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Sorry, if this question is naive.

If someone asks me,

"You didn't go to school today, right?"

If I did not, should I answer, Yes or No?


"You do not like eating fish, do you?"

If I do not like eating fish, should I say Yes or No?

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marked as duplicate by tchrist, RegDwigнt Jan 3 '14 at 13:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Mayhap thou shouldst attempt to recast thy queries in the second person singular, for surely the second person plural hath soundly defeated thee, yea unto uttermost incomprehensibility, here most readily taken as mortal insult to the very tongue thou wouldst so dishonor with thine unlettered scrivenings. – tchrist Jan 3 '14 at 5:20
@tchrist The good thing about English is that there are words for everything, including people like you. – WS2 Jan 3 '14 at 9:49
@tchrist - talk about intimidating someone out of the website! :P – Mohit Jan 3 '14 at 10:43
The question is not naive. – Kris Jan 3 '14 at 11:43
You should not answer either just "yes" or just "no". If you want to be understood, you should answer "no, I didn't" and "no, I don't". – Peter Shor Jan 3 '14 at 13:18
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, I didn't go to school.
Yes, I went to school today.
You are right, I didn't.

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I had the same question before. I would reply no because that how I was taught. I usually say "No, I didn't go to school" and "No, I don't like eating fish." Maybe it's more colloquial. But I don't think it matters much as long as you clarify what you mean.

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"You didn't go to school today, right?"
"No." or "No, I didn't." (No, I didn't go to school today.)

If you are tempted to answer "Yes," to imply "Yes, you're right," (that I didn't go to school today), you might want to read a good explanation by JanusBahsJacquet in his comment below. In my opinion, it is better, and less confusing, to answer the above question by saying "No, I didn't," instead of just a "No".

"You do not like eating fish, do you?"
"No." or "No, I don't." (No, I do not like eating fish.)

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The first answer is not correct. If you did not go to school, the normal answer would be, “No”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 3 '14 at 9:39
@JanusBahsJacquet Does this mean that the answer "Yes, you're right," is wrong? (If it's so, I will delete this answer.) – Damkerng T. Jan 3 '14 at 9:52
“Yes, you’re right, I didn’t go to school today” as a full statement is not exactly wrong, just quite uncommon. It’s the kind of answer your uncle would give (perhaps not with school in particular, but structurally), thinking that he’s being very clever and funny. If you just answer yes on its own, though, the implication is, “Yes, I did go to school”. Yes and no answers in English do not imply whether or not you agree with the asker’s question, but whether or not you did the action being asked about. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 3 '14 at 9:56
@JanusBahsJacquet I see. Thank you very much. – Damkerng T. Jan 3 '14 at 9:57

It sounds somewhat formal, but it is clearest to say "correct" or "that's right" if the assumption in the question is correct. If the assumption is incorrect, then make that clear by saying a whole sentence: "I went to school" and "I like fish."

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Yes and no. It is hard to avoid ambiguity in human language.

After reading A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, it will be impossible to look at the newspaper in the same way.

-Philadelphia Inquirer

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Technically, "yes" is the correct answer, but it is definitely confusing because it is a positive answer to a negative.

I would suggest "That's right, I didn't" and "That's right, I don't" as the most clear correct answers.

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-1 "That's right, I didn't" and "That's right, I don't" are not the options in the Q. Rephrasing can circumvent the right answer anytime. Even "Yes." is not the 'technically correct' answer. – Kris Jan 3 '14 at 7:16

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