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If you say to someone "I hope you won't stop checking in on her" And this person answers "Of course I will"

Does it mean "Of course I won't stop" ?

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Another interpretation is that the response is simply an elided statement.

In short, it might not, literally, mean the following:

  • ✘ Of course I will stop checking in on her.

Instead, it could, literally, mean the opposite:

  • ✔ Of course I will [keep checking in on her].

But regardless of what the response literally means, I can't imagine it would actually be taken to mean that the person was saying they would stop checking in on her.


It's similar to double negatives:

  • "You don't know nothing!"

That literally means a positive:

  • "You know something!"

But everybody understands it to mean an emphasized negative rather than a positive.

While using a double negative in this way might be considered poor grammar and a mistake in formal situations, it's still entirely understood, and it would not be considered a mistake by the people involved in its informal use.

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Literally it means "Of course I will stop checking on her."

Is that a surprising answer? then probably the person misspoke and they meant "Of course I won't". It is quite common for people to make a "mistake" in this kind of situation. We just hope that context will cover our mistakes.

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