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I guess this would be a pretty simple question to answer. Is this sentence correct:

The player appears to have not connected.

I am having my doubts about the appears to have not part.

P.S.: Not quite sure what tags to put in, feel free to edit.

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closed as off-topic by tchrist, FumbleFingers, Josh61, Robusto, bib Jul 28 '14 at 13:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Proofreading questions are off-topic unless a specific source of concern in the text is clearly identified." – tchrist, Josh61, Robusto, bib
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What exactly bothers you about this sentence? It's a less common stylistic variant of ...does not appear to have connected, but both versions are perfectly valid English. – FumbleFingers Jul 26 '14 at 18:47
@FumbleFingers I wasn't sure if such word order was correct. Thanks for clearing that out for me :) – php_nub_qq Jul 26 '14 at 19:26
You'd probably do better asking any future questions on English Language Learners, where answers are more likely to be tailored to the needs of non-native speakers. I think what you really want to know probably isn't "Is this grammatical?" so much as "When and why might people use this form, rather than one involving do-support?" – FumbleFingers Jul 26 '14 at 19:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In the sentence

  • The player appears to have not connected.

connected is the focus of negation, and thus not can appear directly before it, as here.

However, not can also appear directly before the beginning of any constituent containing its focus.

Connected is in the Verb Phrase have connected, so not can go before that, too

  • The player appears to not have connected.

and also in the Infinitive Complement to have connected, so not can go before that, too

  • The player appears not to have connected.

Since appear is a Neg-Raising verb (i.e, it's transparent to negation), not can also negate
the complex VP constituent appears to have been connected.

This, of course, requires Do-Support, because appears is present tense, and negating a tensed verb
requires an auxiliary verb to carry the tense. When there's no auxiliary verb already in the tensed VP to be negated, one uses Do. That's Do-Support; i.e,

  • The player does not appear to have connected,
    or, more likely
  • The player doesn't appear to have connected.

They're all grammatical, and they all mean the same thing.
And I didn't even mention A-Raising.

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I would use:

The player appears not to have connected


The player does not appear to have connected

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