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I am confuse with the use of 'Not that'. When we say "Not that I like bread, but I don't like to eat more carbohydrate." It means to me that I like bread and I don't like to eat more carbohydrate. Is it correct? Or it means that I don't like bread? Please explain the meanings of these also,

  1. Not that he is a bad boy ...
  2. Not that rain is good ...
  3. Not that I say that he is a bad boy ...
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I think your example doesn't have the right number of negatives. It would make more sense as either 1. "Not that I don't like bread. It's just that I don't want any more carbohydrates." or 2. "It's not that I like bread. It's just that I need to eat more carbohydrates." In 1. you want to eat it but decide against it. In 2. you don't want to eat, but decide to do so anyway. – Jim Apr 1 '13 at 6:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

An initial Not that clause is short for an extraposed clause. Viz.

  • Not that he's a bad boy, ... <== It's not that he's a bad boy, ...

The totally predictable initial It's frequently gets wiped via Conversational Deletion; frequently enough, anyway, to make an idiom. The intention of the construction is to deny an obvious stereotype judgement by offering evidence of its falsity. Typically the "..." starts with but

  • (It's) not that he's a bad boy, but he hangs around with kids that drink.

or continues with a contrasting extraposed clause

  • (It's) not that he's a bad boy, it's just that he hangs around with kids that drink.

A frequent variant is Not to say that, which allows one to say something while denying one did.

  • Not to say you're wrong, but did you compare the figures with the chart?
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Thank you very much! – catmantiger Apr 1 '13 at 8:59

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