No le hables de ese tema para que no se vaya a disgustar

Tin

Senior Member
Catalan - Majorca / Spanish - Spain
"No le hables de ese tema para que no se vaya a disgustar. Sabes que no lo soporta".

How would you say this in colloquial American English?

This is what confuses me a little bit about this:

A) Talk to him about this so that he gets upset --> you DO an action so that someone DOES another action.
B) Talk to him about this so that he doesn't get upset --> you DO an action so that someone DOESN'T DO another action.
C) Don't talk to him about this so that he gets upset --> you DON'T DO an action so that someone DOES another action.
D) Don't talk to him about this so that he doesn't get upset --> you DON'T DO an action so that someone DOESN'T DO another action.

Do all these options work and have these meanings in English? If so, would D) be the right construction for my example?

My attempt:

"Don't talk to him about that topic so that he doesn't get upset. You know he can't stand it".
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Don't mention that subject to him because he'll get upset" is the best way to say it. A more verbose version would be "avoid mentioning that subject to him so that he doesn't get upset."
     

    Tin

    Senior Member
    Catalan - Majorca / Spanish - Spain
    I see, thanks. So would D) be completely wrong and senseless or would it make sense even if it's not the most natural way to say it?
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I see, thanks. So would D) be completely wrong and senseless or would it make sense even if it's not the most natural way to say it?
    It's awkwardly phrased from our point of view. The cause-and-effect relationship between the two clauses is not what we expect.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's awkwardly phrased from our point of view. The cause-and-effect relationship between the two clauses is not what we expect.
    I agree.

    D) Don't talk to him about this so that he doesn't get upset
    The problem is that the "so" here makes it sound as if the meaning is "don't talk to him in a manner that will cause him not to get upset." Here is an example in which the above construction does work.

    Don't pick at your scab so that it doesn't heal.

    Here, the second action (not healing) is the result of the first action (picking).

    Other ways to phrase your sentence are:

    Don't talk to him about this. We don't want him to get upset.
    Don't talk to him about this, or else he will get upset.
    Don't talk to him about this. He will get upset.
     
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