not to mention / much less / let alone

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epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
Let's say one language-learning method promises that you can be fluent in a language in six months, but you're skeptical. Someone used not to mention in this situation:

I don't think I can be fluent in Japanese in two years, not to mention six months.

Do we also use not the mention in that context? I would use either much less or let alone in that sentence:

I don't think I can be fluent in Japanese in two years, let alone in six months.
I don't think I can be fluent in Japanese in two years, much less in six months.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Yes. "Not to mention" is a 3d phrase, used the same way as the other 2 phrases.Hmmmm...now I wonder if there is a 4th phrase... :confused:

    I think "in" (before "six weeks") is optional in all 3 examples. You can use "in" or omit "in", in all 3 sentences.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    ...now I wonder if there is a 4th phrase... :confused:
    :thumbsup: "..., never mind six months!" can work.
    But for me, each of these phrases adds a bit of a different nuance to the statement. It's hard to put it in words, but depending on context, one form usually seems to work better than the other.
     
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