‘Not sure if it is.’ (NOT + non-finite or ellipted clause)

Let’s look at the most common examples of non-finite or ellipted claused used after ‘not’.

Usually, we would say:

  • I am not sure if it is possible.

But we can remove the subject and verb to make an ellipted clause:

  • Not sure if it is possible.

We can also say:

  • This is a petrol car which should not be confused with an electric car.  (people often think the two cars are the same, but they shouldn’t get confused about them.)

We can rewrite this with the same meaning:

This is a petrol car – not to be confused with an electric car. (non-finite TO-infinitive)


In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 16 in NEGATION is defined:

‘NOT’ before a non-finite or ellipted clause


The above point can be extended with Pearson’s GSE 55 B1+:

  • express dislike using ‘not’ with verbs in the gerund.
  • NP + ‘hate/don’t like/etc.’ + ‘not’ + VP gerund
  • I hate not arriving on time.
  • don’t like not knowing where she is.

*Note, that ‘Not’ + gerund in a subordinate clause is C1


PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE:

I really like the idea of not having to miss my dogs!

Spanish female, level 3 writing class.


A list of ‘NOT’ at the start of sentences:

An iWeb search for:

 Not * * *

*We have removed ‘not only’ because it is B2 in the EVP and other repeated entries.

4 . NOT TO MENTION the 12884 (non-finite infinitive = TO mention)

The resort has great hotels and restaurants, not to mention some of the best skiing in the region.

(‘not to mention’ is listed at B2 in the English Vocabulary Profile)

18 . NOT SURE IF IT 3998
  • thetruckersreport.com                              Not sure if it is.
  • sia.tech                                                          Not sure if it’s possible.

 

25 . NOT BAD FOR A 2910
26 . NOT A LOT OF 2888
27 . NOT SURPRISINGLY , THE 2799

35 . NOT BEING ABLE TO 2402

Not being able to drive, I caught a taxi. (C1)

37 . NOT A BIG DEAL 2377

39 . NOT ALL OF THEM 2231

41 . NOT AT ALL . 2123

44 . NOT ALL OF THE 2076

53 . NOT TO BE CONFUSED 1726

  Cars UK
This is the new Porsche Macan – not to be confused with the new electric Macan.
57 . NOT EVEN CLOSE . 1615

59 . NOT TO SAY THAT 1571

62 . NOT LONG AFTER , 1532

68 . NOT TO WORRY , 1374
69 . NOT TO BE OUTDONE 1299

71 . NOT THAT I ‘M 1255

73 . NOT A FAN OF 1240
75 . NOT ALL OF THESE 1193
78 . NOT LONG AGO , 1152

80 . NOT TOO LONG AGO 1063

87 . NOT MUCH OF A 924
88 . NOT ALL OF US 923

91 . NOT BAD AT ALL 892
92 . NOT MUCH IS KNOWN 875
94 . NOT GOOD . 872

100 . NOT THAT I DO 817


Here is a list of Preposition + NOT + verbING

_I not _VV

*we have removed incorrectly tagged ‘to’

1 OF NOT KNOWING 3715
2 FOR NOT GETTING 3476
3 OF NOT GETTING 3283
4 FOR NOT TAKING 2663
5 ABOUT NOT GETTING 2535
6 FOR NOT PAYING 2448
7 FOR NOT USING 2397
8 BY NOT USING 2360
9 FOR NOT MAKING 2343
10 FOR NOT KNOWING 2339
11 FOR NOT GIVING 2185

13 BY NOT ALLOWING 2065
14 FOR NOT WANTING 2000

16 OF NOT USING 1726
17 OF NOT TAKING 1546
18 OF NOT WANTING 1531
19 BY NOT TAKING 1466
20 FOR NOT GOING 1431
21 FOR NOT FOLLOWING 1422
22 ABOUT NOT WANTING 1308
23 OF NOT MAKING 1269

25 OF NOT PAYING 1125
26 BY NOT GIVING 1116
27 BY NOT PAYING 1114
28 BY NOT GETTING 1064
29 FOR NOT WEARING 1037
30 OF NOT GIVING 1037
31 ABOUT NOT USING 967
32 FOR NOT PROVIDING 962
33 BY NOT MAKING 939
34 FOR NOT KEEPING 925
35 ABOUT NOT KNOWING 922
36 FOR NOT MEETING 883
37 FOR NOT LETTING 878
38 FOR NOT ALLOWING 876

40 FOR NOT PUTTING 827
41 BY NOT GOING 804

43 FOR NOT TELLING 781
44 OF NOT SEEING 777
45 FOR NOT SHOWING 775
46 OF NOT EATING 773
47 OF NOT ALLOWING 772
48 BY NOT LETTING 754
49 BY NOT BUYING 737
50 OF NOT GOING 732

53 FOR NOT BUYING 696
54 BY NOT EATING 682
55 FOR NOT COMING 678
56 FROM NOT KNOWING 659
57 BY NOT PROVIDING 652
58 FOR NOT RESPONDING 652
59 FOR NOT COMPLYING 639
60 OF NOT LETTING 635
61 FOR NOT TRYING 630
62 OF NOT NEEDING 627
63 OF NOT PLAYING 599
64 OF NOT MEETING 591
65 WITH NOT KNOWING 586
66 FOR NOT WORKING 573
67 OF NOT WORKING 565
68 BY NOT KNOWING 564
69 FOR NOT READING 559
70 IN NOT KNOWING 549
71 FOR NOT SEEING 542
72 OF NOT FEELING 542
73 FOR NOT PLAYING 520
74 FOR NOT THINKING 520

76 ABOUT NOT LETTING 508
77 FOR NOT BELIEVING 504
78 ABOUT NOT MAKING 499
79 FOR NOT POSTING 496
80 OF NOT CARING 485
81 FOR NOT ATTENDING 476

83 ABOUT NOT TAKING 470
84 WITH NOT GETTING 462
85 DESPITE NOT KNOWING 459
86 FOR NOT CHECKING 456
87 BY NOT PUTTING 443
88 OF NOT FOLLOWING 443
89 BY NOT FOLLOWING 439

91 FOR NOT LOOKING 430
92 ABOUT NOT GOING 427
93 FOR NOT ACCEPTING 426
94 FOR NOT LIKING 419

96 FOR NOT SUPPORTING 404
97 FOR NOT EATING 396
98 OF NOT WEARING 390
99 FOR NOT REPORTING 389
100 OF NOT REQUIRING 388


Vocabulary in the above:

A2:
able, ago, believing, by, checking, even, fan, following, if, keeping, letting, posting, sure, trying
B1:
accepting, allowing, attending, caring, confused, despite, mention, providing, reporting, requiring, supporting, surprisingly
B2:
deal, responding
C1:
complying


The following search is for a lexical verb + NOT + verbING

_VV not VVG

1 RECOMMEND NOT USING 869
2 UNDERSTAND NOT WANTING 493
3 SUGGEST NOT USING 389
4 REGRET NOT GETTING 367
5 REGRET NOT TAKING 272
6 REGRET NOT GOING 233
7 CONTROLS NOT WORKING 226
8 RECOMMEND NOT GOING 206
9 REGRET NOT BUYING 201
10 SAVES NOT WORKING 195
11 LIKE NOT KNOWING 191
12 RISK NOT GETTING 190
13 CONSIDER NOT USING 163
14 YOURE NOT GOING 157
15 LIKE NOT GETTING 126
16 MEANS NOT USING 125
17 RECOMMEND NOT TAKING 124
18 HATE NOT KNOWING 122
19 MEANS NOT GETTING 120
20 TRY NOT USING 119
21 TIME NOT EXCEEDING 118
22 RECOMMENDS NOT USING 113
23 IMAGINE NOT USING 110
24 LEFT NOT KNOWING 108
25 RECOMMEND NOT TRYING 108
26 SUGGEST NOT GOING 108
27 MEANS NOT TAKING 102
28 REGRET NOT MAKING 99
29 YOURE NOT GETTING 99
30 RECOMMEND NOT BUYING 96
31 RECOMMEND NOT GETTING 95
32 REGRET NOT TRYING 91
33 IMAGINE NOT KNOWING 85
34 LIKE NOT USING 82
35 APP NOT WORKING 78
36 RECOMMEND NOT PUTTING 75
37 SUGGEST NOT GETTING 75
38 TIME NOT EATING 74
39 REGRET NOT SPENDING 73
40 REGRETTED NOT GETTING 73
41 REMEMBER NOT LIKING 71
42 SUGGEST NOT TAKING 70
43 TIME NOT GETTING 68
44 ADVISE NOT USING 66
45 SEEMS NOT WORKING 66
46 UNDERSTAND NOT LIKING 65
47 PREFER NOT USING 64
48 SUGGEST NOT BUYING 64
49 MEANS NOT EATING 63
50 MEANS NOT GOING 63
51 REMEMBER NOT KNOWING 63
52 CONSIDER NOT GOING 61
53 MEANS NOT LETTING 61
54 MIND NOT GETTING 59
55 REGRETTED NOT TAKING 59
56 CONSIDER NOT TAKING 56
57 FAN NOT WORKING 56
58 LIKE NOT EATING 56
59 REGRETTING NOT GETTING 56
60 FOUND NOT BREATHING 55
61 LIKE NOT WEARING 54
62 MEANS NOT ALLOWING 53
63 MEANS NOT GIVING 53
64 RECOMMEND NOT MAKING 53
65 REGRET NOT USING 52
66 REMEMBER NOT WANTING 52
67 TIME NOT KNOWING 51
68 MEAN NOT GETTING 50
69 SUGGEST NOT TRYING 50
70 GET NOT WANTING 49
71 THATS NOT GOING 48
72 MEANS NOT MAKING 47
73 REPORTED NOT USING 47
74 TRIED NOT USING 47
75 CONTROL NOT WORKING 46
76 RECOMMEND NOT READING 46
77 LIKE NOT LETTING 45
78 MEAN NOT USING 45
79 REGRETTED NOT GOING 45
80 CAUGHT NOT WEARING 44
81 IMAGINE NOT WORKING 44
82 INCLUDE NOT USING 44
83 LINK NOT WORKING 44
84 REGRET NOT SEEING 44
85 INCLUDES NOT USING 43
86 MEANS NOT PUTTING 43
87 REGRET NOT BRINGING 43
88 REGRET NOT GIVING 41
89 YOURE NOT SEEING 41
90 SUGGEST NOT PUTTING 40
91 LIKE NOT ALLOWING 39
92 LIKE NOT GOING 39
93 TIME NOT WANTING 39
94 UPDATE NOT WORKING 39
95 SUGGEST NOT MAKING 38
96 TIME NOT MAKING 38
97 DIED NOT KNOWING 37
98 MEANS NOT LEAVING 37
99 REGRET NOT ASKING 37
100 TRY NOT EATING 37