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Questions tagged [multiple-negation]

For questions about sentences that have multiple grammatical or semantic negations. For questions about sentences that have a single semantic negation expressed multiple times, use the negative-concord tag.

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How to avoid multiple negatives in sentence [closed]

I have written few lines, but I feel those could be more better in English, even I am not sure about grammatical mistakes. Please correct my below sentences "But that didn't go well as I didn't ...
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1answer
54 views

We haven't done this in a while, haven't we?

We haven't done this in a while, haven't we? I am aware that this is a double negative, and technically it should be "have we?" at the end of the sentence. However, is the question grammatically ...
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0answers
42 views

“Don't you not like eating fat?” - Is it correct?

My friend had told me he didn't like eating fat. Yesterday he was relishing some pork belly with a lot of fat, so I asked, "Don't you not like eating fat?" He's a native speaker and I'm not. He ...
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1answer
60 views

“I don't promise anything / nothing / something / everything” - Difference?

If I want to say someone that I don't premise him about that, it says, I want to give him nothing about permission. what's out of the following four is the correct? For example: a) I think I'll ...
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0answers
17 views

I don't promise nothing Vs. I don't premise anything

If I want to say someone that I don't premise him something(?), what's out of the following four is the correct? For example: a) I think I'll finish the procedure today but I don't promise ...
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1answer
180 views

I don't want neither Vs. I want neither

If I don't want a paper or a pen. What's the right way to say it out of these two choices? I do not want neither a paper nor a pen. or I want neither a paper nor a pen. I believe that do ...
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1answer
53 views

“Had not seen anyone” or “had not seen nobody”?

I am a research paper writer with more than 3 years of experience. In a recent story of mine, I have the sentence: The girl had not seen anyone while she was walking a long and dark street. Then, ...
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3answers
26 views

Healthy vs. average

A sample IELTS question in the reading section concerns a passage about how dentistry has improved over the last few centuries. The passage includes: Modern dentistry was in its infancy for most ...
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1answer
34 views

How to understand “don’t got nothing to do” grammatically and semantically

“To all y’all people asking why I would let me son ride the bus because I’m rich — being rich don’t got nothing to do with a child experiences,” I saw the sentence from here. According to this ...
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1answer
45 views

How to correct this double negation?

I think the sentence below is grammatically incorrect as it is a double negation. I have heard it in a movie. Can it be accepted in an informal discussion? I won't stay here doing nothing. How ...
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0answers
16 views

How can I instantly simplify 'The Opposition refused leave for the withdrawal of a motion to annul an Order revoking the embargo'?

Source: Rebecca Gowers. Plain Words (2014 ed). p. 186 Middle. Here are two more examples of sentences that have to be unravelled before they yield any meaning. [1.] The Opposition ...
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1answer
46 views

use of no means

what is the correct usage of "no means" , especially if used in double negative sentence. e.g I cannot by any no means allow you to do so. is this sentence correct? what if i use any means instead of ...
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2answers
331 views

I didn't do nothing or anything

Usually when I want to deny something I will say I didn't do anything However, lately I watched some movies in which the people sometimes said I didn't do nothing They use no instead of any, like ...
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2answers
40 views

'You don't not call me' from House of Cards

'You don't not call me' from House of Cards season 1 episode 1 I found only this part on the internet. Claire who is Frank's (Kevin Spacey) wife wanted him to call her back but he didn't. And then ...
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1answer
287 views

Unlike vs Not unlike

'Not unlike' sounds like 'double negative' for me, but it suppose to be right because it's on Oxford Dictionary a large house not unlike Mr Shah's (source) I want to use preposition 'unlike' in this ...
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1answer
28 views

'Not unless' always replaceable by 'only if'?

Sauron should be thought of as very terrible. The form that he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic. In his earlier incarnation he was able to veil his power (as ...
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1answer
3k views

“I see nothing ” vs “I don't see nothing”

As far as I understand, both of these sentences imply that the speaker is unable to see anything. Is one sentence more correct than the other or can they be used interchangeably everywhere? Also, ...
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1answer
36 views

Meaning of the second negation after a negative question

Below is a dialogue from the film "The Invitation" (2015): – Hey, no one cares what I think? – No. – Come on, really? – No. What is the meaning of the second "No"? Is it negation of ...
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2answers
202 views

Meaning of: “No one ever does anything worthwhile for which he is not criticized”

What is the meaning of this phrase? "No one ever does anything worthwhile for which he is not criticized." I can't wrap my head around this phrase. Does that mean "if you never do anything ...
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1answer
2k views

“No nothing” does not make sense

I could never make sense out of the largely informal phrase, "no nothing". Minus minus equals plus. So literally, "no nothing" comes to mean "something" or "anything". But it is almost always used in ...
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2answers
4k views

“I am not hungry no more.” [duplicate]

If I wanted to say that I am not hungry I could leave out the "no more" so shouldn't the "no more" cancel out the "not hungry" to mean that you are hungry. However other examples, like "I don't love ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Do native speakers use double negatives in order to mean positive situations REALLY

I stumbled upon VOA (Voice Of America)'s video about the use of the combination of either/or and neither/nor. Well, the guy in the video says, the double negatives, as he says, the sentence such as ...
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1answer
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Double Negatives with adjectives

I was wondering if it is correct to say: I am not unconfident with his answer. By saying this I imply that I am almost not confident but I hesitate to say I am. His answer makes me hesitate. ...
3
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1answer
90 views

it is not impossible to steal anything

A says: It is impossible to do anything. B replies: a. No, it is not impossible to do anything. b. No, it is not impossible to do something. Which is correct in this context? (a) or (b)? And ...
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2answers
66 views

A case of double negative?

Quite often I would come across conversations similar to the one below: "Is it a difficult test?" "Not for you it isn't." So it's commonplace to hear constructions such as "Not for you it isn't" ...
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1answer
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usage of a dash

Consider these two sentences: Without any atmosphere, there cannot be any weather – no wind, no rain, no clouds. Without any atmosphere, there cannot be any weather – wind, rain, clouds. ...
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5answers
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Is “Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse” grammatical?

Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse. Is the sentence above grammatical? Or is it a double negation? Then how to reformulate it?
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1answer
96 views

Ain't usage with no

Is this a valid sentence? "I ain't no match for you!". I want to imply that I don't deserve her.
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1answer
2k views

What does “We don't need no education” mean?

I am an english learner. I general ( or may be I am wrong ) we use: any in both negative and positive sentences. for example: I don't need any education no in positive phrases ( may be I am wrong ). ...
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1answer
129 views

Double negative simple alternative with nobody/anybody

In Portuguese it's very common to have negative concord, like in the common saying I'm trying to translate: Ninguém é melhor que ninguém Which literally translates to Nobody is better than ...
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1answer
720 views

You can't not eat things

You are telling to a kid that he can't not eat something. Is the structure making sense? A: you can't not eat things.
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1answer
144 views

What does the phrase 'no doubt a lot' mean?

'no doubt a lot' I never understand this phrase. Does it mean that people don't doubt? or that people doubt it much.
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3answers
2k views

What does “there ain't no one for to give you no pain” mean?

This morning on the radio, I heard America's hit "A Horse with No Name". As usual when I hear it, I wonder what the following sentence mean. 'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain ...
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3answers
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Triple negation: what does “This ain't no place for no hero” mean?

It's a phrase from the song "Short Change Hero", and while I think I understand it (This is not a place for people who are not heroes), I find somewhat confusing the combination of all those negations;...
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1answer
282 views

Two “not only” with one “but”; What should I do?

I found this in The Guardian And assuming a 50:50 gender divide, polygamy not only means that women in polygamous relationships not only receive a small fraction of a man, but that some unfortunate ...
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2answers
1k views

“Don't touch nothing” isn't grammatically correct, is it?

I have been watching a film today named "The Invisible Man", year 1984. And in the second episode i have listened next: "I said... don't touch nothing". It isn't grammatically correctly, is it?
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1answer
83 views

He could have hardly been less like my boss

What does the sentence "He could have hardly been less like my boss" mean? I know I am in the realm of the "double negative" or "figure of litotes" construction but still can't figure out its meaning. ...
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4answers
13k views

Are double negatives like 'he's never not been in the family' grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I'm asking this question because I was taught not to use double negatives, because they are ungrammatical and that people who use them sound uneducated. However, today here on this site I found an ...
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2answers
43 views

Word usage: overestimate

The importance of a good education cannot be overestimated. [=a good education is very important] http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/overestimate I'm confused of this explanation in ...
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1answer
426 views

- Who doesn't like me? - Everyone! / No one!

Consider this exchange between two people that I saw on TV: A has told B that none of B's colleagues like B. B comes back with a question and gets an answer: B: Who doesn't like me? A: Everyone!...
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1answer
1k views

“ain't … nobody” or “ain't … anybody”?

I just watched a TV show and the guy says: I ain't trying to fight with nobody with a baby. So here, I can't understand the "nobody" since it make no sense to me, but it sounds like anybody, and ...
3
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2answers
66 views

Help parse double negative: “I doubt X would hardly ever Y”

I just ran across the following sentence: I doubt ordinary civilians would hardly ever die from gunshots. And in context and from a quick skim-reading I'd guess it's trying to say, "Ordinary ...
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2answers
3k views

“You ain't no Human.” What is the need of “no” here?

You ain't no Human What is the need of "no" here? isn't it already meaning same without "no"?
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3answers
821 views

common == Not uncommon?

I just read an article and found below sentence. I'm little bit confused about this sentence . "It is not uncommon to have slides like that," she said. Instead of using not uncommon author can use ...
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5answers
12k views

How to answer a negative question in English?

Q: "Don't you know?" If I really don't know, how should I respond to this question? Yes or No? There's a similar question on EL&U, but the answer isn't clear how it works: A confusion about ...
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2answers
946 views

How should I make a (double-)negative sentence using “could have + past participle”?

If I want to say this sentence using could have plus past participle, then how should I say that? You were capable of not going there, but you went. Is it correct to say: You could have not ...
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1answer
90 views

Use of “Not getting”

I often come across a sentence in spoken English (and sometimes in written English as well) that I think is grammatically incorrect. The sentence is It's never a bad idea not getting advice from ...
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1answer
137 views

“Would not that we should not” double negative?

From Literary English Reading: I would not that we should not trespass against the Divine Law for justice. What is this construction? Is this "should" the same as "would"? Not like "It is ...
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2answers
3k views

Can we use two negative words in a sentence?

One told me that, we can not use two negative words in a sentence. For instance, as far as I know There is not any book here. is a true statement. It means There is no book here So please ...
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4answers
3k views

A negative idea following “unless”

Is it acceptable to use a negation after "unless"? I know it's far from standard. You don't love people. But you will succeed unless you don't like people.