The sentence is

I can never forget you.

We have to find the affirmative form of this sentence without changing its meaning.

I can think of two answers for this question.

1.I will always remember you.

2.I can hardly forget you.

Which sentence is the closest to the original sentence in meaning? I feel it must be the first one, since hardly introduces a factor of uncertainty, though negligible.

  • 2
    I agree with your analysis. – Dan Bron Sep 16 '14 at 18:54
  • I think will is better than can; it involves an act of personal will, which is what's called for. (I'm assuming this is to be a leave-taking phrase, like Spanish Nunca te olvideré.) – John Lawler Sep 16 '14 at 19:42
  • Depends on how you parse the sentence. There are two ways of reading it, one of which is already affirmative: I'm capable of never forgetting you vs I'm never capable of forgetting you. The latter indicates the necessity of remembering, but the in the former, though you are capable, there's no indication you will. – user0721090601 Sep 16 '14 at 20:25
  • I'm not sure many native English speakers would use the original sentence. It would usually be either I can't ever forget you or I will never forget you. – Barmar Sep 16 '14 at 21:31

The phrase "I will always remember you" is unmistakably an affirmative alternative to "I can never forget you," with "remember" as the affirmative action. But "I can hardly forget you" isn't really expressed affirmatively at all; rather, in essence, it negates the word forget in the sentence without explicitly using the word not to handle the job. Replacing never with hardly doesn't change the denial of the following verb forget, because hardly amounts to saying not easily, which, when attached to forget, looks like a negation to me.

So I agree with you (and with Dan Bron) that "I will always remember you" is a much better example of an affirmative alternative to "I can never forget you" than "I can hardly forget you" is.

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