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Can one say

a. I will betray you for nothing.

instead of:

b. I will not betray you for anything.

?

Normally, (a) would mean: I will betray you even if I don't get anything out of it. I will betray you for free.

I don't think (a) could replace (b), but I am not entirely sure.

Many thanks.

  • 1
    "For nothing would I betray you" (sounds a bit Shakespearean, though) is what the first statement means. – Kris Apr 28 '16 at 7:29
  • Your first sentence quite ambiguous. – Hot Licks Jun 27 '16 at 11:46
1

Each of these statement is ambiguous.

[1] I will betray you for nothing.

could mean

[1a] I will betray you even though I receive nothing in exchange for my betrayal

or

[1b] I will betray you even though you did nothing to deserve it.

[2] I will not betray you for anything.

might mean

[2a] I will not betray you under any circumstances

or

[2b] I will not need any inducement to betray you.

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  • 1
    2b doesn't fit the original '2' wording. – Lawrence Apr 28 '16 at 7:06
  • @Lawrence Do you mean that 2b is not a valid interpretation of 2? 2b takes 2 to mean I will not betray you for anything because I don't need anything to get me to betray you. If you mean that 2b doesn't have the same wording as 2, then well, yeah. – deadrat Apr 28 '16 at 7:20
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    I was referring to the meaning - #2b isn't a valid interpretation of #2. The original #2 doesn't admit the sense of betrayal without inducement. – Lawrence Apr 28 '16 at 7:44
  • @Lawrence It does for me with for meaning "in exchange for", but thanks for sharing. – deadrat Apr 28 '16 at 7:47
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    I'll try to be more constructive. I will not betray you for anything, even taken literally, covers all forms of inducement except the null inducement. In the case of the null inducement, the statement says nothing about betrayal, whether yea or nay. The statement I will betray you for nothing is based on the opposite premise. It is a statement about betrayal on the null inducement but says nothing about betrayal on any (other) inducement. – Lawrence Apr 28 '16 at 8:15
-1

Yeah, a) means that 'I will betray you', so it's kind of opposite of b). a) can't replace b).

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