"You don't get everything you want."

Do both the following sentences mean the same as the one above? Are they interchangeable?

1.Not everything you want, do you get.

2.Not everything you want, you get.

What's the difference in meaning between the two sentences?

  • I don't really see any difference between #1 and #2. The version with do is slightly "fuller", but it doesn't change the meaning. Neither is as fluent or idiomatic as the original sentence, though.
    – stangdon
    Sep 14, 2018 at 15:31
  • I'd support @stangdon's comment as an answer, with the addition that #1 sounds a little like Yoda, which listeners might find humorous. Sep 14, 2018 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


All sentences hold the same meaning, and differ mainly in their execution. The reference sentence, "You don't get everything you want," is best in terms of fluency/native use of the phrase, while (1) and (2) appear to lean towards what one would call a proverb (e.g. fancy advice).

For instance, if we add the contrapositive phrase to (1) or (2), we get this: "Not everything you want, [do] you get, and not everything you get, [do] you want." In essence, a piece of advice heading listeners to have reasonable expectations about their wants and procuring them.

Use of "do" or not in this case is a bit more... aesthetic? I would argue that inclusion of "do" make be closer to a full sentence, but removing it (like in (2)), creates a more concise and crisp proverb-like sentence structure when compounded with its contrapositive counterpart.

All in all, the reference sentence is best for fluidity and terseness, while use of (2) in tandem with its reverse is best for doling out some advice (perhaps a bit Yoda-like, as HammerN'Songs noted).

Hope this helps, and let me know if further clarification would be useful!

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