1

Can I delete the ‘for’ in the sentence ‘They would have completed the job in a few hours if not for the hard layer of rock.’ ?

  • Why do you ask? What do you think? – Ronald Sole Apr 9 '19 at 11:44
  • @RonaldSole Is this sentence right: They would have completed the job in a few hour if not the hard layer of rock? – Y. zeng Apr 9 '19 at 11:47
  • 3
    No, it's wrong. For is required. The expression is if not for, meaning that something would have been done if it had not been prevented by some factor. And it's in a few hours not "hour". – Ronald Sole Apr 9 '19 at 11:51
  • @RonaldSole Thanks. I have corrected my faults. – Y. zeng Apr 9 '19 at 11:54
1

Yes, you can delete the for.

However, doing so would change the meaning of the sentence to something ambiguous—each interpretation having a meaning different than the original. It would also make it sound strange.

❔ They would have completed the job in a few hours if not the hard layer of rock.

This could mean one of two things:

1. They would have completed the job in a few hours—even if they would not have completed the hard layer of rock.

This says that the job is somehow related to a hard layer of rock, but that completing the rock (whatever that entails) isn't a requirement of calling the job itself complete. (In this same way that finishing your burger—the job of finishing dinner—may not require that you also finish your fries.

2. They would have completed the job in a few hours—even if the hard layer of rock wouldn't.

This says that they are working on completing the job as is a hard layer of rock. Whether or not this is meaningful, it's one interpretation that the syntax leads to. So even if the other party (a rock in this specific sentence, but it could be a person in a different sentence) wouldn't complete the job in the time period, they would.

| improve this answer | |
0

They would have completed the job in a few hours if not for the hard layer of rock.

For represents the So for the If

Here is a saying I like saying, "If you have an If, You Need a So, So it works."

All sentences with an If need a So to represent it or it will sound incorrect and will not work as a professional sentence

(Just to clear things up, So would NOT work with an If, it represents a Cause and Effect, its Illiterate)

Just look at the sentence without a for.

They would have completed the job in a few hours if not the hard layer of rock.

NOW, if you Require it gone, there is another option, you will need to change the sentence a little, Like the Examples below:

They would have completed the job in a few hours if there wasn't a large layer of rock.

They would have completed the job in a few hours if there wasn't a large layer of rock there.

| improve this answer | |
  • What is the difference between your last two sentences? – Y. zeng Apr 9 '19 at 12:24
  • @Y.zeng using a There at the end of the sentence may add a more Physical tone to it, referencing a place for the layer of rock, rather than just saying a layer of rock – Mister SirCode Apr 9 '19 at 12:28

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.