Have no intention of / to

sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
I know that in most cases we use "I have no intention of doing something".

I also noticed that we can use the phrase "I have no intention to do something", as in the following source which contains a sentence "I have no intention to leave".

Here is the link of the source article.

http://www.footballpress.net/?action=read&idsel=94982

The question is: what are the differences between "I have no intention of doing something" and "I have no intention to do something"?
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I don't think there's any difference in the meaning. Two common constructions would be:

    I do not intend to leave.:tick:
    I have no intention of leaving.:tick:

    Perhaps there are some who mix these two up :D

    I have no intention to leave.:confused:

    It sounds odd to me.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It sounds wrong to me too, but then, it was not said by a native English speaker:

    "Interviewed by France Football, AC Milan left back Taye Taiwo jas declared: "Milan never want to loose, not even during the training. When they loose they are angry, I love it. I have no intention to leave."

    Note also the use of "loose" for "lose", and that this is the English version of an Italian web site, so we have no way of telling who made the translation.

    sunyaer, it helps if you quote the text, as I have done. That gives context without anybody having to follow a link - which may be broken - remember that people may read this thread in 3 or 4 years' time using the search facility and without the original text it is useless.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    I also saw "I am intent on doing something" usage.
    As "I am intent on taking over the world".

    Is it considered correct / good?
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says "We have no intention to do that."

    This could be found in a video called "Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's Tired Anti-pot Ideology Shows At C-15 Committee Meeting" . I could insert the link here if permitted. (According to rule 4, how could I get a prior moderator approval?)

    From discussion above, it seems to me that a native speaker would find that "have no intention to do" sounds odd. But a justice Minister, a native speaker in a law profession, who is expected to speak in a very native and logic way, uses this phrase. I am quite curious about this. Comments from native speakers are very welcome to explore this curiosity.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It is not a curiosity that some people use different words and phrases in English than others do. It is definitely not a rigidly "controlled" language in every aspect. Sure, there are basic rules of grammar and so on, but there are many ways of saying the same thing. In this situation, we find that using "have no intention of Xing" just happens to be more common than "have no intention to X". This is not an unusual situation where two versions exist, and one is more common than the other.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I don't think the negative/positive forms differ in how odd they sound!
    Perhaps it sounds even odder :D

    My curiosity lies in that how come a native speaker would say something that sounds odd to some other native speakers. Actually, “have no intention of Xing” and “have no intention to X” have been discussed at other English forums as well, and I have seen that some native speakers at those forums hold the same opinion as people at this forum that “have no intention to X” sounds unnatural. In my mother language, a native speaker wouldn’t say something that others don’t feel native, especially for an educated person, like Canadian justice minister. A native speaker wouldn’t make an unnatural mistake, whereas a non native speaker would. Mistakes made by native speakers are unclear, but sound natural.
    My question would be again, when you hear the minister saying “we have no intention to do that”, does it sound odd to you?
    If I play the speech to you before letting you know the speaker is an educated native speaker, would you say” Oh, it seems he is not a native speaker.”?
    All my questions here are for the purpose of understanding how a native speaker would say things. There is no intention of being picky.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    My curiosity lies in that how come a native speaker would say something that sounds odd to some other native speakers.
    But there is not a single English language. There are many expressions in American English that sound strange to me - American English speakers use a different vocabulary, sometimes giving meanings to words that are radically different from the meaning that I use. Speakers of Indian English use the present continuous far more than do speakers of British English. The difference between "I have no intention of doing ..." and "I have no intention to do ..." is trivial and the response "that doesn't sound natural to me" merely reflects the local form of English that somebody grew up with. In my case, "we have no intention to do that" sounds a little odd, but I would not think somebody who said it was poorly educated or a non-native speaker.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    . In my mother language, a native speaker wouldn’t say something that others don’t feel native, especially for an educated person. A native speaker wouldn’t make an unnatural mistake, whereas a non native speaker would. Mistakes made by native speakers are unclear, but sound natural.
    The bolded text sounds like quite a grandiose claim for homogeneity of language, idiom, vocabulary etc. but my knowledge of your native language is close to nil so I cannot argue the case. However, many of the little differences, of which you raise an example here, I think are much simpler in languages that "drop" little words compared to "non-dropping" languages (many Chinese who speak English that I have listened to, drop articles, prepositions and verb conjugation words until they get better at English, for example). Be that as it may, I agree with Andy's characterization that these kinds of differences arise from the lack of homogeneity of English as a "single language with only one set of idioms, vocabulary etc", given that it is spoken in so many different places and with such varied histories and evolution.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    So "I have no intention of leaving" is idiomatic. How about the following:

    I don't have the intention to leave.
     

    Rick75230

    New Member
    English-United States
    I'm an attorney, native language U.S. English, undergrad major languages, literature and linguistics, year in a Ph.D. program studying linguistics.

    1) It's not unusual for positive and negative forms to "normally" use slightly different phrasing.

    2) Grammatically speaking, "no intention to do" and "no intention of doing" are both correct. However, at least for U.S. English, "no intention to do" just sounds "odd". It would be like "People often say ..." versus "People frequently say ...." While they're both correct, one just doesn't sound common.

    And the reason I came on here is that I'm drafting something where I say "no intention to ..." and it "just doesn't sound right" even though I know it's grammatically correct. It's pretty obvious from the discussion that to most (U.S.) speakers "no intention of doing" sounds correct.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Rick75230, welcome to the forum and thank you very much for making input in this thread.

    I've been thinking about the reason why "no intention to do" sounds odd for a long time (years), as you could see from the date when this thread was originated.

    The reason I came up with is like this: "I have no intention of doing something" means that the idea (intention) of doing something never ever comes to my mind, while "I have no intention to do something" equals "I have zero intention to do something", pretty muck like "I have no appetite to eat". The meaning expressed by "no intention of doing something" had gained the preference of people speaking the language in their lives in a certain times, resulting in "no intention of doing something" eventually prevailing over "no intention to do something".

    Let's look at a very interesting example. "I had no intention of having sex with her" declares that my mind never ever touched on the thinking of having sex with her, completely denying an alleged sexual accusation. In the same situation, "I have no intention to have sex with her" is just a statement equivalent to "I didn't have intention to have sex with her".
     
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    Rick75230

    New Member
    English-United States
    sunyaer, you're getting "too technical". The reason one sounds odd and the other doesn't is simply "that's not how most native speakers would say it."

    Why do we call someone from New York a New Yorker but someone from Texas a Texan, someone from Dallas a Dallasite and someone from Houston a Houstonian? "That's just how native speakers would say it."

    Why is something "funnier" than something else, not "more funny"? "That's just how native speakers would say it."
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    sunyaer, you're getting "too technical". ...
    You are absolutely correct there.
    I wouldn't have brought up my interpretation without having you here, who studied in a Ph.D program in linguistics.
    I've learned something about cognitive linguists, which has exposed very interesting and helpful findings in various areas, especially in the realm of English prepositions, an area which is always an obstacle to second language learners of English. Here in "have no intention of doing something" and "have no intention to do something", the preposition "of" and infinitive designation "to" contain a bit of a difference in sense, while over time by unknown reasons, "have no intention to do something" gained popularity over "have no intention to do something", making it sounds odd.

    Language evolution is a complex progress, involving all kinds of aspects that humans are exposed to. It is impractical to trace all the changes. But the "have no intention of doing something" vs "have no intention to do something" is quite interesting and worth taking a look.

    I attached here another example of using "have no intention to do" by an educated person, who happens to be a lawyer too. She speaks fluent English, although her speaking carries an accent, while every English speaker has an accent. it sounds to me she is a native speaker. But I am still a bit curious about her using of "have no intention to do so", how come a native speaker would use something that would sounds "odd". Is it that she is not a 100% native speaker?
     

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    Rick75230

    New Member
    English-United States
    Regarding "she's also a lawyer", actually for the text I was writing when I looked this up I originally had "the Texas Supreme Court had no intention to advocate or condone" but that sounded a bit "odd", so I changed it to "no intention of advocating or condoning" after looking here. But then that just didn't sound "formal" enough for legal writing, so I changed it back.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Regarding "she's also a lawyer", actually for the text I was writing when I looked this up I originally had "the Texas Supreme Court had no intention to advocate or condone" but that sounded a bit "odd", so I changed it to "no intention of advocating or condoning" after looking here. But then that just didn't sound "formal" enough for legal writing, so I changed it back.
    Rick75230,thanks for your reply.
    It looks like I don't quite follow you here in this post. What you are saying here is that "the Texas Supreme Court had no intention to advocate or condone" sounds a bit "odd", but is formal for legal writing, while "no intention of advocating or condoning" sounds idiomatic but lacks formality in legal writing, am I correct?

    If I understand you correctly as above, we have figured out how "have no intention of doing" and "have no intention to do" have done their own job respectively.
     

    Hinata Sama

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In this Cambridge dictionary I have, there are several example sentences.

    One uses "no intetion of doing something". None of them use "no intetion of doing something".
    Though, there is one that uses "it was not my intention to do something".
     

    如沐春风

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Here, I give some examples with "no intention to +v":
    1. I have no intention to dispute her free agency — Tobias Smollett (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged)
    2. ‘There was no intention to mislead the public,’ Katz told the newspaper. (Macmillan English Dictionary 2nd Edition)
    3. NOW Corpus
     

    Ha Er

    New Member
    Polish
    Originally, I had no intention to participate in this forum, but Rick75230's post inspired me to.

    I'm an attorney, native language U.S. English, undergrad major languages, literature and linguistics, year in a Ph.D. program studying linguistics.

    1) It's not unusual for positive and negative forms to "normally" use slightly different phrasing.

    2) Grammatically speaking, "no intention to do" and "no intention of doing" are both correct. However, at least for U.S. English, "no intention to do" just sounds "odd". It would be like "People often say ..." versus "People frequently say ...." While they're both correct, one just doesn't sound common.

    And the reason I came on here is that I'm drafting something where I say "no intention to ..." and it "just doesn't sound right" even though I know it's grammatically correct. It's pretty obvious from the discussion that to most (U.S.) speakers "no intention of doing" sounds correct.
     
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