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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Need help understanding the meaning of the following sentence [closed]

Unless neither John nor Harry eat the pancake, Andrew must eat it. Can someone help me understand the above sentence's meaning?
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1 answer
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Two "not"s in one sentence

“Universal history. The history of what man has accomplished" in this world, is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here," wrote the Victorian sage Thomas Carlyle. Well, ...
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2 answers
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In a sentence with double negatives, how do I tell if I'm allowed to cancel them out or not?

Asking this because I'm worried that canceling out double negatives can completely change the original meaning of the sentence. I know context and the speaker/writer's intent are also important but is ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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To use "don't" and "no" in one sentence to make it negative

In the intro of TMNT the song goes like this: When the evil Shredder attacks, these Turtle boys don't cut him no slack! As what I have searched "cut someone some slack" means: to treat (...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Until + lack of something

Long-time listener, first-time caller. I have a bit of a problem sorting out my sentence and I can't find anything definitive online, so I thought I'd try my luck here. Which of these two is correct? ...
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2 answers
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Is this a double negation: "doesn't exist for neither X nor Y"

I'm having doubts about how to best put this in English, I'm torn between 3 options. Which of them are legal, and which is stylistically the best? I want to convey that a solution does not exist for A ...
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0 votes
2 answers
58 views

Meaning of "The attack was not unforeseen."

What does the double negative in the below sentence mean? The attack was not unforeseen.
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2 votes
1 answer
51 views

Can anyone explain what the first part of this sentence means, in simple way?

The sentence is She was criticized by her fellow lawyers not because she was not hardworking, but because she so minutely prepared her cases that she failed to bring the expected number to trial ...
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10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Which of no, none, any, some would fit in "few of the students knew ___ of the answers"?

A friend of mine recently had a test during one of her English classes and there was a task to choose the correct word that best fits the sentence: "Few of the students knew ___ of the answers&...
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0 votes
2 answers
65 views

Can no doubt be used with another negative word

I have read many examples of the phrase "no doubt". And I have observed that when this phrase is used other negative words like "never, not, nothing" are not used in the sentence ...
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3 votes
2 answers
520 views

Double negative

"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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
31 views

How can double negatives “has a respectable history as a rhetorical device for emphasis” when they're harder to understand?

These two quotes contradict. I hate multiple negatives! Waste of effort, time, space, words! I have to stop reading and spend like 15 mins. reasoning to the positive meaning! But how can double ...
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0 votes
1 answer
112 views

"Didn't have no" or "didn't have any"?

I have a question about whether "I didn't have no plans" is correct or not, since I think that it's a double negation and therefore not correct, so it should be "I didn't have any plans&...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Can "nor" follow a positive phrase?

A Guardian article, entitled "What are the Conservatives conserving?", includes the following sentence: Alas, we have seen nor heard nothing for a month from test-and-trace mastermind Dido ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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it isn't impossible for me to be swindled by anyone

a. It isn't impossible for me to be swindled by anyone. b. It is possible for me to be swindled by anyone. I think the meaning of (b) is clear. It seems to be saying that anyone can swindle me. ...
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1 answer
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Why were some English phrases written in double negatives when the speaker actually wants to express a single negative? [duplicate]

For example, I just saw this phrase on social media: The way 2020 going, I ain't buyin' no PS5. I mean, in this instance, I can ultimately see that what the poster actually mean is that "I ain'...
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9 votes
11 answers
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Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

I understand that you can't have a double negative...but also, 'anyone/anybody' in this sentence wouldn't make sense: If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me So why is this not considered ...
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3 answers
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Two questions about double negation expressions

Double negation expressions like the below ones are confusing to me, but in reality similar sentences are ubiquitous. I don't dislike the police. It's not uncommon for parents to know the gender of ...
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1 answer
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I will call somebody else, not neither him nor you

I have a sentence I will call neither you nor him I guess it means I won't call neither you nor him Out of it it's not clear whether I will call anyone at all but I want to say that I will call but ...
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1 vote
0 answers
108 views

“Yes, I did not" vs “No, I did not“

Whenever an old post is edited on a Stack Exchange site, the entire page is bumped to the top of the active page. Some eagle-eyed users might spot other spelling, formatting or grammatical issues on ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"Not too busy to not" or "not too busy not to"

I'm not too busy to eat dinner or I'm not too busy not to eat dinner Typically, you would need a double negative ("I'm not busy enough to not realized I skipped dinner," in that you weren't ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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The implication of double negation in "you’re not listening to a word I’m not saying"

So I'm facing the said sentence in the following quote: Dear cat, your ears are flipped inside out, so I know you’re not listening to a word I’m not saying. So I'm wondering whether the double ...
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1 vote
0 answers
314 views

Is this grammatically correct? : Something is not A nor A', neither B nor B'

'To love is not demanding nor taking advantage needless to say, neither is it giving up nor sacrifice.' Is this sentence correct? Is there any room for improvement? How about the following ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Which one is correct? Double negatives

Which one is correct? 1. I cannot do not eat for 5 days straight 2. I cannot not eat for 5 days straight 3. I cannot not to eat for 5 days straight
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2 votes
3 answers
63 views

What is this actually saying? Written sentence: “This is not a story about wine, well not totally.”

What is this actually saying? Written sentence: “This is not a story about wine, well not totally.” The writer means "There's more to this story than just wine." It's a voiceover attempting to be ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Negation of a Negative Statement

My understanding that negating a negation is proof. like: They are not uncooperative = They are cooperative. I understand that the use of the negative statement could slightly change the meaning ...
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5 votes
3 answers
242 views

A double negative - would it be acceptable in writing?

I read other posts about the double negative, but I still would like to find out whether my sentence is OK in writing: Breakfast was not served for no good reason.
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22 votes
5 answers
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Is "I do not want you to go nowhere" a case of "DOUBLE-NEGATIVES" as claimed by Grammarly?

I do not want you to go nowhere. According to Grammarly, the above sentence contains a DOUBLE-NEGATIVE and should be modified as either of the following; I do not want you to go anywhere. I want you ...
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2 votes
1 answer
169 views

Can a double negative be OK?

There is no job I cannot do. We are taught to avoid double negatives, and most of them sound really weird: That won't do you no good. She never goes with nobody. The example above these,...
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0 votes
1 answer
57 views

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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2 votes
1 answer
422 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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1 vote
0 answers
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"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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1 vote
1 answer
2k 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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1 vote
1 answer
5k 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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4 votes
1 answer
371 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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1 vote
3 answers
56 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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0 votes
1 answer
252 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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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0 votes
0 answers
20 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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0 votes
1 answer
243 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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1 vote
2 answers
708 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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1 vote
2 answers
196 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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4 votes
1 answer
2k 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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0 votes
1 answer
50 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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1 vote
1 answer
12k 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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  • 750
0 votes
1 answer
43 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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3 votes
2 answers
587 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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0 votes
2 answers
5k 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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9 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
257 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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