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36 votes

Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

In most forms of standard English, negatives don't agree with each other, each negative negates something separately. So: "If I use the microphone, somebody will hear me" can mean that ...
Dan Getz's user avatar
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34 votes
Accepted

When can we skip 'if'?

It is indeed informal (I don't use the word slang). Your paraphrase is grammatical, but I don't think it has the same meaning. I don't think if is what's omitted. I think the full version would read ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
22 votes

When can we skip 'if'?

Used like this what do you say is an idiom. Like many idioms, it uses unusual syntax and like other idioms, you should not try to change its form (except as intentional wordplay). We use the idiom ...
Juhasz's user avatar
  • 9,894
18 votes

Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

The statement that one should not use a double negative is a caution against a particular dialect form well-known to native English speakers. It is something primary school teachers say to native ...
David42's user avatar
  • 2,850
5 votes

When can we skip 'if'?

Grammatically correct or not, the problem is that adding an if completely changes the meaning of the sentence. "What do you say we get out of here?" is what you'd ask a companion if you don'...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 1,001
3 votes

When can we skip 'if'?

What do you say we get out of here? It's informal, but it is more a question of punctuation (which is omitted in informal speech of this sort). For example: What do you say: we get out of here? Or: ...
Nick Gammon's user avatar
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3 votes

Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

A double negative is something of the form ¬(¬ P). The ¬ sign denotes negation. Your statement is something of the form (¬ M) ⇒ (¬ H). The ⇒ sign denotes implication. In classical logic, ¬(¬ P) is the ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
3 votes

If you asked him what his name was/is

Wow. This is a great question. I'm a native American English speaker, and I had to think about this one for a while. If I am talking about someone I haven't seen recently or no longer know, the first ...
tuxedobob's user avatar
  • 314
3 votes
Accepted

Omitting "if" at the middle of a sentence

Yes, those make sense. They're called inverted conditionals. Alternate constructions for hypothetical "if" clauses that omit "if" and employ either the subjunctive for pluperfect ...
Benjamin Harman's user avatar
3 votes

Replacing comma in "If X, Y" with semicolon or period

It would be incorrect to use a period or a semicolon. The clause "if ice melts" is subordinate (marked by the word "if") It is not an independent clause, so should not receive ...
James K's user avatar
  • 223k
2 votes

Why is there "will" after "if"?

Because he has not yet won a place at a good university. That possibility is in the future. "If" is being used to means "whether" (see def. 3 of "if"). So, that sentence ...
Benjamin Harman's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

sequence of tenses: if ..is.. , .. is

Because the future construction, will be, is about a prediction for the future, and the present tense is about the present or about general truths. The sentence about the spring says that if the ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
2 votes

When can we skip 'if'?

[should] As @NickGammon mentions, inserting an "if" changes the tone, almost to the point of changing the meaning. "What do you say ..." is used to offer up a suggestion, and asks ...
JonathanZ's user avatar
  • 530
2 votes

If I have a lot of money, I would buy the house. vs. If I had a lot of money, I would buy the house.(indicative vs. subjunctive)

Both sentences are correct, but mean different things. "If I have a lot of money, I would buy the house," is a wish for the future. It's possible, perhaps likely, you plan to buy it. "...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Peculiar If Sentence

Some might think that the tobacco industry invented special interest lobbying, but it did not. However, it developed the techniques used very considerably by establishing the Tobacco Institute in 1958....
Michael Harvey's user avatar
2 votes

Conditional statement

You should remember that the so-called First, Second, and Third conditionals are merely teaching devices in ESL classes, to capture using comparatively simple rules the majority of the commonly used ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.2k
2 votes
Accepted

"as if " clause versus "if" clause

A past perfect is being used in your second sentence due to the fact that your sentence shows that he was ill before you had a nice time, therefore you did not have a nice time. Otherwise a past tense ...
DialFrost's user avatar
  • 8,011
2 votes
Accepted

If clause classification confusion

I think the confusion here is probably coming more from one is to look than from the if-clause. "be to do" or "is to do" phrases are a formal way of talking about the future or ...
George K.'s user avatar
  • 2,106
2 votes

Understanding this particular usage of "only if"

Only means what it says; it emphasises that P is the only circumstance in which Q will happen. "If the two votes are in agreement the deal will go through" could describe a routine procedure ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

"would" after "if" - "If you would just tell me, it would be easier for the both of us"

From Cambridge Grammar of English: Modal verbs (most typically will or would) may occur in conditional clauses if they have a meaning of willingness or prediction, or where it is important to mark ...
user424874's user avatar
1 vote

When can we skip 'if'?

"What do you say (that) we get out of here" is grammatically correct and standard. It uses the subjunctive, much like "I'd rather you didn't smoke". If anything is elided, it is ...
Kaz's user avatar
  • 6,726
1 vote

Would/Do you mind?

We often ask 'Do you mind?' about something we are about to do anyway, as a mild apology for inconveniencing someone. D'you mind if I squeeze past you to get to the window? 'Would you mind?' is a ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 55.6k
1 vote

I expect Jay will come, so I'll be disappointed if he does/will not

English speakers rarely use will after "if", so the normal form would be if he doesn't (or does not). Will is used in an "if" clause only if there is a special sense: either be ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
1 vote

Conditional use of "if" in past tense

The use of were is nothing to do with the number of hypothetical men, it is the subjunctive, used in conditional sentences in formal grammar. https://writersrelief.com/2008/03/16/was-versus-were-and-...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 55.6k
1 vote

If + should vs. if + would

In these conditional clauses would is not an auxilairy but a verb in itself pointing to the willingness of someone to do something: Will and would can be used in conditional clauses, either with the ...
fev's user avatar
  • 9,545
1 vote

If you asked him what his name was/is

A question that should not be a question. The problem is not the use of was or is. The problem is the question. What is for diner? What is on the table? What colour is her hat? What is her name? What ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 4,709
1 vote

Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

Yes indeed. The if clause in the sentence makes a significant difference as compared to other common sentences. If this would be considered in logical terms of computing world or mathematics, then it ...
Dhanishtha Ghosh's user avatar
1 vote

Would .. If and Will..If

2 is how you would ask a co-worker their thoughts on you asking for a raise. 1 is how you might ask your boss. Though actually, you would rarely want to use 2. I can't really say why, I can only say ...
CaptainSkyfish's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Future Tense OR Simple Present?

This is a rather difficult question to answer because English grammar has slowly been evolving with respect to conditionals. In speech and informal writing, both are acceptable and have equivalent ...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
  • 32.1k
1 vote

what is "not" serving as?

The negation is applying to the "if". If the condition ("it is raining") is true, then the statement is false, and if the condition is false, the statement is true. In other words, ...
Hawker's user avatar
  • 46

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