Have you not seen this movie?

I'm confused as to what to say, my first reply was: No, I haven't seen it. Is this answer correct for this question or do I reply by answering the following:

a. No, I haven't seen it.
b. No. I haven't seen it.
c. Yes, I haven't seen it.
d. Yes. I haven't seen it.

  • 2
    This seems like two questions: (1) whether to use a comma, and (2) "yes" or "no". The former is answered here (although the answer doesn't have any references). The latter is answered here (and in more details in many of the questions linked there.)
    – Laurel
    Jul 26, 2018 at 6:46
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of How to answer a negative question without ambiguity?
    – Jim
    Jul 26, 2018 at 7:40
  • 1
    In Hibernian English often the No / yes part is omitted. See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_answer
    – k1eran
    Jul 26, 2018 at 7:55
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    The 'double negative' involved in answering "No I haven't seen it" is perfectly acceptable in speech, although it might confuse a robot using mathematical algorithms to process language. It's closer to a double negative for emphasis which is common. For instance "Did you break that window, son?" "No, mister, not me, not never nohow!" If you try to bracket the reply like a mathematical formula or program statement you'll get horribly confused but the accused clearly means that he was not responsible.
    – BoldBen
    Jul 26, 2018 at 9:56
  • 1
    In speech, I doubt there is any detectable difference between (a) and (b) (or between (c) and (d)). Jul 26, 2018 at 10:50

3 Answers 3


While it might make syntactical or logical sense to answer the question with "Yes," that's simply not how anybody ever does reply to it.

Illogically, "No" is the normal response to both:

Have you seen this movie?
Haven't you seen this movie?

This is one of those cases (there are actually many of them) where the English language takes a detour from common sense and falls back on actual usage.

Another way of answering the question, which actually makes sense, is simply:

I haven't.

If you don't want to say something that seems off, you can reply in that fashion. It may sound be a bit more formal, but it's still quite acceptable.

Other possible answers, which also make sense but are much less common and sound slightly awkward, include:

That's correct, I haven't.
That's right, I haven't.

Normally, those would be given in response to a statement (you haven't seen this movie) rather than a question.


If the situation is not fictitious & if it's not a test, one way of answering is:

"I've not".

No further changes are considered necessary.

But if you have to choose between yes & no, "No, I've not" makes more sense than "Yes, I've not". Right?

And if you've already seen the movie, the best answer would be:

"Yes, I've seen."


And about the way of asking the question:

● Have you seen this movie yet? - NEUTRAL question

● Haven't you (or have you not) seen this movie yet? - MARKED question, listener expected to have seen that movie.

Therefore, signals annoyance, or surprise, or concern or impatience or whatever strange:

Oh, get a life man! What's the matter; what's wrong; (to put flesh on the bare bones of this situation: I don't believe this is happening!) why haven't you seen that movie?


First off, we have to know if you have seen the movie or not. If you have, then "No" should be the answer to deny not seeing it (as how it was asked). The next response is just to confirm the way the question was asked (I haven't). If it's a comma or a period, definitely the former. Just refer to how you answer a simple question, like "Did you eat my cake?" Where you would respond either "No, I don't" or "Yes, I did." So, if you haven't seen the movie, your response should be "Yes, I haven't."

  • 2
    I don't believe any native English speaker would reply "Yes" if they haven't seen the movie. Jul 26, 2018 at 11:42
  • Yes, because the question is "have you not" and not "have you." And when you say native speaker, you mean native where? The goal here is to provide answers correctly, not what's commonly used.
    – glennpRof
    Jul 26, 2018 at 13:31
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    By a native speaker of English, I mean someone who has grown up speaking it as (one of their) first language or "mother tongue". Your answer does not sound either correct or commonly used. (I'm not sure what the difference between those is). I still don't believe anyone would say that. And not one of the several answers in the linked duplicate question agrees with you. Jul 26, 2018 at 13:35
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    "The goal here is to provide answers correctly, not what's commonly used." - What's correct is what's commonly used. If you're speaking English in a way that no native speaker would speak it, then you're speaking it incorrectly. Jul 26, 2018 at 20:32

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