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unlike vs not unlike

English translation: not like vs like

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12:05 Aug 4, 2006
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics
English term or phrase: unlike vs not unlike
Well, yes, I guess it would be fair to say that Bush's appropriation of power for the executive is "not unlike" the administration of Hitler's Germany, but that misses the point.

Hello, can you help me understand the differences between "unlike" "not unlike" "not like" so that I can translate the above sentence properly. My questions are:

1. Is "unlike" equal to "not like"
2. If "unlike" is equal to "not like" why then do we use "unlike"
3. Considering all the above,. Why do we use "not unlike" to mean "not like"
4. Can we begin a sentence with "Not like" and "Not Unlike".

I am really confused. Help please!
desperate
English translation:not like vs like
Explanation:
1. Yes, "unlike" is equal to "not like."

2. There are several reasons to use "unlike" instead of "not like;" I think that the most important thing is readability. Sometimes the word "not" gets in the way, and it is better to express the idea using a single word.

3. We do not use "not unlike" to mean "not like," but rather "like."

4. Yes, it would be possible to start a setence that way, but whether it reads well is another matter altogether.
:-)
Selected response from:

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 23:06
Grading comment
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4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
2 +12not like vs like
Derek Gill Franßen
4"not unlike" - understated, indirect 'like'xxxsergey
4like>unlike, unlike>not unlike (similar)
Mwananchi


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +12
not like vs like


Explanation:
1. Yes, "unlike" is equal to "not like."

2. There are several reasons to use "unlike" instead of "not like;" I think that the most important thing is readability. Sometimes the word "not" gets in the way, and it is better to express the idea using a single word.

3. We do not use "not unlike" to mean "not like," but rather "like."

4. Yes, it would be possible to start a setence that way, but whether it reads well is another matter altogether.
:-)

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 23:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Brie Vernier: Not unlike German, which also loves this construction : ) Primarily used to give extra emphasis to the similarity.
2 mins
  -> Yeah, exactly (nice one) -- thanks, Brie! :-)

agree  Tony M: Yes, and please note, 'unlike' is better for starting a sentence / clause with then 'not like'
9 mins
  -> You make a good point there, Dusty. Thank you! :-)

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
10 mins
  -> Thank you, Vicky. :-)

agree  David Knowles: "Not unlike" is a literary way of saying things, and is not as definite as saying "like". "He is not uneducated" means "he has some education, but maybe not much".
14 mins

agree  Peter Shortall: And with Brie - this is a rhetorical device used for emphasis by understatement (litotes - describing something as the negative of its opposite)
16 mins

agree  Alison Jenner: And also with Brie and Dusty's points
19 mins

agree  Fan Gao: With the "not" and the "un" together I always think of it like math with two negatives making a positive:) Yes, this is Mark:))
19 mins
  -> Funny - that's how I think of it too! :-D Thank you, Mark (It's Mark right?).

agree  Suzan Hamer: and with all comments above. "Not unlike" (or "not un-" anything) seems to have a rhythm that plain ol' "like" doesn't.
35 mins

agree  Asghar Bhatti
11 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
2 days21 hrs

agree  xxxanastasia t
11 days

agree  Richard Benham: There was a big discussion of "not un..." a while ago. The point is it's a *weaker* claim than just "like" on its own.
112 days
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
like>unlike, unlike>not unlike (similar)


Explanation:
'Not unlike' means it is similar. The 'not' contradicts the unlike, meaning it is like. More casual than academic or very formal speech.

Mwananchi
Kenya
Local time: 00:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SwahiliSwahili
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
"not unlike" - understated, indirect 'like'


Explanation:
compare:
Bush's appropriation of power for the executive is LIKE the administration of Hitler's German -
would be too much into-your-face

it's not for emaphasis as some have suggested ....



xxxsergey
Local time: 22:06
Works in field
PRO pts in category: 4
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