let alone

Default let alone

Which are correct:

1) Here we have a limited selection of his paintings, let alone the works of other members of his group.

2) We present here only a limited amount of the research our own team has carried out, let alone the research by other groups.


3) Carrying out this research project will require a lot of time and effort, let alone the money.

4) Imagine how much work it is to keep those five kids quiet, let alone the three dogs.



Gratefully,
Navi
Original Post
navi posted:

1) Here we have a limited selection of his paintings, let alone the works of other members of his group.

2) We present here only a limited amount of the research our own team has carried out, let alone the research by other groups.


3) Carrying out this research project will require a lot of time and effort, let alone the money.

4) Imagine how much work it is to keep those five kids quiet, let alone the three dogs.

Hello, Navi,

I agree with DocV that (4) is the only sentence of the bunch that works. "Let alone" doesn't work in the first three sentences. I think "not to mention" would be a decent replacement in (3), provided you delete "the" in "the money."

(3a) Carrying out this research project will require a lot of time and effort, not to mention money.

The reason "the" doesn't work there is that "not to mention money" is short for "not to mention a lot of money." In (1) and (2), it is harder to find a replacement phrase for "let alone." I think "what to say of" might do the trick, but it's a stretch:

(1a) Here we have but a limited selection of his paintings, what to say of the works of other members of his group.

(2a) We present here only a limited amount of the research our own team has carried out, what to say of the research by other groups.

I'm preserving the red coloring because I'm not entirely comfortable with the substitution. I don't think I've used "what to say of" in that way in my own writing. If you're concealing what's natural here, Navi, please do unveil it. I give up.

Please note I also added "but" in (1a). Its function parallels that of "only" in (2).

Thank you both very much,

There's nothing to unveil. I saw a sentence like '1' somewhere on the net. It looked wrong to me, hence the red color. I thought the idea could not be expressed in a single sentence. 

On the other hand, I can't figure out why '4' works and '3' doesn't. I think the reason is that one would have to take out the 'the'. The one would have:

3b) Carrying out this research project will require a lot of time and effort, let alone money.

And that wouldn't work because "let alone" has to refer to something specific.

Gratefully,

Navi

navi posted:

I can't figure out why '4' works and '3' doesn't. I think the reason is that one would have to take out the 'the'. The one would have:

3b) Carrying out this research project will require a lot of time and effort, let alone money.

And that wouldn't work because "let alone" has to refer to something specific.

 

Hi, Navi,

As you know, "let alone" only works when the first part of the sentence contains some negative meaning, so "let alone" is used to introduce something that is even more unthinkable or unimaginable.

(4) suggests that it is not easy to keep the kids quiet, and even more difficult to keep the dogs quiet.

In line with David's suggestion, I think (1) and (2) are closer in meaning to (4), because others' works and research are excluded. In sentence (3), the money is included as an additional requirement.

We need the negative for sentences (1) to (3) to work:

1d) Our collection does not include any of his paintings, let alone the works of other members of his group.

2d) We cannot present the research our own team has carried out, let alone the research by other groups.

3d) We will not devote any time or effort to carrying out this research project, let alone money.

Thank you very much, Gustavo,

I see your point. I find your suggested sentences very sound. I'd like to know what you think of these:

1e) Our collection does not (even) include all of his paintings, let alone the works of other members of his group.

1f) Our collection does not (even) include all of his paintings, let alone any works by other members of his group.

The meaning is not the same as that of your sentence. Some of his paintings are included, but not all. That was my intended meaning.

Gratefully,

Navi

 

Well, they sound better to me than (1), but I perceive some unbalance: we are excluding only some of his paintings but all of others, and "let alone" works more finely when there is, so to say, grammatical symmetry: our research/their research, time and effort/money, the kids/the dogs. What do you think, David and DocV?

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