'never' or 'not'?

wc34071209

Member
Chinese
Dogs or horses are usually submissive, but cats are not.

My I use 'do not' to replace 'never' in the following sentence?

Cats never become submissve like dogs and horses.

Cat do not become submissve like dogs and horses

I think the above two sentences have the same meaning.
 
Last edited:
  • mtmjr

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Dogs or horses are usually submissive, but cats are not.

    May I use 'do not' to replace 'never' in the following sentence?

    Cats never become submissve like dogs and (or) horses.

    Cats do not become submissve like dogs and (or) horses.

    I think the above two sentences have the same meaning.
    The two sentences have essentially the same meaning, however "never" portrays the idea in a stronger manner. Either one would, in general conversation or writing, be interpreted to have the same meaning.
     

    wc34071209

    Member
    Chinese
    Thanks a lot for your patience and help.

    Would you please tell me whether I could say the sentence in the following order?

    Like dogs and horses, cats never become submissve.
     

    catgrin

    Senior Member
    While the meaning is nearly the same, there is a slight difference.

    Cats never become submissve like dogs and horses.

    can be read as:

    Cats do not ever become submissve like dogs and horses.

    While they mean the same thing, "never" may imply a stronger assertion of the fact.

    The musical H.M.S. Pinafore uses this verbal strength as a joke in the song "My Gallant Crew Good Morning." When the Captain claims that he is "never, never sick at sea" his crew get him to confess that he is, in fact, "hardly ever sick at sea." It is funny because by saying "never" he should mean "not even one time."
     

    catgrin

    Senior Member
    This is not correct.

    Like dogs and horses, cats never become submissive.

    This is correct. "Un" at the start of "like" says that cats are not the same as dogs and horses.
    Unlike dogs and horses, cats never become submissive.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Cats never become submissive like dogs and horses.
    In this sentence, like is used to associate submissiveness with dogs and horses.

    Like dogs and horses, cats never become submissive.
    In this sentence, like is used to equate the behaviour of cats with that of dogs and horses (submissive).
     

    wc34071209

    Member
    Chinese
    Thank you very much! You helped me a lot.

    Through your explaination, I have known that the position of 'like' is very important.
     

    wc34071209

    Member
    Chinese
    The two sentences have essentially the same meaning, however "never" portrays the idea in a stronger manner. Either one would, in general conversation or writing, be interpreted to have the same meaning.

    'and' and 'or' really confused me. Is 'or' preferable to 'and' in the above sentence?
     

    mtmjr

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    As far as I know, there is no semantic difference between the use of "and" and "or" in your sentence. Either one makes sense and both are commonly used.
     
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