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Questions tagged [negation]

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

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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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71 votes
7 answers
20k views

Meaning of "respecting" in "no law respecting an establishment of religion"

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably ...
dbwlsld's user avatar
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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
44 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why did he reject my thank you?

I know "No, thank you" means rejection. Me: Hey, Bob. You want some drink? Bob: No, thank you. But I was involved with this kind of conversation Me: Thanks, Mr Jordan for teaching me. Mr....
Realdeo's user avatar
  • 543
35 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I negate or confirm a question tersely using negation?

From a logical point of view, the answer no negates the negation, and yes confirms it. But how would a native speaker react when s/he asked "Don't you love me any more?" and answered yes or ...
Cjxcz Odjcayrwl's user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
2k views

dogs, not cats -> why 'not'?

When I want to clarify something and I say for example "Dogs, not cats.", I automatically want to write/say 'not' even though 'cats' is a noun, and for nouns one uses 'no'. But I'm quite sure this isn'...
Dex's user avatar
  • 417
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
25 votes
8 answers
11k views

Should I say: She is 'no' student or She is 'not' a student?

I'm always confused with that issue. Should I say She is no student or She is not a student Or are both of them equal? If they are, what is the difference between them?
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
24 votes
7 answers
22k views

"Do never..." vs. "Do not ever..."

I am just arguing with my friend if the phrase "do never something" is totally wrong compared to the phrase "do not ever something". And is "never" a contraction of "not ever"? Is it okay using "Do" ...
Awan's user avatar
  • 349
19 votes
7 answers
348k views

Difference between "won't" and "will not"

What's the differences between won't and will not? Do they have the exact same meaning in all contexts? If not, I would really appreciate some examples.
Clarity94's user avatar
  • 525
19 votes
4 answers
13k views

Triple negation: What does "This ain't no place for no hero" mean?

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 ...
Borgtex's user avatar
  • 293
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
16 votes
4 answers
4k views

What does "I never stopped to think of it" mean?

I saw what I thought was a double negative in this sentence from Norwegian Wood I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression. The double negative in this sentence ...
HFX's user avatar
  • 299
15 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why is there no article after "no" in "I have no car"

Examples. "I have no car", "I have no TV". BUT "I have not a car" There was a thread on it, but the answers were pretty superficial to say the least and only based on someone's opinion. I read a ...
Leroy's user avatar
  • 402
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
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
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
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of "less than delighted"?

This study evaluated the efficacy of a novel group intervention intended to increase the SWB of early adolescents who are less than delighted with their lives. Is it a typo in the text putting than ...
Mehdi Haghgoo's user avatar
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
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
12 votes
2 answers
336 views

What's with "star as interesting" and "unstar as interesting"?

These are normal common messages most of us who've chatted in SE chat interfaces have seen. I find the way the negation prefix un- "acts" intriguing. Why would I star and unstar a chat message as ...
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 7,351
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
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
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can we negate 'heaven forbid' in a conditional sentence like this: "If heaven didn't forbid it, I'd sleep with her"?

If heaven didn't forbid it, I'd sleep with her. Based on what I read, heaven forbid is more common. But can you use its negative form?
Henry's user avatar
  • 119
10 votes
5 answers
153k views

Can we use "although" and "but" together i.e. in one sentence?

Is this a correct English sentence? Although, I'm not very clear about the reason, but that's where the problem lies. Can 'although' and 'but' be used together in one sentence?
Zhengquan Bai's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
454 views

Is “stop believing that your current state is anything but temporary” a mistake in meaning here?

Accepting that you are homeless is a pretty hard pill to swallow, said Horvath. Maybe seeing yourself as "not homeless" is a good thing, added Pruss. When you stop believing that your current state is ...
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
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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
  • 7,266
9 votes
11 answers
4k views

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 ...
Monica Vega's user avatar
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 ...
ChadThunder's user avatar
  • 1,044
9 votes
3 answers
6k views

How should I understand this line from Pulp Fiction?

Butch: You okay? Marsellus: Naw man. I'm pretty fuckin' far from okay! This is dialogue from the movie Pulp Fiction. What kind of the word class is "fuckin'" in the sentence: Participium or ...
bart-leby's user avatar
  • 8,683
9 votes
1 answer
757 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
9 votes
1 answer
15k views

What is the difference between "there's no" and "there's not"? When to use "not" and when to use "no"?

As we know, not and no are different words, which is why I don't know if there is a difference between "there's no" and "there's not". This diagram shows that the two forms are used and this makes me ...
Lucian Sava's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the difference between "cannot" and "can not" in these examples?

Can you explain the difference between these two sentences? I cannot go to school. I can not go to school.
golnaz's user avatar
  • 647
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
8 votes
5 answers
7k views

What does “not one of them“ mean?

Does "not one of them" mean “more than one of them” or “none of them”? Example: Not one of them thought it necessary to avoid dogmatic statements about unicorns because he had never seen one of ...
user112563's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
6k views

I can't take you anywhere!

I don't understand this sentence. "You haven't spilled your coffee again! I can't take you anywhere!" I guess that not spilling the coffee is a good thing, but the expression " I can't take you ...
Mohammad Mortada's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

"The irony was lost on no one, least of all"

Kojève first life was transformed abruptly in 1939 when he finished his reading of the Phenomenology and the Germans almost simultaneously invaded Czechoslovakia. The irony was lost on no one, least ...
bart-leby's user avatar
  • 8,683
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Irreproducible, unreproducible, non-reproducible or not reproducible, which one to use?

I was going to add a tag for issues of my GitHub repository, to describe an issue that would not be able to be reproduced. Here are the four versions of this word I can think of: Irreproducible ...
Hao Wu's user avatar
  • 783
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
8 votes
2 answers
18k views

Should I use "not" or "don't"?

Let's not make a big deal out of it. Let's don't make a big deal out of it. You are just trying to make us not practice. You are just trying to make us don't practice. Should I use "not" or "don't"?...
Amish Aa's user avatar
  • 1,363
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
  • 4,468
8 votes
4 answers
14k views

"If not, why?" vs. "If not, why not?"

If Oscar Wilde was right, or partially right, what are the reasons? If not, why not? If Oscar Wilde was right, or partially right, what are the reasons? If not, why? Is "not" needed after &...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Reduced relative clause that has "NOT"

There are many examples that demonstrate how to reduce relative clause, but I can't find any example that reduces relative clause having "NOT" in it, like: I can't find my notebook that ...
lans's user avatar
  • 375
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
  • 193
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
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
  • 7,266
7 votes
4 answers
11k views

Don't let's wait / Let's not wait / Let's don't wait

I was reading a book today and I got confused by the sentence 'Don't let's wait.' Don't let's wait? Is it correct to say this? I have seen sentences like: Let's wait. ... and I found lots of ...
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