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My Boss asked me

Boss: What we can do now?

I: Simple, this time we will not Show this in Our Report. Or I: I suggest we don't show this in our report this time.

Which version of my answer is correct?

I just want to say that do not include this information in to report to escape from problem.

I want to use only Do not and I want to avoid following

Will not - It mean in future we will not include

Need not – It mean need of the something

Should not - It mean obligation

  • Sorry for that, Actually my earlier question framing was not correct. I did not get expected answer. I Have already explain the meaning of using Will not / Should not in my question. I used will not in my answer because I feel it is general way of answering. – user4084 May 19 '17 at 3:51
  • "Should not" doesn't just mean obligation, it's also a way to express advice, while "do not" sounds like you're giving your boss orders, rather than an opinion. Particularly paired with the word "simple" - which I would absolutely never use if a superior asked me for advice - both of your options could come off as sounding a bit rude to your boss. – PMV May 19 '17 at 3:52
  • Hi, As PMV Said .... If Should not doesn't only mean that obligation the I will prefer should not. Do not sounds like order. – user4084 May 19 '17 at 4:17
  • @ Max.... No I have to give suggestion to boss that we should avoid using this information etc in our Report. – user4084 May 19 '17 at 4:19
  • "It's better we not show this in our report this time." is a way of saying what you want. Also, "I suggest we don't show this in our report this time". You don't need to capitalize the words report, our and show. And I suggest you don't use words or idioms like simple, piece of cake, and easy while speaking to your boss. do not and will not, as well as need not, makes you sound as if you are the boss and not he. – SovereignSun May 19 '17 at 6:08
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Do not is present simple and in narrative sentences is supposed to mean a constant and regular action or some mental process or state to which continuous tense is not applied. It is kind of out of place in this context. Please refer, say, to Wiki for more information or just google "present simple vs present continuous".

Now about the rest of options.

If you have already decided you do not want to show "this" in the report and want to underline this is your plan you are going to follow, you can say:

[..] we are not showing this in the report.

Or, if you are not quite sure yet but are inclined not to show:

[..] we are not going to show this in the report.

Will not has a slight emphasis that the solution has just been done by you. You decide not to show this and immediately say:

[...] we will not show [...]

however, it also mean just the mere fact we will not show this in the report. Refer to this article about differences between be doing, be going to do and will do.

As for need not and should not, you correctly described their meaning, which one to use is up to you and depends on what you want to say.

PS For further reading, you may want to learn more about the phrase to be going to, modal verbs like should, owe, must etc, as well as aspects of present continuous use with regard to the future actions.

  • Thanks for Answer.... But how about "I suggest we don't show this in our report this time".... this sentence. – user4084 May 19 '17 at 9:02
  • @user4084 "I suggest not showing" or "suggest avoiding" – olegst May 19 '17 at 9:03
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The question "What can we do now?" implies asking for advice or opinion.

The answer can either repeat the pattern of the question and be an advice, recommendation or an opinion or can have a different pattern and be a conclusion, decision, solution or a resolution.

According to your comment "I just want to say that it's better not to include this information in the report to avoid problems." we can go both ways. But each of them will have a slightly different color and position.

Firstly, let's look at your examples:

  1. Simple, this time we will not show this in our report. - This emphasizes the result. You have already made a decision that "the information won't be shown in the report".
  2. I suggest we don't show this in our report this time. - This emphasizes the recommendation you give. You haven't made a choice yet but your opinion is that "the information is better not to be shown in the report".

Now let's look at your requirement: "I want to use only "do not" and I want to avoid the following: Will not, Need not, Should not"

  • Basically "do not", "need not", "will not", and "should not" may have very little difference in your answer.

See the following examples:

  1. We do not show this in our report this time. - Conclusion, established plan.
  2. We will not show this in our report this time. - Sounds like an order towards your boss.
  3. We need not (don't need to) show this in our report this time. - We may or may not show it but if we do then we will have problems.
  4. We should not show this in our report this time. - It's really bad to show this in our report. We should exclude this information.

Depending on what your positions is and what attitude toward your boss is acceptable for you and in what color you wish to paint the answer you should consider on your own.

By the way, using the word "simple" places a shade of humiliation and gives the impression that your boss is not so smart. That he couldn't come to a solution to the problem himself.

Instead of "show" I would expect a verb like "include" or "reflect" if this concerns budget for instance.

I can give several more examples:

  1. "I think that we should (better) avoid showing this in the report.".
  2. "I suggest that we conceal this in the report."
  3. "We should consider removing this information from the report."
  4. "We may not include this information in the report."
  5. "We can exclude this information from the report."
  6. "My opinion (advice) is that we don't show this in our report."
  7. "To avoid problems we need to (should, must, have to) steer clear of showing this information in the report."

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