70 votes
Accepted

Is "I do not want you to go nowhere" a case of "DOUBLE-NEGATIVES" as claimed by Grammarly?

This answer is long because it can be very difficult for learners to distinguish a) Correct double negative in Standard English, b) Double negative error in Standard English, and c) Correct negative ...
jonathanjo's user avatar
  • 7,543
53 votes
Accepted

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

Most of the time, especially in "vernacular" speech, multiple negations are not intended to be interpreted sequentially, but rather as an intensified single negative. The phrase "This ain't no place ...
Hellion's user avatar
  • 18.7k
36 votes

Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

In most forms of standard English, negatives don't agree with each other, each negative negates something separately. So: "If I use the microphone, somebody will hear me" can mean that ...
Dan Getz's user avatar
  • 4,442
31 votes

Which of no, none, any, some would fit in "few of the students knew ___ of the answers"?

I agree that any is the best option here. (You should always remember when taking a multiple-choice test that there may be more than one valid answer, or even no really good answer; you should choose ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 21.1k
25 votes
Accepted

Is "Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse" grammatical?

In this case your seeming "double negation" is actually required for the meaning you wish. Let's look at the sentence in a more standard format. They could not catch the mouse because they are not ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 25.4k
22 votes
Accepted

To use "don't" and "no" in one sentence to make it negative

It's an example of a double negative, used in some dialects/regional varieties of English. It's non-standard. It basically means the same as "don't cut him any slack". Songs often use ...
Billy Kerr's user avatar
  • 3,726
21 votes

"I am not hungry no more."

Grammatically speaking, in standard/formal English a negative negates something. Two negatives together form something called a double negative, where the second negative reverses the first one. This ...
SteveES's user avatar
  • 4,659
18 votes

Why is, "If I don't use the microphone, nobody will hear me," not considered a double negative

The statement that one should not use a double negative is a caution against a particular dialect form well-known to native English speakers. It is something primary school teachers say to native ...
David42's user avatar
  • 2,850
13 votes

Is "Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse" grammatical?

It is grammatically well formed, but could be better punctuated, and the slight stress between the singular in the first phrase and the plural in the main clause can be eliminated: Not being cats, ...
James K's user avatar
  • 213k
12 votes

Are double negatives like 'he's never not been in the family' grammatically correct?

In English (formal English anyway), double negatives have the same effect as they do in math: two negatives make a positive (i.e. -1 x -1 = 1). So saying "he's never not been in the family" means "...
Gabriel Luci's user avatar
  • 2,147
11 votes
Accepted

Double negative

"You should not sign the contract on NO account" would be an incorrect use of the expression, and as you say, a double negative. It should be: You should not sign the contract on any ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 98.2k
9 votes

Is "Not being a cat none of them could catch the mouse" grammatical?

This sentence is much more readable with the addition of a single comma: Not being a cat, none of them could catch the mouse. The clause "Not being a cat" applies to the subject of the sentence, ...
Kevin K.'s user avatar
9 votes

Are double negatives like 'he's never not been in the family' grammatically correct?

As in many languages, negative sentences in English select certain words (called "negative polarity items") and disallow others. A particular set of negative polarity terms is the "any" series: in ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 74.8k
9 votes

"Had not seen anyone" or "had not seen nobody"?

From your mistyping an "r" as a "к", I am guessing you're Russian. That, in turn, suggests to me that the people criticizing your work are likely to be Russians as well. Russian uses double negation. ...
ЯegDwight's user avatar
  • 5,386
9 votes
Accepted

Can "nor" follow a positive phrase?

I would consider the grammar of that sentence to be simply wrong and bad. You have accurately identified the error. It probably arose during editing. The sentence could either say Alas, we have ...
Zanna's user avatar
  • 473
8 votes
Accepted

"ain't … nobody" or "ain't … anybody"?

Informal English sometimes uses what's called a "double negative" for emphasis, putting words like "ain't" and "nobody" together to reinforce how strong the negative is. ("Negative concord" is a more ...
Nathan Tuggy's user avatar
  • 9,513
8 votes

"I am not hungry no more."

It seems you've observed two phenomena related to negation which look similar but do not have the same meaning: Negative concord This is a completely normal way of negating sentences in some English ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
7 votes

Is "I do not want you to go nowhere" a case of "DOUBLE-NEGATIVES" as claimed by Grammarly?

I think everyone is missing the asker’s point and instead jumping on an opportunity to recite accepted grammar rules. I do not believe this is helpful in this instance. The basic rules and reasons to ...
Nick Steele's user avatar
7 votes

Which of no, none, any, some would fit in "few of the students knew ___ of the answers"?

The word "few" is weird. The phrase "a few" means there definitely were some, but "few" by itself implicitly means "Not more than a few". In some cases, putting ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
6 votes

Is "I do not want you to go nowhere" a case of "DOUBLE-NEGATIVES" as claimed by Grammarly?

A true "double negative" is usually also a mistake and reverses the meaning of what the speaker really intended to say, for example: I didn't see nobody. This may be said by somebody to mean they ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 98.2k
5 votes

usage of a dash

Yes, you can use a dash with negative sentences or the word "no". In fact, I think #1, with "no", reads better than #2. Did you see something that suggested that you couldn't use a dash? I'm ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.8k
5 votes
Accepted

What does "there ain't no one for to give you no pain" mean?

"There ain't no one" means "There is no one." The double negative is colloquial and is used incorrectly. As in "I ain't got no money" which means "I have no money" instead of the logical "I don't have ...
sammy gerbil's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Ain't usage with no

In (very) informal English, it is a valid sentence to my mind at least. However, to me it does not mean what you intend it to. To say that you "ain't no match" for someone makes it sound as though ...
D. Nelson's user avatar
  • 1,588
5 votes

What does "We don't need no education" mean?

You are right that it is not gramatically correct, but certainly in British English it is quite commonly used. It is a double negative, which if we would take literally would mean a positive. But in ...
Tom B's user avatar
  • 913
5 votes

I didn't do nothing or anything

This is called negative concord or multiple negation and it is used in African-American and Southern American English. This construction is used widely enough that most people will understand you if ...
Hoa Long Tam's user avatar
5 votes

Two questions about double negation expressions

Double negation implies neutrality: I don’t dislike the police, [but I don’t like them either]. It’s not uncommon, [but it’s not common either]. Nobody who doesn’t rise early, [but not everybody who ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 8,109
4 votes

Help parse double negative: "I doubt X would hardly ever Y"

The default reading is that the speaker does not believe, or at least finds it very unlikely that "civilians hardly ever die from gunshots". However, the presence of the "implied double negative" (...
Hellion's user avatar
  • 18.7k
4 votes
Accepted

Unlike vs Not unlike

Not unlike is correct. It means "like" or "somewhat like". It does not mean the same thing as "unlike". Sometimes we say "not dissimilar to" as well. Whether it is a double negative depends how ...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23k

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