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I have been going crazy trying to find this word and I just cant seem to be successful. The word is to state something kind of obvious. Here is an example on where/how to use it:

Parent: "Do you want to go to school today son?"

Child: "Dad I don't want to get out of bed, (the word) go to school."

The word/phrase is meant to say that if the son doesn't want to get out of bed, surely he won't like to go to school. Please help.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

132

Let alone

Dad I don't want to get out of bed, let alone go to school.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, let alone do something means:

and to an even greater degree do something

Example by Cambridge Dictionary:

Brian would never even read a newspaper, let alone a book.

Attribution: "Let Alone Do Something Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary." Cambridge Dictionary. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/let-alone-do-something.

  • 1
    Some people can 'hardly even' think an instant before they give up on a puzzle. ('hardly ' often works along with 'let alone' but it is sometimes possible to use 'hardly'/"hardly even" in place of 'let alone' when there is an assumption presented. "Why didn't he go to school? He can hardly get even out of bet to go to bathroom." - All in all thought I think 'let alone' is probably the most common of all the answers given. – Tom22 Apr 3 '18 at 17:18
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    @Tom22 if you think it's good enough, please consider submitting your comment as an answer. – JJJ Apr 3 '18 at 18:09
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    ok I wrote up "hardly" because, while I do not think it is "better" I think it has important merits in terms of "how would younger people put it today" and points out the other "more correct" options like this one may be a bit "stilted" – Tom22 Apr 3 '18 at 20:38
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    @BradleyUffner I don't think so, take the example from Cambridge dictionary, a newspaper is a much smaller commitment than a book. For more example of this, see Oxford Dictionary Online (click on more example sentences on that page). – JJJ Apr 5 '18 at 16:31
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    @BradleyUffner It's "<more extreme statement>, let alone <less extreme statement>". Saying you're unwilling to do the smaller task is more extreme than saying you're unwilling to do the larger. – Rosie F Apr 6 '18 at 6:22
91

The phrase I have typically seen used there is much less.

I don't want to get out of bed, much less go to school.

m-w.com says this phrase is:

used especially in negative contexts to add to one item another denoting something less likely . . .

  • And so it appears that he is never going to get out of the eighth grade, much less ever make it to college. —Thomas Meehan
  • Be warned that people often sloppily use “much less” in a positive context. Once a phrase becomes a fixed idiom, most people apparently don't analyze it. – Anton Sherwood Apr 7 '18 at 21:32
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    @AntonSherwood Not saying you're wrong, but I can't think of an example off-hand. Do you have one? – jpmc26 Apr 8 '18 at 20:05
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    @jpmc26 The second result in a search for “much less” on Twitter is this: “[…] so he’d hate it if you read our book, much less preorder it on Amazon” – Anton Sherwood Apr 9 '18 at 0:48
  • That's a negative context. ("He'd hate it...") It's ironic, sure, but still negative in the actual statement. Not the same as saying, e.g., "We'd love it if you read our book, much less preorder it on Amazon." – spoko Apr 9 '18 at 20:02
  • It's not grammatically negative. Would he not hate it more if you buy the book? – Anton Sherwood Apr 15 '18 at 23:15
69

You can alternatively use the term never mind.

According to Merriam-Webster never mind is defined as:

used especially in negative contexts to add to one term another denoting something less likely; with this knee I can hardly walk, never mind run

Hope this is helpful!

  • 4
    The first answer that leapt to mind on reading the question was "let alone" as in @JJJ's, but this one still feels more "natural" (even, more "idiomatic") to me as a BrE speaker. – IanF1 Apr 3 '18 at 20:09
20

Not to mention is another option you might like to consider.

Not even yet counting or considering. (MW)

Other options provided by TFD would be: not to speak of and to say nothing of.

"Dad I don't want to get out of bed, not to mention go to school."

  • I think "not to mention going to school" or "not to mention having to go to school" would be better in that second example... I don't know if that's technically correct, but it just sounds more natural to me. – Dev Apr 9 '18 at 3:53
  • @Dev They are both OK. Not to mention is an idiom used as an adverb to emphasize what you are saying, and in my example it means much less. The whole '..., not to mention going to school/having to go to school' is an adverbial phrase. – haha Apr 9 '18 at 14:59
6

Here's one:

sure as hell just means "very sure"
Link

But fits your request. Note, is mildly profane.

"Dad, I don't want to get out of bed, I sure as hell don't want to go to school."

1

hardly and hardly even are other options.

"harldly" is perhaps even more natural for young people today than "let alone" or 'much less" or "never mind"

I am somewhat reluctant as I would naturally choose one of the other answers over "hardly"

Hardly can be used frequently in a "neither nor" sort of way with 'let alone'

Parent: "Do you want to go to school today son?"

Child: "Dad I can hardly get out of bed, let alone go to school."

(instead of the Child: "Dad I don't want to get out of bed, (the word) go to school.")

Child: "Dad I don't want to get out of bed, hardly go to school."

(Might also work and fit your request more directly - however it would be a step more proactive in questioning judgement - 'let alone' and the others point out an missed consideration - something that also might want to be avoided -'hardly' points it out even more flippantly if referring to forgone action.)

But even more frequently I might hear a younger voice (I'm 53 so younger is under 30 maybe) use hardly without 'let alone'

simply either

Child: "Dad I can hardly get out of bed, I don't want go to school."

(which moved the verb to the first clause with hardly)

or more likely they might use "can't" . Can't would be more commonin that I think kids are less inclined to using hypotheticals and "want to" is not only about will but leaves an open uncertainty which they are not considering. It is not a 'take-away' they need to present.

Child: "Dad I can't go to school. I can hardly get out of bed."

I think the last is the most modern and common conversational approach and the others might seem a bit formal and stilted to people under 30.

EVEN MORE LIKELY

Child: I can hardly get out of bed

In the twitter and text generation, restating a point at hand that both in the conversation know is the point is seen as a bit even pedantic...

... which I must say can be irritating to me yet.. I suppose they are extra words and I know that the "hardly" refers to the unsaid alternative.

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    I think the reason why you answer got downvoted is that you did not answer OP's question, but paraphrased his example and gave a word for a completely different part of the sentence. – Ian Apr 5 '18 at 7:38
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    I agree with @Ian, but I like your answer anyway. It does not do much to answer the question, but it is certainly useful in understanding the use of phrases in a given context. Especially the hint about the older/younger generations. – Sir Jane Apr 5 '18 at 11:03
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    @Ian What kinda struck me strange about the downvotes was that I stated pretty directly that I did not think it was a better answer, that I would use another answer but I thought it was worth keeping in mind if someone, including the OP was considering "how would would I hear this said" ... I suppose that is a Meta question. Pointing out that it isn't a direct answer to the question is Definitely fair game and useful. Also, especially with the third example, without the context of dialogue it would have zero relation to "let alone" (so I'm adding that warning in this comment ! ) :) – Tom22 Apr 6 '18 at 21:36
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    “Dad I don't want to get out of bed, hardly go to school” simply strikes me as ungrammatical. My grammar linguistics skills are rusty, but I think it's because hardly has to modify a verb directly (can hardly walk or I hardly want), not a whole verbal phrase (*hardly go to school). It also doesn't seem to allow for the verb to be implied or borrowed from the enclosing clause, for some reason. – SevenSidedDie Apr 7 '18 at 1:19
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    @SevenSidedDie Yes it is poor grammar, but if poor grammar becomes idiomatic, that is the language and those that follow proper grammar may sound 'formal' or 'older'('superior'?) I think that "let alone" and "not to mention" are at that point where, especially someone talking to the majority of the population under 40, risks coming off as 'stuffy', a real liability if a person needs to be perceived as modern or youthful and connected as a leader or coworker (and not fit for dialogue for a 'child'). Not a 'right answer' but "worthy of a "keep in mind when using" if presented that way. – Tom22 Apr 7 '18 at 16:47

protected by tchrist Apr 7 '18 at 12:35

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