3

"He committed the crime on NO account." You don't need "not" in this sentence because of "on No account".

But what about this: "You should not sign the contract on NO account"?(This is supposed to mean "You must NOT sign the contract)

Q1. Why do you need "not" in here while you already have "on NO account" which means "not"?

Q2."You should not sign the contract on no account" and ""You should sign the contract on no account" are the same meaning?

Q3. Is the former just an emphatic expression of the latter just as"I don't have NO money" and "I don't have money" are the same meaning and the former is an emphatic expression of the latter?

1
  • 5
    "He committed the crime on no account" is not at all idiomatic. Mar 30 at 8:52
11

"You should not sign the contract on NO account" would be an incorrect use of the expression, and as you say, a double negative.

It should be:

You should not sign the contract on any account.

Although the expression is used more idiomatically this way:

You should on no account sign the contract.

or

You should not on any account sign the contract.

3
  • 6
    Or front the expression, with inversion: "On no account should you sign the contract".
    – James K
    Mar 30 at 9:30
  • 1
    Your answer couldn't be clearer! Thank you for your perfect explanation, Mr. Astralbee:)
    – user132276
    Mar 31 at 1:57
  • Oh, Mr.James K, you were there! I didn't notice you. I thought of your comment as Mr.Bee's. Thank you for your comment, too:)
    – user132276
    Mar 31 at 3:39
2

On no account

"On no account" is most often used either to prohibit something ("You should on no account do X") or to state intention ("On no account will I tolerate X"). It is very rarely used to describe past events: this may be why we would be unlikely to say "On no account did he commit the crime" or "He on no account committed the crime". It would make more sense to say "On no account would he have committed the crime", surmising that there were no circumstances under which he would have done so.

We could say "You should not sign the contract on any account" or (better) "You should on no account sign the contract", "On no account should you sign the contract".

Don't use a double negative with 'on no account'

In standard English, we would never say "You shouldn't on no account sign the contract" with a double negative. Even in non-standard English, it is an unlikely sentence because it combines the relatively formal sounding "on no account" with the informality of double negation.

Double negation in general

You posited that "I don't have no money" is an emphatic way of saying "I don't have money". It isn't. In dialect and very colloquial usage, "I don't have no money" means exactly the same thing to most speakers as "I don't have any money" and is no more emphatic.

(Also, it is important to note that using a double negative like this is considered non-standard and would be avoided by some speakers even in the most informal scenarios. Further, in standard English "I don't have no money" could be used - and occasionally is used - to mean "I do have some money".)

'Any'

Still, your comparison was between "I don't have no money" and "I don't have money" (without "any") - and "I don't have any money" is probably slightly more emphatic than "I don't have money" (since the latter could be interpreted as meaning "I have a little money but not enough"). The usual wording is "I don't have any money" (or "I have no money") - we rarely miss out the "any", unless perhaps we want to suggest that we have some (but not enough).

1
  • 1
    Your answer is also clear and perfect and elaborate. I can feel your kindness. Thank you very, very much:) Sorry, I can't click on "the check" for your answer only because Mr. Astralbee's answer was first answer. Your answer and his both are so great to me but his came first. So I couldn't help choosing his first. I mean the answers of you two are the best to me so I couldn't but choose one on the first come first served basis. Thank you again:)
    – user132276
    Mar 31 at 2:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.