Questions tagged [polarity-items]

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6 votes
1 answer

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
  • 415
1 vote
2 answers

Would dream of ( in a positive clause)

But you are very welcome for my having given you my time, not that you would ever dream of taking the trouble to say "thank you" after I have gone the trouble of helping you and correcting ...
ForOU's user avatar
  • 1,497
0 votes
1 answer

Using at all in a positive sentence that is not a conditional

I've done a quick-search regarding this problem and found this interesting discussion. The sentence is: This dangerous message has two parts. The first is that ‘learning’ can be ‘delivered’ at all – ...
user516076's user avatar
  • 4,980
0 votes
1 answer

(very) few and negative polarity items

The negative polarity item ever normally occurs with interrogative or negative sentences: a. *John has ever been to Japan. (unacceptable) b. Has John ever been to Japan? (acceptable) Now consider ...
Apollyon's user avatar
  • 5,894
0 votes
1 answer

Negative polarity item 'any' & Positive polarity item 'some'

In the book that I'm now reading, it says that the sentence (1) "Only two of us had some experience in sailing" is ungrammatical, because 'only' has negative meaning, so the positive ...
gourmet's user avatar
  • 71
2 votes
1 answer

Which is grammatically correct in English? Don't forget to write one, too. or Don't forget to write one, either?

A. Let's make a birthday cake for her. B. Good idea. I'll write her a card. Don't forget to write one, too/either. A. I won't.
Suwon Kim's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers

What's wrong with this sentence, and how can I write it correctly?

I need to identify the mistake in the following sentence: I don't like football and so does Michael. What's wrong with this sentence. And why?
Mohamed Magdy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

What would be the connotative meaning of "deeply grounded in tradition"?

What would be the connotative meaning of "deeply grounded in tradition”? I have looked on various searches and sites and haven't been able to find anything. I have to find an example of denotative ...
user69458's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Why is it that 'too' cannot be used in agreement to negative sentences?

I think the reason for it should be from the scope of negation. Let's read this conversation: A: I don't want to eat the pizza. B: Me too. To me, it does not make sense, because without a comma ...
GKK's user avatar
  • 2,526
1 vote
0 answers

Usage of 'any' before more and comparative degrees

Could anyone please tell me what is the role of any in this sentence and can I leave out any in the sentence? I love to read books. I have books of many writers. I have a book named 'Gitanjali' ...
user250189's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

Do you say 'Tokyo has much rain'?

It rains a lot in Tokyo. We/They have much rain in Tokyo. There is much rain in Tokyo. Tokyo has much rain. I don't think 4 is correct or at least I've never heard it. However, some teacher ...
Akira's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote
1 answer

"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, ...
Satya's user avatar
  • 790
3 votes
1 answer

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

What kind of impact the word 'yet' has on the sentence?

What kind of impact the word 'yet' has on the sentence or is there no impact at all and can we even omit 'yet' without losing the meaning (context) of the sentence? Current version includes a range ...
Max's user avatar
  • 1,626
-1 votes
1 answer

"He gets away with anything."

Can someone tell me why "anything" is used in sentences like this He gets away with anything. I thought it had to be "everything" meaning the person can do whatever they want without worrying ...
ChadThunder's user avatar
  • 1,034
3 votes
2 answers

What about the usage of "any" and "no"?

I taught my students that they can use any in questions with abstract countable nouns. Was I right? For example: Do you have any idea? (idea = abstract but countable) Do you have any reason to do ...
Chery's user avatar
  • 81
3 votes
4 answers

The usage of "ever"

I'm not actually a language learner myself, I'm actually an English language teacher, but I want to put together some information for my students regarding some of the difficulties they often face. I'...
user42634's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers

"Neither Mary nor John eat (eats?) beef" - singular or plural after 'neither .. nor'? [duplicate]

Neither Mary nor John eat beef. Neither Mary nor John eats beef. Which is grammatically correct?
thein lwin's user avatar
  • 1,805
2 votes
1 answer

He has been working on the problem for a long time but is still/yet not able to solve it

Sentence improvement: He has been working on the problem for a long time but is still not able to solve it. I believe this sentence is correct. But the answer to of this question is to place yet ...
Seema Bhukar's user avatar
  • 1,555
3 votes
2 answers

May I use 'both' with a negative --"Both didn't go"?

Both didn't go. Is it a correct sentence? Actually, I have read that both is not usually used in a negative clause. Use a clause with neither instead.
I don't know who I am.'s user avatar
3 votes
3 answers

Anymore in Affirmative Sentences

Do you use anymore in the meaning of "no longer" only in negative or interrogative sentences? Will it be grammatical, if I use that adverb in the affirmative sentence? I see no possibility of ...
user avatar
9 votes
3 answers

Is the sentence "Paul drinks much milk" grammatically correct or not?

I'm doing my homework. The question is Is this sentence ‘Paul drinks much milk.’ grammatically correct? For me the answer is yes, because the quantifier "much" is used before non-count ...
juaninf's user avatar
  • 341
10 votes
3 answers

Using 'anyone' in affirmative contexts - Is "he just wanted to kill anyone" grammatical?

I've just stumbled across this article in the Japan Times: SAITAMA – Police, who are interrogating a 20-year-old college student from Saitama Prefecture on suspicion of stabbing to death a 21-year-...
lucysan's user avatar
  • 101