These days, you can find out how to disinfect books on a librarians’ thread on Reddit. Your best bet appears to be either denatured-alcohol swipes or kitchen disinfectant in a mist-spray bottle, although if you stick books in a little oven and heat them to a hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit there’s a bonus: you also kill bedbugs. (“Doesn’t harm the books!”)

Is the sentence “Doesn’t harm the books!” an imperative sentence? (But I usually see imperative sentences starting with “Do/Don't” as the teacher says it omits the subject "you", but I haven't met this kind that starts with "Doesn't".) Does is mean "Please pay attention not to harm the books when heating the book!" or "Take it easy! This operation won't harm the books!" ?

  • 1
    It's a conversational deletion. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 30 '20 at 13:41
  • The quotation marks around the sentence indicate that the wording was borrowed from some place that the author presumes to be familiar to the audience. To know what precisely the author intended by the inclusion of that sentence, one would have to know where it was borrowed from. It is fairly obvious that it is not an imperative, though. (Given that the context has to do with librarianship, I am assuming that the author wouldn't have used the quotation marks incorrectly.) – jsw29 Jul 30 '20 at 19:26
  • Does is never imperative. Some languages have third-person imperatives, but English does not. – RegDwigнt Aug 4 '20 at 12:09

Does is mean "Please pay attention not to harm the books when heating the book!" or "Take it easy! This operation won't harm the books!"? You are almost correct, it is not an imperative, it is a shortened form of It doesn't harm the books! (It = putting them in the oven at 165F).

  • This does not explain the presence of the quotation marks around the sentence. – jsw29 Jul 30 '20 at 19:20
  • @jsw29 - I don’t think the question asks about the quotation marks. – Jim Aug 2 '20 at 23:13
  • @Jim, the presence of the quotation marks is relevant to figuring out what was intended by the sentence. Unless one believes that they were used erroneously, they indicate that the sentence was a quotation. – jsw29 Aug 2 '20 at 23:21

It is certainly not imperative.

Conjunctives such as "however, but" etc. are implied by the context .It is the explicit rejoinder to an assumed reaction arising from a shocked reader).

There two sentences

  1. Heating the books ...is an assertive sentence.
  2. It does n't harm the books by over-heating ..is also assertive.

They are joined by a conjunction that is implied. The implication is

" but (=however) do not worry! " or

" rest assured, no need be be overly concerned!".

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    I don’t understand this... are you suggesting that it should be read as if joined to the previous sentence with but/however? “You [...] doesn’t harm the books”??? – Laurel Jul 30 '20 at 14:03
  • @Narasimham is correct. Please tidy the formatting up a tiny bit, and add the "implied" words into your answer, though, as it is slightly hard to read (it is "too conversational"). – Will Crawford Aug 2 '20 at 19:50
  • Thanks. Shall edit. – Narasimham Aug 4 '20 at 8:02

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