it's not tragic because...VS it's tragic not because...

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PeachYoghurt

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hi all! Do the following sentences have the same meaning?

a) People in that country are leading a tragic life. It's not tragic because of poverty. Rather, it's tragic because they are living with lies.
b) People in that country are leading a tragic life. It's tragic not because of poverty. Rather, it's tragic because they are living with lies.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    They have the same meaning. The first is probably more idiomatic, but the second might be considered to be a bit more logical.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Option b sounds odd to me. It would have been more natural with a punctuation mark after "tragic". But then the following sentence would have to be linked to the clause. Something like this:

    People in that country are leading a tragic life. It's tragic -- not because of poverty but because people are living with lies.

    I suppose a comma can also replace the dash in there.
     
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