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I received these answers from ChatGPT and am unsure if they are accurate.

Me: how to express agreement and disagreement to positive statement and negative statement?
ChatGPT:
Agreement with positive statement:

  • "Me too."
  • "So do I."
  • "I agree."
  • "I feel the same way."
  • "I also [verb]."

Disagreement with positive statement:

  • "I don't either."
  • "Neither do I."
  • "I disagree."
  • "I don't [verb]."

Agreement with negative statement:

  • "Me neither."
  • "Neither do I."
  • "I agree."
  • "I feel the same way."
  • "I also don't [verb]."

Disagreement with negative statement:

  • "I do."
  • "I disagree."
  • "I like it."
  • "I [verb]."

Note that these phrases are not exhaustive and there may be other ways to express agreement or disagreement. It is also worth noting that tone and context can greatly impact the interpretation of these phrases.

Me: why can "neither do I" apply to expressing both disagreement with positive statement and agreement with negative statement?

ChatGPT: "Neither do I" can be used to express both disagreement with a positive statement and agreement with a negative statement because the phrase is meant to indicate the absence of something.

In the case of disagreement with a positive statement, the speaker is indicating that they do not share the same experience or opinion as the person they are responding to. In the case of agreement with a negative statement, the speaker is indicating that they also do not have the experience or opinion that the person they are responding to has stated.

In both cases, the phrase "neither do I" is used to convey the absence or negation of a particular experience or opinion. This is why it can be used to express agreement or disagreement depending on the statement being made.

I believe the last reply appears incorrect. Can someone kindly inform me if there are errors in ChatGPT's responses?

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    It's incorrect. ChatGPT is wrong. 'Neither' expresses agreement with a preceding negative. The following conversation would not take place among native speakers: Person A: 'I like ice cream'. Person B 'Neither do I' (or 'Me neither'). Do not rely on AI sources for grammar education. Feb 6, 2023 at 9:24
  • @MichaelHarvey I agree! Thanks. Feb 6, 2023 at 9:25
  • if ChatGPT said it was safe to touch a wire carrying 10,000 volts, would you touch it? Feb 6, 2023 at 10:57
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey I would google and try to verify that before touching it. Feb 6, 2023 at 11:02
  • 1
    See ell.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5838/… for the meta discussion on this question. Feb 7, 2023 at 3:03

2 Answers 2

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You're right. The bot is wrong.

It is always incorrect to respond to a positive statement with "Neither do I", so it has no meaning, and so cannot show agreement:

A: I like golfing.
B: Neither do I.

"Neither do I" can be used to agree with someone, but that's a very narrow view of what it can do. It roughly means, "That statement equally applies to me", so it can be used to agree with someone if that person's negative statement expresses their opinion:

A: I don't like soccer.
B: Neither do I.

But it can also apply to someone else's opinion:

A: My sister doesn't like soccer. B: Neither do I.

In this case, B isn't agreeing with A because A hasn't given any opinion.

And the expression also applies to negative statements that aren't opinions at all:

A: My cousin doesn't have a job. B: Neither do I.

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  • Would you please help explain why the following sentence by the bot is wrong? In both cases, the phrase "neither do I" is used to convey the absence or negation of a particular experience or opinion. Am I right that it only works for agreement with the negative statements? Feb 8, 2023 at 2:14
  • @LernerZhang The bot seems to believe that conveying the absence or negation of a particular experience or opinion indicates agreement. This is obviously not true in the case of a positive statement. Lack of the positive opinion doesn't indicate agreement.
    – gotube
    Feb 8, 2023 at 6:47
  • Then conveying the absence or negation of a negative experience or opinion indicates agreement(in the case of "I don't like soccer." and "Neither do I.", indicating I agree with you because you and I both don't like soccer), and the lack of a positive experience or opinion doesn't indicate agreement(in the case of "I dislike soccer" and "me too" ). How to express the lack of a positive experience or opinion? Feb 8, 2023 at 8:03
  • I cannot comprehend the sentence that lack of the positive opinion doesn't indicate agreement and how it relates to "neither do I". Sorry, it becomes harder for me to utilize ChatGPT for some trivial questions in China, and I may take up some of your time for such questions. Feb 8, 2023 at 8:10
  • @LernerZhang In the case of "I don't like soccer", yes, "Neither do I" indicates a lack of a particular opinion, but not on the case of, "I like golfing". So ChatGPT was wrong in saying, "In both cases" since it's only true about one case.
    – gotube
    Feb 9, 2023 at 21:18
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It depends on what you mean by 'negative' and 'positive'.

As I'm sure you know, 'neither' means 'not either', so it can only ever be used to 'agree' with a previously made negative statement - negative in the sense of using a negation.

Of course, 'negative' can also mean that the overall meaning or message of your language is unpleasant, unwanted, disappointing, hurtful etc.

A negation (like 'not') is simply used to reverse the meaning of something, which means you can use a negation but still send a 'positive' message - positive in the sense of having something to say that is pleasant, welcome, upbuilding etc. For example, we commonly say "not bad" to mean that something is quite good, and "not good" to say that something is bad, or at least mediocre.

So, 'neither' as a response would always follow a negation, but if the original statement with the negation is positive in tone or message then the reply that agrees with it is also positive.

-I can't (negation) believe we won the lottery!
-Me neither! (I cannot believe it either!)

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  • How about "I dislike something" and "me neither"? Does that case adhere to the bot's statement that "In the case of agreement with a negative statement, the speaker is indicating that they also do not have the experience or opinion that the person they are responding to has stated."? Feb 7, 2023 at 9:48
  • @LernerZhang 'dislike' is an antonym of 'like' and a word in its own right, not a negation. If someone said "I don't like something" then you could say "me neither", but if they use 'dislike' then you'd reply "me too" which would mean you also dislike it.
    – Astralbee
    Feb 7, 2023 at 10:30

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