not

IN THE LEAST

Here’s an expert example of negation + ‘in the least’: I’m not in the least bit religious. Listen to this sentence C2 Point 28 in the category of NEGATION is defined: ‘IN THE LEAST’ after a negative form for emphasis. A search in iWeb: 1 NOT SURPRISED IN THE LEAST 86 2 NOT BE IN THE LEAST 63 …

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‘be careful not to disturb them’ (adjective + ‘NOT TO’ + infinitive)

Here’s a student example in a speaking test of ‘BE + adjective + not + to-infinitive‘ to give emphasis: When you walk, you should be careful not to disturb them because they are all below you. TLC male Sri Lanka B1 *We can also write: You should be careful that you do not disturb them… Point 230 in the category of MODALITY is defined as: ‘BE’ + ADJECTIVE + ‘NOT’ …

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used not to

The following rare student writing example shows how ‘used not to’ expresses modality: Also when I was younger, I used not to be allowed to drink coffee. PELIC Korean female level 3 grammar class. It sounds more natural to say: “I didn’t use to be allowed to drink coffee.” *In other words, she did not have permission to drink coffee.  Although now she is an adult and can. Point 227 …

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‘In order not to’ + INFINITIVE

PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I think we should do our best at the present moment in order not to be regretful. Chinese male level 5 writing class. We will only cover half of: GSE 60 B2 express negative purpose with ‘so as/in order not to’ In order not to seem stupid, he didn’t say anything. I came in very quietly, so as not to wake anyone. because ‘so as not to’ is at C1 in the English Vocabulary Profile.  ‘in order …

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NOT ONLY + present perfect continuous (inversion) + BUT

Point 92 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect continuous, invert the subject and affirmative auxiliary verb with ‘not only … but’ as a focusing device EXAMPLE: Not only has Pablo been talking publicly for the first time about being an orphan, but together, we started a live storytelling series we’re calling Talk Rx, and it’s become a really popular place for his peers to show their most vulnerable and powerful thoughts and feelings. TED

not + any | many | much + NOUN

When grammar points are from the same CEFR level, and in the same category, we believe it is more useful to have a single post that covers them.  Both these A2 points come from the category of DETERMINERS/quantity. Point 15: ‘many’ with plural nouns in negative contexts. Point 23: ‘much’ with uncountable nouns in negative …

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wouldn’t

Point 15 in MODALITY is defined: would negative forms *It is incredibly hard to find an example that is not already a part of another grammar point. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I’m convinced that it wouldn’t take much time to change the system  and think about how to add new things  in order to help people to start the workday in a more enjoyable manner. French male level 4 writing class. An iWeb search for: would _XX * * * 1 WOULD NOT BE …

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might not

Point 73 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘might’ negative form TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: I might not earn as much as others do. female India B1 An iWeb search for: might _XX _VVI 1 MIGHT NOT KNOW 12293 2 MIGHT NOT WANT 9556 3 MIGHT NOT WORK 8820 4 MIGHT NOT GET 8374 5 MIGHT NOT SEEM 7198 6 …

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will not be VERBing

Point 32 in the category of FUTURE is defined: future continuous NEGATIVE WITH ‘WILL’ (won’t) An iWeb search for: wo|will _X be _VVG 1 WO N’T BE GETTING 2959 2 WO N’T BE GOING 2821 3 WO N’T BE USING 2817 4 WILL NOT BE USING 2040 5 WO N’T BE MAKING 1550 6 WILL …

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may not

Point 94 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘may’ negative PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: However, you may not deny that you can not buy happiness even if you have too much money. Korean male, level 4 writing class. An iWeb search for: may_VM not _V*I 1 MAY NOT KNOW 28529 2 MAY NOT WORK 22681 3 MAY NOT WANT 17165 4 MAY NOT USE 14983 5 MAY NOT …

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present perfect simple negative + YET

Point 13 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple negative with ‘yet’ to talk about events which are expected to be completed at some point in the future. 1 HAS N’T HAPPENED YET 1853 2 HAVE N’T SEEN YET 777 3 HAVEN’T DECIDED YET 699 PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I haven’t decided yet, but maybe I will buy a snowboard here and try the …

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‘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 …

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had not + PAST PARTICIPLE

Point 24 in the category of PAST perfect simple: negative forms. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: At that time, I had not found my job and I had a lot of free time. Chinese male, level 3 writing class. A search on iWeb for: _VHD _XX _VVN 1 HAD N’T SEEN 10519 2 HAD NOT SEEN 8370 3 HAD N’T HEARD 6433 4 HAD N’T THOUGHT 5405 5 …

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present simple passive negative

B1 Point 10 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT SIMPLE, NEGATIVE + range of pronoun and noun subjects *although ‘range of subjects’ is mentioned above, there is no entry for present simple negative elsewhere. There is no way to automatically check whether  these might actually be C1: ‘it’ with the passive voice …

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or not?

Point 23 in the category of QUESTIONS is defined as: alternative questions using ‘or not’ to substitute for a clause, sometimes to express annoyance or impatience An iWeb search for: * * or not ? 1 THIS EARNING OR NOT ? 287 2 GOOD IDEA OR NOT ? 122 3 IS TRUE OR NOT ? …

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present perfect simple negative (wide range of verbs)

Point 84 in the category of PAST: present perfect simple with the full negative forms with a wide range of verbs, often in formal contexts. An iWeb search for: _N have|has not _VVN 1 POLICE HAVE NOT RELEASED 590 2 GOD HAS NOT GIVEN 328 3 CANCER HAS NOT SPREAD 302 4 STUDIES HAVE NOT …

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