Negative Sentences with 'In order to' and 'To'

To write a negative sentence with "in order to" or "to", you just need to add "not" before "to", so we say "in order not to" or "not to".

To write a negative sentence with "in order to" or "to", you just need to add "not" before "to", so we say "in order not to" or "not to".

The situation requires careful handling in order not to aggravate the problem.

To work hard or not to work hard? A social dilemma about how not to fail in life.

When expressing purpose, however, we use the compound preposition "in order to" to write a negative sentence. We don't use "to" by itself here.

In order not to get sick, avoid smoking and drink in moderation.

Note that we can start a sentence with "in order to" or "in order not to". In this situation, add a comma after the introductory phrase.

In order not to annoy your neighbors, avoid playing loud music.

Alternatively, you can change a negative sentence into an affirmative one by using verbs such as "avoid", "prevent", "protect", "increase" (instead of "decrease"), etc.

In order to avoid annoying your neighbors, keep your music volume down.

What's the difference between "in order to" and "to"? "In order to" can almost always be replaced by "to". Be aware, however, that "in order to" is more formal and more common in writing. On the other hand, while you can start a sentence with "to", "in order to", or "in order not to", you cannot use "not to" at the beginning of a sentence.

In order not to gain weight, cut down on saturated fat and sugar.

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