don't you/do not you... should you not/shouldn't you

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
A prince says he doesn't like those ceremonious things like throwing rose petals at his feet. The queen:
- Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?
Later, the prince's aide interrupts a talk between the royal family, and the queen tells him:
- Semmi, do you not have somewhere you should go?
Coming to America, movie

In the first case it's "Why should you (not walk)", and I think it couldn't be replaced by "why shouldn't you walk...?".

In the second case, both "do you not have ...?" and "don't you have ...?" would work. The former is more like a genuine question, while the latter is more like she knows that he has where to go but she reminds him about it.

Am I correct?
Thank you.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Vik

    There are formality differences; but I'd say that the meaning of the contracted and non-contracted version is identical in both cases.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Hi, Loob,
    I meant the "should" in the former quote is rather positive, "not" doesn't refer to "should":
    Why should you (not walk) on the petals of roses? = Why should you (walk) without the petals of roses under you feet?
    It's like:
    - I want to walk without the rose petals.
    - Why should you walk without the rose petals?
    ("should" refer to "want")

    Now, if it were: "Why shouldn't you walk on the petals of roses?", then it'd be like:
    - I want to walk without the rose petals.
    - Why shouldn't you walk on the rose petals?
    (now, "should" is opposite to "want"; it's similar to "you should, why do you think you shouldn't?")
    What do you think?
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The positive sentence would have: "You should walk.." and that can be negated in two ways: "You should not walk/you shouldn't walk."

    Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?

    Why shouldn't you walk on the petals of roses?

    When you use two different ways of saying the same thing, the different position of "not" doesn't indicate any change of meaning.

    Nuances of meaning can be conveyed by stressing practically any of the words in the sentence, but as they stand I see no difference.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi Vik

    There are formality differences; but I'd say that the meaning of the contracted and non-contracted version is identical in both cases.
    The positive sentence would have: "You should walk.." and that can be negated in two ways: "You should not walk/you shouldn't walk."

    Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?
    Why shouldn't you walk on the petals of roses?

    When you use two different ways of saying the same thing, the different position of "not" doesn't indicate any change of meaning.

    Nuances of meaning can be conveyed by stressing practically any of the words in the sentence, but as they stand I see no difference.
    I think Why should you not walk on the petals of roses? means that he now know that he don't like to walk on the petals of roses and the expected answer is "Yes, I don't like", right, please? Or is the following about the two questions correct?
    In the second case, both "do you not have ...?" and "don't you have ...?" would work. The former is more like a genuine question, while the latter is more like she knows that he has where to go but she reminds him about it.
     

    Phil-Olly

    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    It might help to compare the above example with the difference between:

    "I don't think it's a good idea" and "I think it's not a good idea."

    The negative refers to something different in each sentence, but, in the end, the overall meaning is negative and amounts to the same.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think Why should you not walk on the petals of roses? means that he now know that he don't like to walk on the petals of roses and the expected answer is "Yes, I don't like", right, please? Or is the following about the two questions correct?
    The oddly phrased “Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?” is a rhetorical question — that is, one that in effect is making a statement, so it doesn’t require an answer. And even if you did reply to it, “Yes, I don’t like” is both incorrect (the norm is either Yes, I do or No, I don’t) and inappropriate (yes or no is not a valid answer to “why?”).


    Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?
    = Why shouldn’t you walk on rose petals?
    = Of course you should walk on rose petals!
    As everyone has said, “why should you not?” and “why shouldn’t you?” both mean the same, but the non-contracted version sounds ultra-formal. The nuance suggested by Vic is possible but would be expressed by intonation, which could be applied to either version.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    It might help to compare the above example with the difference between:

    "I don't think it's a good idea" and "I think it's not a good idea."

    The negative refers to something different in each sentence, but, in the end, the overall meaning is negative and amounts to the same.
    The oddly phrased “Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?” is a rhetorical question — that is, one that in effect is making a statement, so it doesn’t require an answer. And even if you did reply to it, “Yes, I don’t like” is both incorrect (the norm is either Yes, I do or No, I don’t) and inappropriate (yes or no is not a valid answer to “why?”).

    Why should you not walk on the petals of roses?
    = Why shouldn’t you walk on rose petals?
    = Of course you should walk on rose petals!
    As everyone has said, “why should you not?” and “why shouldn’t you?” both mean the same, but the non-contracted version sounds ultra-formal. The nuance suggested by Vic is possible but would be expressed by intonation, which could be applied to either version.
    Thank you so much for the good explanation :)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top