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Questions tagged [negation]

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

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2 answers
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not crazy to take this risk

a. I am not crazy to take this risk. b. I am not a madman to take this risk. Do these mean I am taking this risk and it is not crazy of me to do so or Only someone crazy would take this risk and I ...
2 votes
1 answer
165 views

Negative "not" in the clause

Is there any difference between clauses below? Wouldn't he help you? Would he not help you? I saw the second clause in the PS1 game "Front mission 3". I sometimes think that games are not ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Is "Why not more?" a correct question?

Is Why not more? correct, or should it be Why no more? What does it mean, then? Why don't you want anymore of something? Or the opposite: Why not having some more of something?
-3 votes
3 answers
71 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
37 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 ...
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3 answers
73 views

Meaning of "no <things> must/should [...]"

I want to write a code comment that means "every line in this file must be shorter than N". I wrote this: No line in this file shall be longer than N ...then considered using "must", which is more ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
34 views

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 ...
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2 answers
80 views

"Why can I not carry this?" or "Why cannot I carry this?" - which is the correct phrasing?

I'm playing a game and it doesn't let me pick up an item. At some point I asked "Why cannot I carry this?" My friends are telling me my question is grammatically incorrect. I feel like it might be ...
5 votes
1 answer
56 views

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. ...
4 votes
4 answers
57 views

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; ...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
60 views

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 ...
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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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
82 views

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 ...
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
24 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
112 views

"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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
37 views

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) ...
1 vote
1 answer
327 views

Can 'can't V' always have the opposite meaning of 'must V'(inference)?

He has great calves. He must run very fast. is a strong inference using 'must'. Can the sentence using 'can't' always have the opposite meaning of 'must' (inference)? You said he's faster than ...
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

"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 &...
-1 votes
1 answer
148 views

not different from

If two things are quite similar, you can say that one thing is not very/much different from the other. If two things are alike, you can say that one thing is no different from the other. Don't say ...
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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
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How to handle con­di­tional clauses where it’s un­known whether the pro­ta­sis’s con­di­tion ac­tu­ally got ful­filled or not?

I have a ques­tion re­gard­ing con­di­tional sen­tences, as far I know the “third con­di­tional” is used when we’re talk­ing about a con­di­tion from the past that never ac­tu­ally hap­pened af­ter ...
1 vote
2 answers
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Tom didn't call Sally because

a. Tom didn't call Sally because he likes her. He doesn't like her at all. He called her because he needed her help. b. Tim says Jack called Sally because he likes her. That's not true. Jack didn't ...
1 vote
1 answer
119 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
147 views

none has come up with

I want to know the meaning of the bold portion, please. Also the meaning of the "come up with" and what is subject for the bold portion. She has seen six doctors so far but none has come up with ...
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1 answer
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"could have +past participle" and "couldn't have +past participle" meaning in Interrogative sentences

I know that "could have +past participle" and "couldn't have +past participle" have different meanings when we use them in Declarative sentences, but I think when we use them in Interrogative ...
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3 answers
671 views

Are "I owe explanation to no one" and "I don't owe anyone any explanation" the same?

I get confused about using "not/don't" with "no one/anyone/anybody". I want to mean "I don't owe anyone any explanation" in short. Hence I used "I owe explanation to ...
2 votes
2 answers
15k views

“to not do” or “not to do”

Specifically with the following sentence, which is more suitable/correct? You don't count on humans to not do things they're used to doing. You don't count on humans not to do things they're ...
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?
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3 answers
180 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
183 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
220 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

how to use two negative verbs in a sentence

I wanna know how we can use two negative verbs in a sentence. I am not talking about double negative sentences like there is not no money and etc. let me express my mind by examples: I want to ...
1 vote
3 answers
99 views

Is there a difference in meanig between "as someone told you to" and "as someone told you"

a. You didn't come home late last night, as your Dad told you to. b. You didn't come home late last night, as your Dad told you. Do these mean: Your Dad told you to come home late last ...
1 vote
2 answers
59 views

One negation used in one sentence with conjunction or two different clauses

I have a question with respect to English interpretation based on strict grammar rules not on context. How would you interpret the following sentence: [The contract would not cancel and survive]? ...
1 vote
1 answer
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"be not a someone" vs. "Be no someone"? [duplicate]

Tell me please if there is any difference between the following sentences. He is not a doctor to give health advice. He is no doctor to give health advice
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2 answers
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"No" verses "not a" [duplicate]

From Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary. No I didn't read your e-mail. I'm no snoop. Can I say: No I didn't read your e-mail. I'm not a snoop. If I can, what's the differences between them?...
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

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?
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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 ...
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",...
0 votes
3 answers
198 views

Question tags negative or positive

How can we ask a question tag for the following questions? Negative or positive? The boys problems are physical not mental,...? They were warned not to climb the mountain in such bad weather, ......
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1 answer
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can "not" substitute a negative independent clause

If I said, "I will dance in the production (pause and sigh) not because my mom wants me to..." is "not" negating "because my mom wants me to" or is it serving as a ...
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,...
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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 (...
0 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
-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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

think I can do anything

a. I don't think I can do anything you want. Can't this sentence mean two things? a1. I think I can't do anything you want. a2. I don't think I can't do just anything you want. b. You're mistaken ...

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