Let's say that someone tells me:

I am asking you to not chew gum.

I could reply to that statement:

I will not chew gum as you have asked me to.

Does the previous statement make sense, or do I need to reword it to:

I will not chew gum as you have asked me to do

I have googled "asked me to" and I found out that a song has a title with those words: If You Asked Me To. The fact that a song was written by a American author gives me some assurance that both sentences are correct. However, I would appreciate an expert voice on this issue.

  • 1
    Firstly I would make the request "I am asking you not to chew gum." Secondly if asked, I would reply "I will not chew gum, as you asked", to simplify a clumsy sentence. May 4, 2018 at 20:00
  • Thank you @WeatherVane! I have edited my question to reflect your first observation. Thank you for pointing that out. May 4, 2018 at 20:05
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    Please don't change the question in response to comments, unless it provides more clarity. You'll end up with a question which no-one will know why you asked, without delving into the edit history. Rolled back. May 4, 2018 at 20:05
  • @WeatherVane Actually both "to not" or "not to" can be used, the difference being in emphasis.
    – user3169
    May 4, 2018 at 20:19
  • Just pointing this out: there are times where you do not need to repeat the verb: Did you ask me not to chew gum? Yes, I asked you not to.
    – Lambie
    May 4, 2018 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


When responding to negative requests, use the negative:

(Could I ask you not to practice your drums at three in the morning?)

OK. Since you asked me not to, I will stop practicing my drums at three in the morning.

It doesn't matter whether the request was phrased, "not to practice", or, "to not practice" -- as user3169 mentions, there may be a difference in emphasis, but most of the time it's not a significant difference.

Also, as Lambie points out, it's not common to repeat the entire request when responding. It's more natural to reply:

OK, I won't.

or possibly:

OK, since you asked, I won't.

Side note: Be aware that song lyrics are not always grammatical. Songs are musical poetry, and poetry is often unconstrained by grammatical rules, possibly in any language. That being said, "asked me to" is both grammatical and idiomatic.

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