to not play vs. not to play

What is the difference between "Mom asked John not to play the piano at night." and "Mom asked John to not play the piano at night."?

Good question ________ (you didn't leave your name.)

My first response is to say that the second example I not correct. The first example is correct and easy to say (as the imperative "to play" is together, where as the second is awkward. It might be used if you are quoting what Mom said but it doesn't seem natural.

I looked this up in my grammar books but I couldn't find anything specifically dealing with this.

I'm stumped (not sure what to tell you). If anyone else can explain the reasoning behind the sentences, I'd appreciate it. (I hate it when I don't know the answer...:)


Click here to post comments

Return to ask your grammar questions here..

Still looking?  Search the site for exactly what you need using the site search box below.

Happy exploring!

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Discover these Amazing ESL Materials!

It's English Time! English Express! 5 Simple Steps to Better Writing! English Harmony 2.0! Pronunciation Power!
Effortless English! Best Accent Training! Ola Zur! English Grammar Revolution! English Success

Sign-up For The Learn English Newsletter

Your E-mail Address
Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Learn English Newsletter.