Author Topic: unless... don't  (Read 168 times)

Offline zhonglc_2016

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unless... don't
« on: July 16, 2019, 11:31:33 pm »
Hello all,

1. You will get a good grade in the course unless you don't do your homework.

This sentence comes from a Chinese grammar book.
I think it is nonsensical or I am wrong. Is it correct?

2. You will get a good grade in the course unless you do your homework carefully.
3. You will get a good grade in the course unless you don't play computer games.

2&3 are by myself. What do you think of them?


Many many thanks.



Offline Britta

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Re: unless... don't
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 07:52:09 am »
Well, the sense of the sentence is debatable since a good grade depends on more than just doing your homework. From the grammar point of view it is fine, though.

You will get a good grade in the course unless (=except if) you don't do your homework.
or, in other words
You will get a good grade in the course if you (always) do your homework.

I think you're confusing "unless" with "not - unless":

You will not get a good grade in the course unless you do your homework.

Interesting side remark: this sentence makes much more sense. It says, homework is required for good grades, whereas the original sentence says, homework is the only requirement for good grades.


If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline admin

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Re: unless... don't
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 10:23:58 am »
Britta's suggestion there is spot on:
>You will not get a good grade in the course unless you do your homework.

1. You will get a good grade in the course unless you don't if you do your homework.

This sentence comes from a Chinese grammar book.
I think it is nonsensical or I am wrong. Is it correct?
It is nonsensical

2. You will get a good grade in the course unless if you do your homework carefully.
3. You will get a good grade in the course unless if you don't play computer games.

Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk

Offline zhonglc_2016

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Re: unless... don't
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 04:30:34 pm »
Got it. Thank you both. 

Offline admin

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Re: unless... don't
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 09:30:23 pm »
But also:

1. You will won't get a good grade in the course unless you don't if you do your homework.
2. You will won't get a good grade in the course unless if you do your homework carefully.
3. You will won't get a good grade in the course unless if you don't play computer games.
Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk

Offline Britta

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Re: unless... don't
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2019, 08:22:53 am »
You won't get a good grade in the course unless you don't play computer games.

I don't buy that one. Pure propaganda.  8)
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

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Re: unless... don't
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2019, 09:25:39 am »
 ;D
Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk