''Pretty not terrible'' , '' Pretty not bad''

Discussion in 'English Only' started by dingooh, Sep 17, 2017.

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  1. dingooh New Member


    What does '' Pretty not terrible'' mean when you use it to describe someonelse?

    I mean I am curious about ''pretty not'' s usage in here.When you use it with negative word what does that actually mean?
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Hello, dinghoh - welcome to WRF
    Can you please provide a full sentence containing either phrase? :thumbsup: Otherwise,
    we do not know how you are using it.
  3. dingooh New Member

    Oh wow thanks for the response. I can describe that sentence to you like this:

    "As far as that town's people can go, she is pretty not terrible"

    I mean is ''pretty not'' adding something like ''she has negative sides but she is not that much terrible comparing to towns people" ??

    I would be so appreciated , if you guys explain it.
  4. Scrawny goat Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Are you imagining this sentence yourself, or have you seen it used?
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Thanks for the sentence but it does not seem to be written by a native speaker as there are errors in it, and the meaning is unclear.

    "As far as that town's people can go, she is pretty not terrible." :cross:

    The usual use of "pretty" as an adverb that qualifies an adjective would be:
    "As far as the town's people go, she is pretty terrible" = "As far as the town's people go, she is quite terrible."
    If you want to change that to a negative:
    "As far as the town's people go, she is not pretty terrible" but this must either be (i) a response to a previous statement or (ii) must be followed by, e.g. "she is really pretty/quite good."

    As an alternative,
    "As far as the town's people can go, she is pretty, not terrible." = "As far as the town's people go, she is pretty, she is not terrible."
  6. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    "Pretty terrible" means "very bad".

    I've never seen "pretty not terrible". She is not that much terrible is unidiomatic - she's not that bad, compared to the rest of the people in the town.
  7. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I am familiar with "pretty + adjective".
    I am not familiar with "pretty + not + adjective". Could this be interference from French, which does use this combination (with one adjective at least)?
  8. dingooh New Member

    I'm so so sorry. There's no ''can'' in sentence as PaulQ said (since I was on phone I messed up). Now, this is the exact sentence, let me type it again:

    ''As far as townspeople go, she is pretty not terrible''

    And this sentence is written by a native speaker. That's why I'm confused, yet, nobody's using ''pretty not'' commonly.
  9. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Whoever wrote it is illiterate. There are illiterate native speakers. Nobody speaks perfect English all the time (just as there is nobody who speaks perfect German all the time.)

    Can you please tell us where you found this sentence and give some context? :thumbsup:
  10. dingooh New Member

    I get it but I'm really confused while finding out its meaning. So what do you think they meant by this sentence?
  11. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
  12. dingooh New Member

    I gave you to the full sentence and this article is given by my teacher, I mean I can't give you exact source because I can't find it.
  13. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    The sentence is wrong and pretty meaningless - I'd ask your teacher what it is supposed to mean.
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    The speaker may not be illiterate: they could be playing with normal word patterns.

    I can imagine doing something similar:
    Loob to friend: Can you think of any rich men that aren't ugly?
    Loob's friend: What about David Beckham? He's not ugly.
    Loob: Ooh yes, he's exceedingly not ugly!

    Without context, though, it's impossible to tell. Do you not have the sentences that come before and after this, dingooh?


    Cross-posted. If this is the only sentence you have, then I agree with Paul: you need to ask your teacher☺
  15. dingooh New Member

    Problem is I can't contact with her right now, that's why I'm here :D

    Thank you but actually imo, it doesn't have anything to do with this sentence.

    And no I can't give you whole context because dialogue ends in here and the only part they've mentioned this only in this sentence. From my point of view, someonelse is mentioning ''townspeople and how far they can go (mentioning about their negative sides) and saying the person in this sentence //she// is pretty not terrible'' ... I mean is speaker here actually trying to say ''she has negative sides but she's not so bad as townspeople'' or is it the other way around? I'm really confused.
  16. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Please give us the three sentences that come before this one.
  17. dingooh New Member

    Uh, but the thing is there's no revelant sentence to this one. While character was describing her friend the first sentence is this. Then in latter sentence, he talks about how she's hanging out with some people (with bullies according to him) but she's usually lonely,like him etc.
  18. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    English - United States
    Without any context, it's impossible to know whether this was an error on the writer's part (as seems likely from the other errors in the sentence), or creative wordplay, as Loob has suggested. This thread is therefore closed. Thank you to all who participated in the discussion.

    Florentia52, moderator
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