You’re not limited to using it. (It’s preferable not to.) There are other options already defined.

Can you explain me the "not to" structure? "It’s preferable not to" means "It’s not preferable" ?

  • Can you explain what it is you do not understand, and what exactly you need to know, please?
    – WS2
    Sep 6, 2016 at 16:50
  • "It’s preferable not to" means "It’s not preferable" ? @WS2
    – itsnotmyrealname
    Sep 6, 2016 at 16:55
  • No. It is preferable not to means it is preferable not to do whatever it was you were thinking of doing. And saying It is preferable not to (swim), is quite different to saying It is not preferable to (swim).
    – WS2
    Sep 6, 2016 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


When the infinitive marker 'to' appears without an infinite verb (which was elided), the antecedent verb is the previous one (in this case 'using'; ie, 'to use'). The 'not' negates 'to use', not 'preferable', so 'it is preferable not to' means 'it is preferable to not use it'.

  • like saying of hamlet, to be or to not be
    – itsnotmyrealname
    Sep 6, 2016 at 19:41

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