What is the difference in style and meaning between the following two in terms of the adjective "nice"?

  • (It is nice not to be rude.)
  • (It isn't nice to be rude.)

besides, what is the difference in style and meaning between the following two in terms of the verb "decide"?

  • (I decided not to come)
  • (I didn't decide to come.)

Both sentences are formally correct in their meanings.


It is nice not to be rude.= It is nice to be polite.

It isn't nice to be rude.= It is bad to be rude.

Though, from the stylistic point of view, the first sentence sounds strange because 'nice' is a 'positive' adjective and needs a 'positive' word (for example, polite).

| improve this answer | |

"I decided not to come" = I made up my mind that I would not.

"I didn't decide to come" could be followed by something like "...until I heard that you would be coming too" or "...my friends just bundled me into the car."

| improve this answer | |

I think you need to apply the negative to the word it is affecting in the sentence.

These are closer in meaning but each relates to either side of neutrality.

It's nice not to be rude

Is a bit more positive/complimentary - you are saying that by simply not being rude you are being nice.

It isn't nice to be rude

In this case you're not making any comment about not being rude (e.g. - you might have to do a bit more work than just not be rude if you want to be nice). But certainly if you are rude, you are not being nice.

It's a bit more clear with your second group.

I decided not to come.

Here you made a decision - that you were not going to come.

I didn't decide to come.

Whereas here you did not necessarily make a decision.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.