I would not take you nowhere

I could not understand this sentence. Shouldn't it be like this "I would not take you anywhere"

  • It's a double negative. Many people consider it wrong. But I see it's very common especially in informal usages. Jun 1, 2017 at 12:48
  • Double negatives with a few exceptions where it is used for emphasis especially with verbs are marked as uneducated speech. Double negatives like this one are heard all the time in movies and TV shows and it means the character did not go to school. Usually, drops out.
    – Lambie
    Jun 1, 2017 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


The use of a double negative is called "negative concord"; English is said not to support this, but in fact it does in many dialects and when used colloquially and for emphasis.

I would not take you anywhere.

is standard, grammatical English.

I wouldn't take you nowhere.

is colloquial. Everyone, even those who use standard, formal English, understand that the two expressions are equivalent. Nobody gets confused in thinking they're dealing with precise mathematical logic where two negatives produce a positive (except perhaps prescriptivists or severe grammar sticklers, and even these folks know what is meant; they just choose not to acknowledge it).

Note that the double negative in English is often used for emphasis, even among speakers who do not normally use it. Here is an example how such might be used:

I ain't got no more money! You took it all!

  • 2
    In other words, logically two negatives make a positive, but emotionally two negatives make a more intense negative.
    – user11628
    Jun 1, 2017 at 13:41
  • The OP didn't provide the source, but I believe the normal usage of this particular sentence is in the situation with two traveling companions where one person thinks they are just wandering aimlessly, but the speaker does have a destination in mind. Contrast "I wouldn't take you anywhere" where the meaning is a refusal to travel with someone.
    – pboss3010
    Sep 28, 2018 at 13:25

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