confused in the structure of a negative sentence


I make a negative sentence like this:

They are not trying to make me confuse.
They are trying not to make me confuse.

What is the difference between these two sentences?

Arman Ali

Posted 2015-02-18T07:56:59.650

Reputation: 71

The first roughly means: no attempt (to confuse you) was made. The latter roughly means: an attempt (to avoid everything that could confuse you) was made. – Damkerng T. – 2015-02-18T08:50:12.410

"They are not trying to confuse me, they are trying not to confuse me" ? – v kumar – 2015-02-18T09:08:28.400



First, your usage of confuse as an intransitive verb is wrong. You can instead do one of:

... to make me confused

... to make me confuse something

... to confuse me

As for the negation, changing the word order changes which part you're negating:

They are not trying to make me confused.

They are trying not to make me confused.

The implication is that (assuming the context is that they are explaining something)

  • First example: they don't have the intention to confuse me, but perhaps unintentionally are doing so.
  • Second: they are actively trying to explain with as much clarity and as little confusion as possible


Posted 2015-02-18T07:56:59.650

Reputation: 226