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a. I want to see my son not in trouble.
b. I want to see my son not be in trouble.

c. I want to see my son not get in trouble for once.



Are those sentences grammatically correct?
Are they natural?


It seems to me that (a) is not really grammatical, but that people sometimes use that kind of sentence. It is as if 'not-in-trouble' is a single unit.

I am not at all sure about that...

Many thanks

Last edited by azz
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@azz posted:
Are those sentences grammatically correct?

Are they natural?

Hi, Azz—Like Gustavo, I prefer the variations with the "don't want to . . ." or, alternatively, something like this: "I'm sick of seeing my son in trouble." However, provided "not" is strongly stressed, I find the three sentences you have asked about correct and, given the right context, natural as well:

A: Have you ever seen your son in trouble?
B: He's always in trouble. I see him in trouble all the time.
I want to see my son NOT in trouble.

For what it's worth, I dislike (b) the most. I don't consider it incorrect, though, provided "not" is strongly emphasized and there is an appropriate context.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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