When I wanna confirm if he did not-doing something, how can I ask? I predict the following example might be close but I am not sure.

Didn't you not giving your note to him?

Is it right to use gerund here or can I use infinitive?

Reading one answer tagged on my question, i come up with one more example.

Weren't you not giving your note to him?

Is this valid?

  • Didn't is a contraction of did not. So your sentence is "Did not you not giving your note to him?" You only want one negation in the sentence. Also, the gerund is incorrect. That's a continuing present action and you're asking about a past event. Delta_HF's answer shows some proper examples.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 6:16

3 Answers 3


The most natural way to do this is to use a negative sentence with a positive question tag at the end:

  • You didn't give your note to him, did you?

You would say this with a high falling tone on did you if you want to show that you expect that the note was not given.

You could use a double negative in a question - but in that case you will want to stress the second not. Remember that if the auxiliary in the question is DO, then the main (i.e. lexical) verb needs to be in the infinitive:

  • Didn't you not give your note to him?

Regarding the Original Poster's second example:

  • Weren't you not giving your note to him?

This is perfectly grammatical. The meaning here is that the speaker thinks that your original plan was to not give the note to him.


There are several ways to ask such a question. Your example is not correct, but here are a few alternatives which can be used:

Did you not give your note to him?

Did you not give him your note?

You did not give him your note?

  • Negative questions such as these tend to give the impression that the speaker previously thought that you did give the note to him, not that they thought that you didn't, though :) Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 6:15
  • @araucaria man right, those three are likely used when speaker thought you were going to give note to him... but that is opposite thought to my example...
    – JBL
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 6:36

When you use the word did as an auxiliary, it always takes a bare infinitive. Second, the use of another negative not in a sentence is not considered standard English. So the correct sentence is:

Didn't you give your note to him?

As for the other sentence "Weren't you giving your note to him?", it's grammatical.

  • Well, it's perfectly standard if it is actually representing a double negation (i.e. it's positive in meaning). This is what is happening in the OP's case. Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 14:25

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