1

Can I use let alone in a positive sentence like this: Indeed, this move could create a vicious cycle of trade retaliation as countries including America's allies like Japan and Canada, let alone China, are vowing to retaliate.

This sentence is a part of an Korean to English translation. It means American's long-standing allies such as Japan and Canada ,and of course China (because China is not America's long-standing ally, of course China must retaliate) are vowing to retaliate against the strong tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

When I looked for let alone, Longman says:

used after a negative statement to say that the next thing you mention is even more unlikely Longman

And Oxford Dictionary alsy says:

used after a statement to emphasize that because the first thing is not true or possible, the next thing cannot be true or possible either Oxford

Can I use "let alone" in that sentence? if not, what can I use instead of it? (++ The original Korean text says of course China would do it, and even America's allies such as Japan and Canada might do that too. In this case, how can I say it in a simple way? )

0

You mentioned that the phrase "let alone" should follow a negative statement. It should follow a first thing which is not true. Yet in the example, the statement is a positive one: Japan is vowing to retaliate. That's not a negative statement. And so "let alone" doesn't fit...

Next, a question arises as to whether the statements are possible or definite. You should choose one or the other, but not both.

If it's merely possible:

This move could create a vicious cycle ... as countries ... might choose to retaliate.

If it's definite:

This move will create a vicious cycle ... as countries ... are vowing to retaliate.

Let's suppose it should be merely possible. Then the wording might be:

including America's allies like Japan and Canada, or even China,

Another phrase which comes to mind is and especially China however that does not fit the exact meaning of this sentence. It might be appropriate in "they receive many exchange students from Japan, Canada, and especially China."

  • thanks. but "even China" does not what the original Korean text says. It says of course China would do it, and even America's allies such as Japan and Canada might do that too. In this case, how can I say it? – Mango Gummy May 23 '18 at 12:29
  • How about some variation of these phrases? "... trade retaliation as countries such as China, (and/or) even America's allies Japan and Canada, might choose to retaliate." or "... trade retaliation as China in particular, or even potentially America's allies like Japan and Canada, might choose to retaliate." – Sam May 23 '18 at 12:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.