Je me persuade que ça ne lui fera pas de mal de manger moins et diététique !!

I assume this expression is considered litotes, ...

Je me persuade que ça lui fera du bien de de manger moins et diététique !

... so how does it compare to the straightforward affirmative construction?

I wonder which is stronger in meaning.

  • I think it depends how it is said. "Ca ne lui fera pas de mal" can be a way to say "ça lui fera du bien" but meaning we do not want to insist on why.
    – Distic
    Sep 25 '17 at 18:49

"ça lui fera du bien"

is just an objective way to speak. That will be good for him.

"ça ne lui fera pas de mal" has two meanings:

Nothing to worry about. He can try it and that can eventually be good to him.


"Seriously, he needs to do something" and for instance eating less and dietetic things (because he's too fat or other...)

  • « (Je pense que) ça ne lui fera pas de mal de manger moins et diététique... » Oh, j'y pense. :) Si je ne crois pas être bien placé pour lui donner un conseil sur un sujet plutôt délicat tel que celui-ci, est-ce que je pourrais tout aussi bien adoucir mes propos, en mettant simplement des points de suspension à la fin de la phrase ? Sep 25 '17 at 22:35

To me there's not one stronger that the other. They have different nuances, but I wouldn't say one in stronger no matter what context it's in.

If you're helping you friend go through a depression (and you bring him a tea of something) "ça te fera du bien" feels stronger, whereas if you're angry at someone and want to teach him good manner, you might use the other one.

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