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Questions tagged [negation]

"Negation" is the process that turns an affirmative statement into its opposite denial.

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Can I say "Would've been that funny hadn't been that sad"

Can I say the next sentence: Would've been that funny hadn't been that sad. in the meaning "It would have actually been funny, unless it had been as sad as that" (a situation was both funny ...
The III World man's user avatar
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1 answer
36 views

How to respond a 'tag question'

Mike hardly puts up his hand in class, does he? ____He is one of the most active students in our class. Which one should I put into the blank?'yes'or'no'? I asked the chatgpt ,it told me when ...
ke zhang's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
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Where should I put “not” in the sentence 'The person admits to ___ having ___ read the book'?

I have three forms that I can think of for this sentence: The person admits to not having read the book. The person admits to having not read the book. The person admits not to have read the book. ...
Eric's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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Is 'nowadays' a negator? / does it form a sentence whose polarity is negative?

Came across a passage that used nowadays to counter the previous statement, and was wondering whether it would count as a word that does non-verbal negation In the past this happened frequently; ...
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14 votes
5 answers
4k views

"Is he not the carpenter's son?" v.s. "Is not he the carpenter's son?"

I've heard this from a priest's homily, "Is he not the carpenter's son?"—taken from Mt. 13: 55-56 (King James Version). I got confused whether the priest read the passage the wrong way—I was ...
KingofSpades's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
74 views

'The exam is very difficult so I don't think ___ can pass it'

The exam is very difficult so I don't think __ can pass it. A. anybody B. everybody C. no one D. somebody Semantically, I infer the author wanted to emphasize that no one can pass the exam, because ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Difference in meaning between singular and plural in negative statements [closed]

I want to figure out the differences between the following sentences and if they have the same meaning? What about adding "any" in the middle. I don't have a question. --- I don't have ...
Zelin's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why Negate when asking/suggesting?

I have heard a lot of people saying that it's much better to negate the modals or whatever when asking or suggesting—suggestions that are in question form. But, I just don't get why. I mean, is it ...
KingofSpades's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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Confirming negatives in English

I know in English if someone asks: The picture is not correct, right? I could answer: No, it is not correct. Right, it is not correct. But what if the negative is in the word itself, such as The ...
user187101's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
19 views

“Can I not read it”?

If a person is asking about permission not to read something, he doesn't want to read it and asks not to read it. Can we use the phrase “Can I not read it”? Is it correct?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Using not with both, either, neither: word choice when expressing negation of two options

In a sentence responding negatively to multiple statements or questions, which of the following ways sounds best and has the least grammatical error? He didn’t do both. He didn’t do either. He didn’t ...
NahZ1ky's user avatar
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"I didn’t agree with some of the things he said." — Why is it correct to use "some" after the negation?

an example from the textbook "the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language", page 359: (1) I didn’t agree with some of the things he said. As far as I know, "some" can't be used ...
Loviii's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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If "I did Exercise 1 but not 2" is correct, then why is "The exercise I did was 1 but not 2" not correct?

a conclusion from one of threads on forum.wordreference.com: (1a) I did Exercise 1, not 2. — correct (1b) I did Exercise 1 but not 2. — correct (2a) The exercise I did was 1, not 2. — correct (2b) ...
Loviii's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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"It looked not (very) large." is correct with "very" but incorrect without, right?

The aim of this question is to understand the structure "not + modifier + adjective/adverb" better. Does it always sound natural? If not, then when can we use it and when not? the textbook &...
Loviii's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
110 views

"I will see if I can't make somthing", what does the "can't" mean?

The line is easy to understand in context but difficult in terms of grammar. I find this one in D.H. Lawrence's famous short fiction The Rocking-Horse Winner so it may be of common use in his age or ...
Qiushuang Feng's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

How to combine “She was/wasn’t at home” vs “She had/hadn’t been at home" with “when I called her”?

When I called her she wasn’t at home.She wasn’t at home when I called her. When I called her she had been at home.She had been at home when I called her. Does had been at home mean that she was at ...
hwkal's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Using words "not" and "until" in the same sentence

For example, let's say someone said to me, "You did not need to wait until I was in the pool to hold me". I believe this can translate to something like, "You did not need to wait to ...
Max's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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A: Nobody will oppose it. B: I should think not!

A: Nobody will oppose it. B: I should think not! What's the meaning of 'I should think not!'? B thinks someone will oppose or not oppose?
gomadeng's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the meaning of "Not actually"?

For example, let's say Person A says "1 plus 1 is 3". Then Person B can either say "It's not 3, it's 2" or "It's actually 2". What if Person B says "It's not ...
Max's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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as Tom told him not to

Can sentences a, b and c be used instead of sentences a1, b1 and c1? a. He didn't turn off the lights, as Tom told him to. b. He didn't turn off the lights, since Tom told him to. c. He didn't turn ...
azz's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
178 views

Do you want me to not go? or Do you not want me to go? or Don't you want me to go?

Do you want me to not go? Do you not want me to go? Don't you want me to go? What's the correct way to ask if the other person doesn't want me to go? What is the difference between these three ...
Vini's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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Are "I have no idea" and "I have no ideas" both correct, and if so, are they synonymous?

I am considering these two sentences: I have no idea. I have no ideas. Are they both correct, and if so, are they synonymous?
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
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1 answer
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if not your intelligence

a. I admire your courage, if not your intelligence. Does that mean b. I admire your courage, but not your intelligence. or c. I admire your courage, although I am not sure whether I admire your ...
azz's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Does "You need to not eat much so that you will not be fat" have the same idea as "You shouldn't eat much so that you will not be fat"?

All examples are mine: (1) You should not eat much so that you will not be fat. I want to use "need" and "not" in the first clause instead of "should" and "not",...
Loviii's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
610 views

"I should have never dropped my guard so you could <not> stab me in the back."

from a song: (1) I should have never dropped my guard so you could stab me in the back. my variant: (2) I should have never dropped my guard so you couldn't stab me in the back. As far as I understand,...
Loviii's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does "Aren't you a silly girl!" mean "You aren't a silly girl!"?

my example: (1a) Are you a silly girl! As I understand, (1a) means (1b): (1b) You are a silly girl! wordreference.com: (2a) Aren't you a silly girl! Am I right that, by analogy with (1a), (2a) means (...
Loviii's user avatar
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'she must NOT have made it' vs. 'she mustn't have made it' vs. 'she must have not made it'

In this passage there is a slight pause after 'must' and a stress on 'not': 'I saw Isabella she had a blank expression on her face. I'm not sure what happened with the knife she was carrying it looked ...
tes389's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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the whereabouts of any given employee

a. I don't know the whereabouts of any given employee at any given time. Does that mean I am not suppose to know the whereabouts of any given employee at any given time. or I have no idea where any ...
azz's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is the tag question positive in this dialogue from Downton Abbey? "Then we must be ready by tomorrow, must we?"

In this clip (2:28) of Downton Abbey you can hear Sybil saying: Then we must be ready by tomorrow, must we? Now, if she's using a tag question, why isn't she forming the negative? Maybe I'm ...
Dog_69's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
938 views

It's only the fool who becomes anything. - Why is "anything" used?

Why is the word "anything" used even though it cannot be used for affirmative sentences? Why isn't it "something"? I would say it like “It is only a fool who becomes something.”
Rodrigo's user avatar
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1 answer
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negative sentence + until

If I have a negative sentence + until and then another sentence, I can discern two (2) meanings (it's ambiguous). How can someone differentiate between the two (2)? Example: "Ten things that you ...
ARGYROU MINAS's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What's the difference between "Was this supposed to be...” and “Wasn't this supposed to be…"?

Was this supposed to be ‘cupboard’ instead of ‘cupbard’? Wasn’t this supposed to be ‘cupboard’ instead of ‘cupbard’? I was asking about a spelling error and I was confused if I should use "was&...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
68 views

I have a question about question tags

Which sentence has correct question tag, and why? There's little chance for me to win the game, isn't there? There's little chance for me to win the game, is there?
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3 votes
2 answers
251 views

How to join more than two negative imperatives?

Don't run. Don't talk loud. When you unite the two sentences, which of the two below would be the more appropriate? Don't run and talk loud. Don't run or talk loud. I have another question. How do ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
735 views

What does "as you told me to" in negative sentence mean?

a. I didn't close the door, as you told me to. Does that mean: You told me to close the door and I didn't. You told me not to close the door and I didn't. How about: b. I didn't close the door, as ...
azz's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
328 views

*Actually not, it's the other way round.* or *Actually, no, it's the other way round.*

Are "actually not" and "actually, no" interchangeable in any context? FOR EXAMPLE: Tom: The Sun rotates around Earth Steve: Actually not, it's the other way round. or Actually, no, ...
ASDASD ASDASD's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
321 views

What is the difference between "I'm not something" and "I'm no something" [duplicate]

In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars tv series, when the character Ahsoka Tano is leaving the Jedi Order, she says: I'm no Jedi. Would the phrase "I´m not a Jedi any more" be the correct one? ...
mpb's user avatar
  • 23
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Is contracting "I have not been" as "I've not been" idiomatic?

Is it idiomatic to contract I have not as I've not instead of I haven't in the present perfect? For example: I have not been to Canada. As I've not been to Canada. He has not ridden a camel. As He's ...
Pumpkin cake's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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·What does the second sentence in this paragraph mean?

"If people had invested their money in antiques 20 years ago, they would have found it difficult to make a profit on their investment until very recently. So people who cannot afford for their ...
hhhh's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
463 views

Are sentences containing "never" affirmative or negative?

Maybe this is a silly question: can be the sentence "I have never seen Singapore" be considered negative?
freedev's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Modals for speculations or logical deductions

Can you, please, help to choose the correct variant? The person on the right in the picture might not/can't/must not be who you say it is. The answer key says that it is must not, but I have never ...
dilek22's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
250 views

"as well" in a negative sentence

Is it correct to use "as well" to give an additional condition for which something is not happening? Example: [sentence explaining that no solution exists] if the function is linear. For a ...
Joce's user avatar
  • 141
9 votes
1 answer
758 views

Is "should" or "shouldn't" appropriate in this sentence?

The concept is that whatever is being asked, is negated when expressing uncertainty or confirmation from the recipient. You do know what's up, don't you? They won't show up, will they? But what if ...
Konrad Viltersten's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
21 views

Negation after "but"

I would like to ask which option sounds more natural/common/idiomatic to you. 1a. The hat looks red but the bag does not. 1b. The hat looks red but the bag not. Similarly, could you please also ...
Pablo Bernabeu's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
62 views

Rephrasing a sentence with negation and "except"

I don't look as if I have done anything except study in the last three years. I guess its meaning is two fold In fact, there is only one thing that have been done which is "study in the last ...
Stats Cruncher's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

"What something is?" vs "what is something?"

I can write "what a cup is?" as question and I can write "what is a cup?". Are both forms grammatically correct? The former one looking a bit off when used without context, but I'm ...
Artsiom Miksiuk's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
27 views

I don't think all of them vs I don't think some of them

I'd like to start from "I don't think," but I don't know how. I think some of them don't know the answer. How can I convey the same meaning? I don't think all of them know the answer. I ...
Nigutumok's user avatar
  • 568
-2 votes
1 answer
95 views

"Does not return" or "Does not returns"

Context: Software Documentation/Error Messages Lets say we are talking about the capabilities, or lack thereof, of a non human entity (computer/machine) to do something, in this case returning ...
Ordiel's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
31 views

not by the servant [closed]

a. The ring was stolen not by the servant. It was Tom who stole it. b. The ring was stolen not by the servant. Tom stole it. Are both of the above acceptable in formal English? Are they acceptable in ...
azz's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
63 views

wouldn't he like that?

Can I use a. Can I send Tom's article to my wife to read, or wouldn't he like that? instead of b. Can I send Tom's article to my wife to read, or would he not like that? ? I know (b) is correct, ...
azz's user avatar
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