negation

navi

Banned
armenian
Could one say:
1-I didn't see some things.
instead of:
a-There were some things I didn't see.

Could one say:
2-I don't remember some of the things that happened on that day.
instead pf:
b-There are some things that happened on that day that I don't remember.

I always use a and b.
 
  • Bilma

    Senior Member
    USA
    Spanish Mexico
    Could one say:
    1-I didn't see some things.
    instead of:
    a-There were some things I didn't see.

    Could one say:
    2-I don't remember some of the things that happened on that day.
    instead pf:
    b-There are some things that happened on that day that I don't remember.

    I always use a and b.

    I would say that all are correct. 1 and 2 sound more natural I guess.
     

    navi

    Banned
    armenian
    Can one say:
    1-I couldn't do something.
    instead of:
    a-There was something I couldn't do.

    Can one say:
    2-I couldn't do something for him.
    instead of:
    b-There was something I couldn't do for him.

    Isn't 2 ambiguous? Can't it also mean:
    c.There wasn't anything I could do for him.

    I use a and b and I don't use 2 instead of c.

    I posted a question like this one, but there is a slight difference. That's why I posted this question independently.
    I noticed that this post had been added to the other thread. I think I made a mistake when posting it, but maybe one of the moderators thought it belonged there. In that case, my apologies for reposting it as an independent thread.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Navi, your use of the word "something" here tends to skew the question. We need more context, I'm afraid. What is the "something" that you couldn't do? My immediate reaction to sentence 1. is that the word "something" should be replaced by "anything" and I want to rephrase a. as "There was nothing I could do".

    None of these sentences are idiomatic without further context because I can't really imagine saying any of them.
     

    Lora44

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Dimcl is right, it really depends on the context, but I would have to say that no, you shouldn't use 1 or 2, you should stick to a and b because they are clearer.

    I wanted to finish the test but there was something (in it) that I couldn't do.

    Even then, I would avoid this structure - I would say 'there was a question I couldn't answer' or 'a part I couldn't do'. If you can avoid using 'something' and replace it with something else, I would suggest doing that.
     
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