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If I'm not mistaken Options
Brazogre
Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 7:04:15 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/29/2019
Posts: 4
Neurons: 7,045
Hi everyone,

Can you please help me out with this one?

According to MacMillan Dictionary, this expression, and its variant shown in the example below, is:

used for politely saying you are certain that you are right about something
e.g. Unless I’m very much mistaken, Joyce will be the next director.

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/unless-i-m-mistaken?q=if+I%27m+not+mistaken

Collins Dictionary's definition is pretty much the same:

You use expressions such as if I'm not mistaken and unless I'm very much mistaken as a polite way of emphasizing the statement you are making, especially when you are confident that it is correct.
[emphasis]
I think he wanted to marry her, if I am not mistaken.
Unless I'm mistaken, he didn't specify what time.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/pt/dictionary/english/if-im-not-mistaken

Alternatively, I've also found the following comment on an online forum:

"If I'm not mistaken" is a very common phrase. Use it when you are not 100% certain about a fact. You can also use it when you ARE 100% certain but you want to save someone's face.

If I'm not mistaken, tomatoes are a fruit.

If I'm not mistaken, the capital of the U.S. is Washington, not New York.


https://www.italki.com/question/131387?hl=pt



In my native language, we have an expression which is a literal translation of "If I'm not mistaken", meaning exactly the same as "If I'm not wrong"-- which is one of the meanings of mistaken, that is, wrong. However, we use it when we are not sure about something, not the other way round.

Is the explanation from italki above correct? Or should I only use it when I'm sure about the opinion that follows the expression?

Thank you so much about your help!



FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:45:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,823
Neurons: 59,150
Brazogre wrote:
Hi everyone,

Can you please help me out with this one?

According to MacMillan Dictionary, this expression, and its variant shown in the example below, is:

used for politely saying you are certain that you are right about something
e.g. Unless I’m very much mistaken, Joyce will be the next director.

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/unless-i-m-mistaken?q=if+I%27m+not+mistaken

Collins Dictionary's definition is pretty much the same:

You use expressions such as if I'm not mistaken and unless I'm very much mistaken as a polite way of emphasizing the statement you are making, especially when you are confident that it is correct.
[emphasis]
I think he wanted to marry her, if I am not mistaken.
Unless I'm mistaken, he didn't specify what time.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/pt/dictionary/english/if-im-not-mistaken

Alternatively, I've also found the following comment on an online forum:

"If I'm not mistaken" is a very common phrase. Use it when you are not 100% certain about a fact. You can also use it when you ARE 100% certain but you want to save someone's face.

If I'm not mistaken, tomatoes are a fruit.

If I'm not mistaken, the capital of the U.S. is Washington, not New York.


https://www.italki.com/question/131387?hl=pt



In my native language, we have an expression which is a literal translation of "If I'm not mistaken", meaning exactly the same as "If I'm not wrong"-- which is one of the meanings of mistaken, that is, wrong. However, we use it when we are not sure about something, not the other way round.

Is the explanation from italki above correct? Or should I only use it when I'm sure about the opinion that follows the expression?

Thank you so much about your help!

Yes, it is correct. We often use the expression to either leave some room for us to be wrong, if we aren't certain, or if we are sure about our answer, it is a polite way of offering accurate information without being rude.

We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Brazogre
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 6:02:11 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/29/2019
Posts: 4
Neurons: 7,045
Hi, FounDit.

I do appreciate your kind help!

Have a good one.

Applause
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:32:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 3,036
Neurons: 837,034
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Another expression people have come to use to mean essentially the same thing, is "correct me if I'm wrong". It's used to prefix a statement that they are certain they are correct about, almost to the point of *daring* a person to prove them wrong. Often used when the statement they are going to make will be unpopular.
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