don't anyone here think


Senior Member
Mandarin - China
Hello everyone!

The then Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, made a speech at Tsinghua University during his visit to China.

In the Q&A session, one student asked him if he lied on the Iraq War.

This is a part of his answer to the question:

... So please don't anyone here think this [Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction] is something that suddenly was dreamed up by the Americans or the British, it was there, it was a serious issue ...

I am a little confused about the structure don't anyone here think....

The whole sentence sounds strange to me. What did Tony Blair want to say here?

Thanks a lot!
  • "Don't" is a command of some sort. If you delete "anyone here," you are left with "please don't think this is something that...", which I assume you agree is a perfectly natural sentence.

    The "anyone here" just specifies to whom the command is directed.

    You're right: it's a slightly unusual sentence, but it makes sense.
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    It's an imperative form basically. But a polite form with "please" added.

    The imperative form has an implied "you" pronoun.

    - So don't [you] think this is something...

    This is like a command, not a question. It has the meaning "you should not think".

    But he didn't want to focus on just that one student asking the question. He was addressing everyone there. So he substituted "anyone here" in place of "you".

    - So don't anyone here think this is something...

    It's another way of saying:

    - So no one here should think that this is something...
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