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Are double negatives ever appropriate in English?

"You don't get no coffee"

I feel like the above sentence is a bit confusing to understand. What's the exact meaning of it? Should we say we can get coffee, or we simply can't?

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marked as duplicate by Robusto, KitFox, Rhodri, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, The Raven Jun 30 '11 at 15:21

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@Kit thanks so much for the link. Really a good one :) –  woodykiddy Jun 30 '11 at 14:52
    
Well, it was @Robusto, but I'm sure he says "You're welcome." –  KitFox Jun 30 '11 at 14:53
    
@Kit: For the record, I usually say "no problem." –  Robusto Jun 30 '11 at 15:03

1 Answer 1

It means "You don't get any coffee." Whoever has the coffee isn't going to give you any. You can't have any.

Although not accepted as grammatically correct, "no" instead of "any" is often said, especially in the southern United States. Still, a worldwide famous example in pop culture is from a UK band, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones. To further illustrate its common usage, simply typing "don't get no" into Google has yielded 47,800,000 results.

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I guess a little bit of body language could have helped understand it a lot :) –  woodykiddy Jun 30 '11 at 15:10

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