if not : Common Errors in English

About if not

“He was smart if not exactly brilliant.” In this sort of expression, “if not” links a weaker with a stronger word with a related meaning. Other examples: “unattractive if not downright ugly,” “reasonably priced if not exactly cheap,” “interested if not actually excited.”But this sort of “if not” is often misused to link words that don’t form a weaker/stronger pair: “obscure if not boring,” “happy if not entertained,” “anxious if not afraid.” The linked terms in these examples do have some logical relationship, but they do not form a weaker/stronger pair.

if not Meaning(s)

  • (r) perhaps; indicating possibility of being more remarkable (greater or better or sooner) than

if not in News

  1. Customer Experience Key To 'Computing Everywhere' Business Success

    As a consumer, I love shiny new things. I use my smartphone and tablet as much as, if not more than, my PC. But I?m flummoxed by the latest destination on the downsizing roadmap?wearable computers. I don?t need a machine to monitor my heart rate; it rises when I run for the bus. Dick Tracy watches, like the Kickstarter-funded Pebble, are appealing, even if they duplicate on the one hand the ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Forbes

  2. Prospect Rumor Roundup: Astros First Rounders

    If not for the hapless Miami Marlins, the Astros would be in line for the worst record in baseball for the third straight season. Clearly, it's been a rough stretch for the Houston fan base. The good news is that a strong group of reinforcements is on the way to The Show. The fans will have to take a leap of faith while the high-ceiling, minor-league talent rises to the surface. The last two ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: MLB Trade Rumors

Lightning fast vocabulary building for SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT and CAT