1

What's the difference in meaning for two sentences below, if both applicable?

  1. I doubt that you would even be able to find it.
  2. I doubt that you wouldn't even be able to find it.

It sounds to me both are very similar. That "not" here seems not changing anything. But I am not quite sure about it.

1

This is an example of a double negative. This is where you repeat a negative statement twice which will end up with a positive statement.

In the first statement you're saying:

I do not think that you will be able to find that thing.

In the second statement you're saying:

I do not think that you will not be able to find that thing.

This is the same as saying:

I think that you will be able to find that thing.

The "not" at the beginning is implied by the word "doubt". This cancels out the "not" in the middle and the meaning that you end up with is what is in the statement above.

  • Are these two sentences natural or idiomatic? – dan Sep 13 '17 at 12:47
  • 1
    In a way yes, I would say they're less idiomatic than the example because the meaning is more explicit. – Briansbum Sep 13 '17 at 13:01

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