HomeQ&AAre you confident enough not to pay attention?

Are you confident enough not to pay attention?

3
votes

I am not sure if this sentence is well writen. I mean, the order of the words.

Are you confident enough not to pay attention?

Are you confident enough to not pay attention?

Thank you.

2471 views
updated ABR 9, 2012
posted by nila45
You have done it again with a clever question! - 00f2b5a1, DIC 5, 2009

7 Answers

1
vote

Are you confident enough not to pay attention. I feel that there could be something added in here. Are you confident enough not to have to pay attention

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by 00f2b5a1
Usually, a better writing rule is "less is more," so 'they say. (Whoever "they" is. Or, should that be "are?") - 0057ed01, DIC 5, 2009
1
vote

"To not pay attention" is definitely wrong. Split infinitives, inserting a word between "to" and "pay" in this instance, are always incorrect. "Are you confident enough not to pay attention?" is fine.

It might be better to say it is preferred in formal writing, and I know that my English teachers told me it was wrong. But, I must say that I don't think I know anyone who actually obeys this rule. In speech and in informal writing it is far more normal in the USA to split the infinitive with not (to not + verb) than to do it the other way. In fact, teachers have a hard time convincing us it's wrong because it sounds so right (since we do it all the time).

In fact, even the English teachers indicated certain exceptions could made, if I recall correctly.

I just thought that was an important point.

updated ABR 9, 2012
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
1
vote

I would replace the word "confident" with "sure". Confident tends to indicate a personality trait that has been with you for a long time. Sure tends to indicate a temporary confidence in one matter. Thus using the word "confident" speaks more of who you are and have been while the word "sure" speaks of how you are feeling in any given situation. If you wanted to be sure you were being clear enough for everyone to understand you would change the sentence:

Are you confident enough not to pay attention? to: Are you conifident enough in yourself not to have to pay attention? or to: Are you sure you do not have to pay attention?

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by renaerules
Well. maybe the person being addressed is well known by the adressee. Which makes "confident" the better choice? - 0057ed01, DIC 5, 2009
1
vote

"To not pay attention" is definitely wrong. Split infinitives, inserting a word between "to" and "pay" in this instance, are always incorrect. "Are you confident enough not to pay attention?" is fine.

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by BoxMonster
1
vote

That is a sophisticated and very intriguing question.

I liked it, and it's very clear to me!

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by 0057ed01
To me also. :) - Valerie, DIC 5, 2009
0
votes

BoxMonster said

"To not pay attention" is definitely wrong. Split infinitives, inserting a word between "to" and "pay" in this instance, are always incorrect. "Are you confident enough not to pay attention?" is fine.

What about the most televised "split infinitive" from the "Star Trek" series.

Spoken by captain James T Kirk. Our mission, "to boldly go where no man has gone before".

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by Eddy
0
votes

This is like one of those sentence question on the SAT test. In my opinion, this sounds more precise: Are you confident enough so that you won't have to pay attention?

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by epicfail
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