can make it. (Unless something else comes up, I'll be there.)

or
This one makes sense.

Not unless is typically used after someone asks you a yes or no question and the answer is no, followed by an exception.

For instance:

Are you going to make it to the party?

Not unless there are a lot of people there (meaning the only reason I would go is if there are lots of people there)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
your answer sounds like "Not, unless there are a lot of people there." and the longer version and of the conversation (or more specific) should go like this...

Are you going to make it to the party?

Yes. Not unless there are a lot of people there.

Please confirm if this is correct.
AnonymousAre you going to make it to the party?

Yes. Not unless there are a lot of people there.
No, it's not correct. The Not is like answering "No" to the original question, so you have

Yes. No. Unless there are ...

You can't have both the answer "Yes" and the answer "No" to the same question!

You can have one

Yes -- if there are a lot of people ...

Or the other

No -- unless there are a lot of people ...
=
No -- except if there are a lot of people ...

But not both.

CJ
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