I am getting confused to use a "not" while requesting. e.g. I request you not to think in this way. I am not sure whether it is correct? But, I need to be clear how to use "not" in such situations.

  • Please don’t think that way. – tchrist Aug 6 '15 at 2:07
  • That's ok @tchrist and thank you for your answer. So can we use a "not" with request as in my example? – Kay Aug 6 '15 at 2:14
  • What you have written there is not grammatical in my language. It may be so in others. I request that you not do that is grammatical for me but also so miserably stuffy I can't imagine being taken seriously if I said it. – tchrist Aug 6 '15 at 2:17

One of the problems you're running into is that you're request should take the form of a mandative subjunctive. If you're stuck on theis form, properly it looks like

I request you not think in this way.

Which is a strange request out of context. Some other examples which might be more helpful:

  • I request that you not be hasty in your appraisal.
  • I request that you not be late for this class.
  • I request that I not be contacted via email, snail mail, or any other correspondence provided by your firm.
  • I request that they not be identified to any of these individuals.

Etc. In other words, am, are, is are replaced by be.

It's usually easier to just not use the subjunctive negative.

  • Please do not contact me with any further offers.
  • Please do not be late for this class.
  • Please do not be negative in your thinking.
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Can you please think in a different way?

I think you just need to rephrase if you want to avoid the word "not" in your sentences.

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I request that you avoid using not in requests.

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If I were to change your sentence, I'd say "I request you to not think in this way". I think "I request you to" seems like a single clause, and I'd not put a 'not' in the middle of that phrase.

But I'm not quite sure what you are asking here besides the placement of the word "not". Could you clarify?

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  • I am getting confused when using a "not" in such sentences. As per my knowledge I can use a "not" only after a helping verb. But in my requested sentence, I can't get any helping verb until I change the sentence as suggested by @tchrist. (Please don't think) – Kay Aug 6 '15 at 2:48
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    Welcome to ELU. Answers on Stack Exchange should be more than simple opinion. "seems like a single clause" isn't terribly helpful. Can you provide any sources to back up this statement? – anongoodnurse Aug 6 '15 at 2:50

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