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Thread: thinking

  1. #1
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    thinking

    I think it's not important.


    Are there any mistakes in the sentence?
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  2. #2
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    It's grammatically correct, but it would be much more natural to say

    "I don't think it's important".

  3. #3
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    Scotcher, you've hit on a very important difference between Russian and English - while it is more natural for Russians to say "I think sth is NOT" it is more natural for speakers of English to say "I DON'T think sth IS". This actually opens up a huge chasm of cultural differences and misunderstandings between Russia and the English-speaking West. It is not clear to us how the Western mind works.
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    Absolutely.

    Probably the most common correction in the Scotcher household is me reminding her not to use double negatives in English, and her reminding me that I need to negate everything in Russian.

    Not exacty the same issue as in Olgaa's sentence, but related.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Absolutely.

    Probably the most common correction in the Scotcher household is me reminding her not to use double negatives in English, and her reminding me that I need to negate everything in Russian.

    Not exacty the same issue as in Olgaa's sentence, but related.
    I'm not sure if I agree. Most working class English people I've known were using double negatives all the time. Don't know if it's the same in Scotland, though. What I mean is that a double negative isn't an alien concept to the English-speaking mind in general. It's only so in the case of educated speakers.
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    I don't know whether it has as much to do with class as level of education, which aren't the same thing.

    But, yeah, but that's the whole point anyway. She doesn't want to sound illiterate, and I don't to have to listen to her sounding illiterate.

    Apart from which, a Russian accidental double nagative doesn't sound like a illiterate native double negative anyway, if you see what I mean.

  7. #7
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    Double negatives??? It don't make me no nevermind no how
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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    OH THANKS!!!

    I think it's still possible sometimes to say our Russian way. but better I don't ...it is...
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    "In my view it's not important", or "In my opinion it's not important" or "To my mind it's not important" are perhaps alternative ways of expressing such a sentiment more closely. I think it's not important does sound odd. It depends on the context maybe, but I agree with "I don't think it's important" or "I don't think it matters much" as being more usual phrases.

  10. #10
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    "I don't think it's important" is the expression used 98% of the time in American conversational English. "I think it is not important" is most likely used by writers and professional talkers for the purpose of of complicating, obfuscating, or emebellishing a thought; with some ulterior motive in mind.
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  11. #11
    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siriusly
    "I don't think it's important" is the expression used 98% of the time in American conversational English. "I think it is not important" is most likely used by writers and professional talkers for the purpose of of complicating, obfuscating, or emebellishing a thought; with some ulterior motive in mind.
    Most often, it is used for comparison: "I think it is not as important as..."
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

  12. #12
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    This thread has set me thinking! I wonder how the commonly used phrases "I think so" or "I don't think so" are interpreted by non-native English speakers? They are usually used to express uncertainty in response to questions.
    "Is this the train to London?"
    "I think /don't think so." Which could be followed by "But I'm not sure / certain." Better check!
    A questioner may ask "Do you think so?" to query the validity or sincerity of a speaker's statement.
    The response would probably be "Yes I do".
    Complicated language I'm thinking.
    BTW The ability to think on one's feet is pretty useful nowadays

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