Author Topic: was not arrogant and...  (Read 279 times)

Offline azz

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was not arrogant and...
« on: April 18, 2021, 08:21:50 am »
a. He was not arrogant and helpful.
b. He was not arrogant, and helpful.

c. He was not arrogant and very helpful.
d. He was not arrogant, and very helpful.


Are the above sentences grammatically correct and correctly punctuated?

The 'not' is supposed to modify 'arrogant' only.

I think (b) and (d) work but the other two don't.

Many thanks

Offline Britta

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Re: was not arrogant and...
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 07:32:23 am »
I wouldn't rely on the comma.
 - He was not arrogant but (very) helpful (indeed). Indeed is probably a Briticism, though.
 - He was (very) helpful and not arrogant (at all).
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: was not arrogant and...
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 10:13:45 am »
Not really. You need a "but" in there rather than an "and" - to provide the contrast...

Something like: He was not arrogant; but he was very helpful.

Even so it is a slightly strange concept as one would not naturally assume the two to be in contrast.
Best wishes,

Duncan