It is important to not have / not to have

evoj2

Senior Member
Castellano
Hi:

I would always say "not to have" instead of "to not have". However, in the following text happens the opposite:
“if a text element or chart is the highest priority, it is important to not have images of people looking in the opposite direction from those elements.”


Why does it say "to not have"?

Thanks.
 
  • LanguageUser1234

    Banned
    English U.S.
    No particular reason. "Not to have" sounds better to me, as well. But "to not have" is also possible. No difference in meaning.

    Also, as I'm sure you know, traditional, old-fashioned grammarians don't like to split infinitives in English.
     

    evoj2

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    No particular reason. "Not to have" sounds better to me, as well. But "to not have" is also possible. No difference in meaning.

    Also, as I'm sure you know, traditional, old-fashioned grammarians don't like to split infinitives in English.

    Thank you.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hi:

    I would always say "not to have" instead of "to not have". However, in the following text happens the opposite:
    “if a text element or chart is the highest priority, it is important to not have images of people looking in the opposite direction from those elements.”


    Why does it say "to not have"?

    Thanks.

    "To" marks the infinitive, but it's not really part of or attached to the infinitive, so the "to-infinitive" can be split. In your sentence, two things happen when you split "to have." One, sometimes there is a tendency to put the adverb of negation before the stressed verb, in this case "have" (not have). Two, this "to" is similar to a "that" structure, in that both introduce a clause; as a result, "to" and "that" appear at the front of the clause that modifies "important:" it is important to not have images of people looking in the opposite direction ~ it is important that we do not have images of people looking in the opposite direction. Notice that in the "that-clause," "not" also appears in front of "have." Also, in "to not have," "to" shows greater affinity with the preposition "to" that means "intent/goal." But these things are rather subjective. When there is no change in the basic meaning of the sentence, the choice of "not to have" or "to not have" is a question of style rather than grammar or syntax. it's perfectly valid to go with "not to have" to keep "to" and "have" together, or because it simply sounds better.

    Cheers
     

    evoj2

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    "To" marks the infinitive, but it's not really part of or attached to the infinitive, so the "to-infinitive" can be split. In your sentence, two things happen when you split "to have." One, sometimes there is a tendency to put the adverb of negation before the stressed verb, in this case "have" (not have). Two, this "to" is similar to a "that" structure, in that both introduce a clause; as a result, "to" and "that" appear at the front of the clause that modifies "important:" it is important to not have images of people looking in the opposite direction ~ it is important that we do not have images of people looking in the opposite direction. Notice that in the "that-clause," "not" also appears in front of "have." Also, in "to not have," "to" shows greater affinity with the preposition "to" that means "intent/goal." But these things are rather subjective. When there is no change in the basic meaning of the sentence, the choice of "not to have" or "to not have" is a question of style rather than grammar or syntax. it's perfectly valid to go with "not to have" to keep "to" and "have" together, or because it simply sounds better.

    Cheers

    Excellent. Pretty clear.
     

    giorovv

    Member
    Italiano
    Hi, I reopen this discussion because I want to know for which reason you all have not discussed the possibility of putting the auxiliar "do" in the sentence of evoj2.
    For what I know the expression of possession with the "do have" is by far the most common and thus, even if I also feel that the "do" is hardly usable in the sentence of evoj2, I would like if someone explain to me why don't use the "do not have" form.
    For example, I could write: "...it is important to do not have images of people...". Would it work?
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    Hi, I reopen this discussion because I want to know for which reason you all have not discussed the possibility of putting the auxiliar "do" in the sentence of evoj2.
    For what I know the expression of possession with the "do have" is by far the most common and thus, even if I also feel that the "do" is hardly usable in the sentence of evoj2, I would like if someone explain to me why don't use the "do not have" form.
    For example, I could write: "...it is important to do not have images of people...". Would it work?
    Infinitives are negated with "not", but not with an auxiliary.
    To be or not to be:tick:
    To be or do not to be:cross:
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    it is important to not have images of people looking in the opposite direction ~ it is important that we do not have images of people looking in the opposite direction.
    Actually do is out of place here.

    A. It is important to not have ...
    = "Es importante no tener ..."


    B. It is important that we not have ...
    = "Es importante que no tengamos ..."

    C. It is important that we do not have ...
    = "Es importante que no tenemos ..."

    A (with the infinitive) ~ B (with subjunctive), but C (with indicative) has very a different meaning.
     

    giorovv

    Member
    Italiano
    Actually do is out of place here.

    A. It is important to not have ...
    = "Es importante no tener ..."


    B. It is important that we not have ...
    = "Es importante que no tengamos ..."

    C. It is important that we do not have ...
    = "Es importante que no tenemos ..."

    A (with the infinitive) ~ B (with subjunctive), but C (with indicative) has very a different meaning.
    I think that the sentence A has a very general meaning: it would be like to say that in general something is important.
    On the other hand, it seems to me that in the sentence B the verb stretches out into the future: I would use it to tell that in order to reach an aim it's important that something has or not something else...
    The sentence C would indicate a quality of something, thus the verb in this case would strech into the past: I would use it to tell that it's important that something has or not a certain feature.

    For example, if I say "it's important that we not have troubles" (sentence B), I mean that if we not have troubles we can reach our aim.
    If I say "it's important that we don't have troubles" (sentence C), I mean that it's good that so far we have not had troubles.
    Finally, if I say "it's important to not have troubles" (sentence A), I would mean that, in general, it's good to not have troubles, and this sentence could be employed in both former situations.

    I'm also studying spanish and I believe that the same goes for it. But this line of reasoning it's something mine, and I'm note sure of it to be correct. Is it?
     

    pollohispanizado

    Senior Member
    Inglés canadiense
    Actually do is out of place here.

    A. It is important to not have ...
    = "Es importante no tener ..."


    B. It is important that we not have ...
    = "Es importante que no tengamos ..."

    C. It is important that we do not have ...
    = "Es importante que no tenemos ..."

    A (with the infinitive) ~ B (with subjunctive), but C (with indicative) has very a different meaning.
    I see B and C in English to mean the same thing, C being more emphatic and colloquial ("It's important that we don't have...")

    The phrase in Spanish with the indicative also sounds weird. I would have said Lo importante es que no tenemos... However, in the context
    "...it is important to do not have images of people..."
    the subjuntive would be the only option: Es importante que no haya/que no tengamos fotos de personas...
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hi, I reopen this discussion because I want to know for which reason you all have not discussed the possibility of putting the auxiliar "do" in the sentence of evoj2.
    For what I know the expression of possession with the "do have" is by far the most common and thus, even if I also feel that the "do" is hardly usable in the sentence of evoj2, I would like if someone explain to me why don't use the "do not have" form.
    For example, I could write: "...it is important to do not have images of people...". Would it work?
    That would not work. The auxiliary verb do, used for emphasis or negation, is defective. It has no nonfinite forms. In U. S. English, this also means that it has no present subjunctive form.
    I see B and C in English to mean the same thing, C being more emphatic and colloquial ("It's important that we don't have...")
    British English uses indicative where U. S. English uses subjunctive, which creates ambiguity by making, for example, "It is important that he does his homework on time" (sometimes) mean the same as "It is important that he do his homework on time."

    Does colloquial Canadian English do the same thing, or is this do some sort of emphatic subjunctive?

    In other words, would you ever say "It's important that he don't have ..."?
     

    pollohispanizado

    Senior Member
    Inglés canadiense
    In other words, would you ever say "It's important that he don't have ..."?
    I certainly would not, but that sounds like how some people from my region talk (especially older folks).

    I'm not so sure that "It is important that he do his homework on time" is the most colloquial way to say it in the States, either. People tend to eschew the subjuntive in English everywhere. (I hear "If I was..." very often from shows and movies from the US.)
     
    Last edited:

    OtroLencho

    Senior Member
    English - Western US
    I'm not so sure that "It is important that he do his homework on time" is the most colloquial way to say it in the States, either.

    I agree. "It's important for him to do his homework on time" would be probably be most common. Present subjunctive is even less used than past (which many people still do continue to use intuitively in condition-contrary-to-face contexts).
     
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