not the whole

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not the whole

Post by azz » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:07 am

a. Not the whole regiment was informed of the plan. Only a few members.
b. The whole regiment was not informed of the plan. Only a few members.

c. Not the whole pack was stolen. Only two cigarettes.
d. The whole pack was not stolen. Only two cigarettes.

e. Not the whole building was damaged. Only two floors of it.
f. The whole building was not damaged. Only two floors of it.


Which of the above are grammatically correct?

Many thanks.
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Re: not the whole

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:37 pm

b), d), f).

However, they all achieve grammaticality if "Not the whole" is replaced with "Not the whole of the".
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Re: not the whole

Post by Phil White » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:53 pm

I disagree with Erik. "Not the whole of the" does not render the sentences any more or less grammatical.

It's an interesting question. a, c and e should all be grammatical and acceptable, but they simply do not work in English. This construction with a negated subject is very common in German, and I often find myself trying to construct sentences in English in this way, but the results are simply not natural.

In most cases, we would use a construction like "it was not the whole xxx that was yyy".
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

End of topic.
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