Both didn't go.

Is it a correct sentence?

Actually, I have read that both is not usually used in a negative clause. Use a clause with neither instead.

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    Context, context,context. As you wrote "I have read that Both is not usually used in a negative clause" you should add to your question where you read that (along with some citation or link) so the rule can be commented on. Also you do not have an example using neither. – user3169 Jul 25 '15 at 18:03
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    I voted to reopen because I believe this question can be usefully answered in its current state. – snailcar Jul 25 '15 at 23:47
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    Consider: Both boys didn't have a key", "Both Max and Ed didn't have a key" (examples from H&P CGEL, page 389). – F.E. Jul 26 '15 at 5:01

You don't usually use "both" in the negative. Instead, you should use neither such as "Neither of them went". I don't mean that " Both of them didn't go" is not correct. What I mean is that the use of neither is more common than and preferable to the use of both" in this negative sentence. See the last paragraph of the link.

  • Hallo, user3169. I have read it in a dictionary. That is named as "Longman Dictionary of Contemporary".I wanted to get this question verified by seniors here.Mr. Khan Sir has definitely expressed it pleasantly. – I don't know who I am. Jul 26 '15 at 4:27
  • Khan, brother. We have already mentioned in our comments that we cannot use "both"in negative sentence. So what about this sentence? Khan:Did you bring the bags? Aslam:I couldn't carry both. – I don't know who I am. Jul 26 '15 at 4:41
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    We can sometimes use "both". Notice in Khan's answer that the third word is "usually". The dictionary is a learner's dictionary, and it gives a suggestion that is supposed to help English learners to make fewer mistakes. It is not a "rule". Your example, I couldn't carry both is fine, however, that example uses both in the object, which is very common. It is less common to use both as the subject or as part of the subject in a negative sentence. But it is still possible sometimes! – Jim Reynolds Jul 26 '15 at 8:22
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    user12434, I think you are now clear about my answer after Jim Reynold's valued comments. If you are still confused about your sentence "I couldn't carry both the suitcases", you can preferably use either such as I couldn't carry either suitcase or either of the suitcases/I couldn't carry either of them". FYI, " both" means "the two together, the one and the other". – Khan Jul 26 '15 at 12:41

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