Can you please explain what "Not to say" means in the context of the following sentence. "Not to say I might not be up for going tomorrow".

  • It's a conversational idiom that means, roughly, "Don't take what I just said, or any other signal you might have noticed, to mean that I don't want to go tomorrow; in fact, I might well like it, but I'm waiting for ... to decide." – John Lawler Aug 27 '15 at 15:38

There's supposed to be a "that's" before "not to say," but people often omit it.

That's not to say (that)

used for adding a statement that corrects what you have just said or makes it less definite

- Macmillan Dictionary

This is used to disambiguate a sentence that may imply something that you don't mean to imply. Suppose I ask someone to go see a movie with me today, and they say no. I could easily infer from their reply that they don't want to see that movie at all, or that they don't want to see a movie with me specifically. If the person turning me down anticipates these false inferences, they may preempt them by saying something like, "I don't want to see a movie with you tonight, but that's not to say that I don't want to spend time with you," or something equivalent.

If you google this saying, you'll run into some difficulty because there's another, opposite meaning for the phrase "Not to say."

Not to say

used to introduce a stronger alternative or addition to something already said. - Google

It's my uneducated suspicion that this is a corruption of "to say nothing of" which is a way of pointing out a fact that complements the point that you're making (similar to "it goes without saying" or "not to mention"). Then again, I'm an American English speaker, and "not to say" is a British thing, so I may be completely off base.

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It just means something like "That does not mean..."

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  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – Dog Lover Aug 28 '15 at 3:50
  • "Not to say I might not be up for going tomorrow" is roughly equivalent with in meaning with "That does not mean I might not be up for going tomorrow" So I think my comment does provide an answer to the question. For a non-native speaker the phrase "That does not mean..." might be easier to understand than "(That's) not to say..." which I feel can be a rather confusing turn of phrase. – Nich Aug 31 '15 at 7:58
  • It might be easier, but it might not. Proper explanations as to how it works are more helpful than rewriting without a sound reason. – Matt E. Эллен Sep 2 '15 at 8:25

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