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Atatürk
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:12:08 PM

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She didn't say if we missed a point, she wouldn't mention it again.

She didn't say if we miss a point, she won't mention it again.

Both fine?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:17:04 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!
Don't take my word for it - this is totally from 'the sound of the sentence'.
The rhythm and 'flow' don't sound right.
Let's see who agrees or disagrees.

I think that the first one follows the usual rules of reported speech, and of conditionals. However, it seems to need 'that' (which is often omitted in reported speech sentences). Somehow a positive sentence sounds OK both ways.

She said that, if we missed a point, she wouldn't buy us dinner.
She said if we missed a point, she wouldn't buy us dinner.
She didn't say that, if we missed a point, she wouldn't mention it again.

She didn't say if we missed a point, she wouldn't mention it again. - this sounds dubious to me.

**************
The second one is similar - but it only applies if the quiz/contest has not started yet. The possibility of missing a point is in the future.

She didn't say that, if we miss a point, she won't mention it again.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 12:59:47 PM

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Joined: 6/2/2009
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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Atatürk wrote:
She didn't say if we missed a point, she wouldn't mention it again.

She didn't say if we miss a point, she won't mention it again.

Both fine?

It took me a while to figure this out. I wrote three paragraphs before I realized I had misunderstood your sentences. To make them less ambiguous, I would suggest these:

She didn't say she wouldn't mention it if we missed (a)(the) point again.
She didn't say she wouldn't mention it if we again missed (a)(the) point.

She didn't say she won't mention it if we miss (a)(the) point again.
She didn't say she won't mention it if we again miss (a)(the) point.

The problem with your original sentences is "again" appears to refer to "she wouldn't mention it". This leaves me thinking the first part of the sentence is saying "She didn't say anything about whether or not we missed the point", which in turn makes the entire sentence confusing, because if she didn't say anything this time, she cannot very well mention it again.

I prefer the format of the second sentence in each pair, but the more common way of saying it would be the first. I would probably use the first in conversation. Only in writing would I have the time to select the less common, but I believe stronger, version.

And now for your question:
The two sentences pass the same information and would be understood the same by a reader or listener. There is a little difference in flavor, if you will ("focus" seems a little strong for this, but you could say "focus" instead of "flavor").

In the sentences using "wouldn't" the emphasis is on the occasion of mentioning itself. "Wouldn't" stresses there is a possibility of mentioning.

In the sentences using "won't" the emphasis is on whether or not this may occur in the future. "Won't" stresses the future still holds the possibility of mentioning.

These are very mild stresses, which generally no one would notice unless you asked them to pull apart the differences in the sentences. Even then, a reasonable number of people would perceive no difference at all between them.
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:46:11 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 454
Neurons: 1,588
Quote:
The problem with your original sentences is "again" appears to refer to "she wouldn't mention it". This leaves me thinking the first part of the sentence is saying "She didn't say anything about whether or not we missed the point", which in turn makes the entire sentence confusing, because if she didn't say anything this time, she cannot very well mention it again.


Imagine my classmate says, "Be careful not to miss any point in this lecture, because if you do so, the lecturer will not mention it again".

Then I respond, "How come? She didn't say we if leave any point, she won't mention it again".

Is it still confusing.

=======
Thanks for the answers both.

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 6:03:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 31,029
Neurons: 185,554
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Gosh - that's a different meaning than I understood the first time.
I thought it was this:
We are going to be tested - if we miss a point (get something wrong) she will tell us that we missed it.
She didn't say that she wouldn't tell us more than once. She might continue telling us how wrong we were, for weeks.

There are two things here - the first is simply the choice of verb.
"Mention" is not what a teacher does while lecturing. "Mention" is usually 'incidental' - a lecture on African elephants may also mention that there are lions living in the same areas.
I would use "repeat" or "go over again" for important data which the lecturer teaches.

The second point is the form of the sentence itself. Sometimes negative sentences need care. This is particularly true in sentences including more than one negative.

"Didn't say", "missed" (didn't understand), "wouldn't mention" - that's three negative ideas.
From your context, it would be better to rearrange them and put the conditional clause before the 'if clause'.

"Be careful not to miss any point in this lecture, because if you do so, the lecturer won't repeat it".
Then I respond, "How come? She didn't say she wouldn't go over it again if we missed any point."


Personally, I'd make it all shorter (as it's conversational English):
"Be careful not to miss anything in this lecture, because she won't repeat it".
"How come? She didn't say she wouldn't repeat anything we missed."



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Atatürk
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 4:58:50 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 454
Neurons: 1,588
Thank you.

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
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