General Writing and Grammar Help/not


I have a question about the first sentence in the paragraph below:

Young women do not choose abortion because it's "convenient" for them and because having an abortion will mean their "futures are not ruined."  They do it because of the child:  they know they are not ready to be mothers and do not want the child to suffer.

What does the first sentence imply? Does it mean that young women choose abortion not because it's "convenient" for them, and it is also not because having an abortion will mean their futures are not ruined?

Thanks, Peter, for your question.

The answer to your question is Yes; the meaning is as you suggest. The sentence includes two subordinate clauses, each giving an example of why young women do not choose abortion. (The subordinate clauses each modify the verb do choose as transformed into a negative by the adverb not. )

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Richard Johnson


I specialize in grammar. I can however answer any question except homework questions--usually the same day--concerning English grammar, usage, or (non-fiction) writing style, on the basis of the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.


I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style supplemented, where appropriate, by Long, The New College Grammar.

For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as

BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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