If I want to ask the reason why something is not red, which sentence is the correct one?

"Why is it not red?" or "Why isn't it red?"

Thank you!

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Oct 12 '13 at 10:10

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British English:

  • "Why is it not red?" implies a surprise: usually things of this kind are green.
  • "Why isn't it red?" is more of a question: "For what reason this thing is not red?" (I would have considered it as possible.)
  • Since you've said this is a difference between BrE and AmE I suppose I can't correct you, but this sounds like splitting hairs to me. I don't see a practical difference between the two. – WendiKidd Oct 12 '13 at 22:27

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