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Questions tagged [negation]

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

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32 votes
7 answers
4k views

How is double negation interpreted in English?

In my native language, double negations "cancel out". I have been trying to learn English using movies and such things, but double negation confuses me. I see instances when double negation cancels ...
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7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Question sentences involving negation

(1) Does he not know? (2) Doesn't he know? I don't usually see and hear questions formed in the first style. I was even surprised to know that it is grammatically correct. And actually it is the most ...
mosceo's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
32k 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 ...
sarvesh kumar's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

"to not" vs "not to"

Which is more appropriate in the following sentence? "I asked him to not judge her according to (or: based on) her beauty" vs "I asked him not to judge her according to (or:based on) her beauty"...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
46 votes
10 answers
863k views

What is the difference between "me neither" and "me either"?

I want to know the difference between "me neither" and "me either", are both correct?
anderson seibert's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
236 views

How to overcome sequences of negative words which still cripple my comprehension?

Despite my attempts and *surplus of questions (since joining ELL), sequences of negative words still annihilate, lame, squash my reading comprehension. So how can I decisively vanquish this paralysis/...
user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
14k views

"No, I didn't see him" vs "Yes, I didn't see him"

Bob didn't come to office today. I was asked "Didn't you see Bob today?" Should I say "Yes, I didn't see him today" or "No, I didn't see him today"?
jorel's user avatar
  • 213
10 votes
3 answers
12k views

"I had not noticed." but "I did not know."

Did you hear that the engine produced some sounds? No, I had not noticed. And also other verbs: I did not know. I did not see. I had not heard. With some verbs it is common to use the perfect ...
mosceo's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
6k views

Difference between "not a", "no" and "not any"

I wonder what differences a native speaker could point out between these three sentences. 1) There is not an apple on the table. 2) There is no apple on the table. 3) There is not any apple on ...
user1425's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
549 views

How to parse 3 successive negations: '... does not ... without ... unless ... ' ?

I apologise for this long quote's intricacy, but I simply wish to practice parsing long sentences replete with negations. Below, the bolded 3 negatives (because unless is a negative conditional), ...
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3 votes
1 answer
180 views

When do multiple negatives cancel and when do they not?

Which of the following is not stated in the passage? (a) Money will not be a factor in making the decision Here, not only is there a negative in the question, but there is also one in answer (a)...
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97 votes
11 answers
356k views

What is the difference between “nope” and “no”?

What is the difference caused by using “nope” instead of ”no”? Is it used because “nope” sounds better and not straight like “no”? In some situations, it feels like nope is better to use than no even ...
Zterio's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

agreement with so and neither

We agree with positive statements using so-too: I have a red car. (Sara) So does Sara But with the negative statements we use neither-either: I don't have a brother. (Jhon) Neither does ...
kathrine's user avatar
  • 157
5 votes
3 answers
6k views

Tag question of negative form

Positive statements that contain adverbs never, rarely, hardly are treated as negative statements She can rarely come this week, can she? He never visits you again, does he? How about this ...
Student's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Position of 'not' in a negative interrogative?

Source: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1892], judgement of Lindley LJ But there is another view. Does not the person who acts upon this advertisement and accepts the offer ♦ put himself to ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
4k views

Ain't and negatives

I am puzzled with the use of ain't. I know its meaning, and also know it is pretty informal. But I see it used in several ways, some I think of as conflicting. See the following examples I ain't ...
RMalke's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
21k views

"Not to" or "to not" [duplicate]

What is the difference between: "I promise not to misbehave." "I promise to not misbehave." as in something a kid would say to convince its parents that it will behave well?
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2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is the phrase "to not" correct in English?

There is something that I often I meet in English. It is the use of "to not", and I'm not sure about its correctness since I'm not a native English speaker. For example: I brought it to you in ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to choose a proper contraction "it's not" versus "it isn't"?

I'm aware that both it's not and it isn't are contractions of the same phrase, it is not. Till today, I was convinced that choosing them depends on desired emphasis. This way, choosing it's not ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
151k views

Which term is correct? "I have no" or "I don't have any"

Would you please tell me which of the following terms is correct? If both are correct, are they equal? I have no [...] I don't have any [...]
Mohsen Kamrani's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

"He needn't say" / "He doesn't need to say"

When I studied English at school (in Italy, more than 35 years ago), we were taught a rule according to which one should say, e. g., "He needn't (need not) say", but NOT "He doesn't need to say". If ...
Tommaso Borri's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

The use of 'no good' and 'not good' in this context

This radio is no good. It does not work properly. This radio is not good. It does not work properly. Which sentence is proper? Can anyone give other such instances?
Maulik V's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
3k views

negation of "must"

You mustn’t eat it all. [i] You needn’t eat it all. [ii] CGEL says “In [i] the negative applies to the eating, not the modal obligation: “It is necessary that you not eat it all”; it is thus ...
Listenever's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
85 views

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 ...
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6 votes
4 answers
27k views

What's the difference between "either" and "neither"? [closed]

What's the difference between either and neither? Can you provide me some examples?
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
694 views

Does placement of "not" have significance? Not to be verb, To not be verb, To be not verb

Question #1: What is the difference in meaning between "[to be] not invited" and similar negated forms? Is "to be not invited" an idiomatic form that has a meaning distinct from other ways of ...
CoolHandLouis's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
14k views

"do you not" vs "do not you"

Which one of those two sentences is correct? Do you not think it has made our lives better ? OR Do not you think it has made our lives better ? I want to know if the technology has made our ...
Mo Haidar's user avatar
  • 637
3 votes
1 answer
7k views

"Why is it not red?" or "Why isn't it red?"

If I want to ask the reason why something is not red, which sentence is the correct one? "Why is it not red?" or "Why isn't it red?" Thank you!
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
41k views

Will you not, or Will not (won't) you?

When asking someone questions about the future, would you ask Will you not? or Will not (won't) you? For example, of    1. Will you not go to school today?    2. Will ...
Kim's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is the difference between “yep” and “yeah”?

What is the difference caused by using “yep” instead of ”yeah”? Is it used because “yep” sounds better and not straight like “yeah”? In some situations, it feels like "yes" is better to use than no ...
Pluviophile's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
26k views

Is "I have no much time." correct?

I know "I have no time." is correct. I have no much time. But as to "I have no much time." to mean "not enough time", the sentence seems to have self-contradiction in a sense. Is the sentence ...
Smart Humanism's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
618 views

Conjunctions in negation: "no/neither" and "and/or/nor"

When I have these facts, French coins were not found in the ruin. German coins were not found in the ruin. which of these sentences are grammatically correct? 1. No French and German coins were ...
nodakai's user avatar
  • 658
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Aren’t I? vs. Am I not?

I am a good man, aren’t I? I am a good man, am I not? The first sentence is often used. According to grammar books, the second sentence is also correct, but it is rarely used. Can native speakers ...
Delfino's user avatar
  • 535
2 votes
1 answer
44 views

Adverb attachment order

Why does I worked hardly. sound so wrong and I hardly worked. is the only correct (or at least idiomatic) expression. Yet I worked quickly. is correct this time and I quickly worked. sounds ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 2,088
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

"All of these things are not beneficial and (they) do not help her"

Should I mention the pronoun again in this case? "All of these things are not beneficial and (they?) do not help her" I know that there is already answer about the question "if it's needed to ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
850 views

Question about use of me too and me either [closed]

What is the difference: -I want to drink something. -Me too. And -I want to drink something. -Me either.
user5036's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
305 views

"Ain't no ",Is this not a double negation [duplicate]

I have heard this song ,"Ain't no party like a chipmunk party" ,there is a negation in the word Ain't itself, why we need to use no after that .Aren't those two negations cancelling out ?
Vamsi Pavan Mahesh's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Any difference btw 'Aren't/Don't they/we/you ...' and 'Are/Do they/we/you not ...'

As in title, Don't they know it? Do they not know it? Are these sentence the same? or the second sentence is plain wrong? Is there any case where they are different?
dan's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
238 views

"Bread, rice and porridge - I don't like them." how to say?

"Bread, rice and porridge - I don't like them." One way to express this meaning is I (don't) like neither bread nor rice nor porridge. But this way is a little emphatic. Are there another ways ...
Min-Soo Pipefeet's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

Formulating a negatively-expressed question

I'm a non-native speaker completely stuck trying to formulate a negative question. Full disclosure: I'd like to use it as a title for a university paper and I could not find any help around. This is ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
8k views

My final question about until / by

I think in the sentences below, “by” doesn't work and the only proper preposition is “until”, because all of these sentences are negative where “by” doesn't make any sense at all. -A- She won’t be ...
A-friend's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
6k views

Agreeing with negative sentences - "Me neither" or "Me too"?

How do we agree with a negative sentence? What is the choice? 'me neither' or 'me too'? Say, Andy: I don't like my teacher. Bob: Me, neither. OR Andy: I don't like my teacher. Bob: ...
Maulik V's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
107 views

She hoped to have done

I saw a sentence She hoped to have done Or a sentence, created with the same structure. I don'tunderstand how it works. Then I saw a full version of it: She hoped that she had done So, it's like a ...
Michael Azarenko's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
6k views

Is the sentence 'Tom said he hadn't got any money' reported speech from 'Tom said, "I haven't got any money"'?

I came across this pair of sentences in 'Cambridge English Preliminary for Schools Trainer' by Sue Elliott and Liz Gallivan CUP 2012: Tom said he hadn't got any money. Tom said, 'I haven't got any ...
Yukatan's user avatar
  • 1,276
27 votes
9 answers
5k views

"No more Hiroshima" or "No more Hiroshimas"

"No more Hiroshima" or "No more Hiroshimas". Some say the former and some say the latter. I'm wondering which is grammatically correct.
Makoto Kato's user avatar
  • 2,006
18 votes
5 answers
30k views

"I'm not afraid" vs "I don't afraid"

Sometimes I hear people say 'I don't afraid...' For example: 'I don't afraid to be alone' Or 'I don't afraid of the darkness'. But is it right? I've always thought that we can only say: 'I'm not ...
Tatiana's user avatar
  • 523
14 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can I safely use "not" instead of words with negative prefixes?

Sometimes it's difficult for me as a learner to remember the negative word as a new word with prefix. For example, the negative of pleasant is unpleasant. Can I safely use not instead? I'm not ...
user516076's user avatar
  • 5,022
13 votes
2 answers
20k views

Conditional: "are not" vs. "don't be"

Consider the following phrases (someone is talking with a friend who is challenging some mobsters): If you are not careful, they will catch you. or If you don't be careful, they will ...
Apprentice's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What does the phrase '2000-never' mean?

I came across this phrase today in a rather humorous column: The last time I did [something] ... was 2000-never. I've never seen this construct before. My guess is, that this means, the author did ...
Michael Härtl's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
52k views

"Not I" or "Not me"?

After asking about “me” for answering a question. at Answering a question with "Me" instead of "I" + <auxiliary verb>, I think I understand how to use “me” for answering a ...
nkm's user avatar
  • 2,503