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2
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2answers
90 views

A sentence with double negative

I came across the following sentence in Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse Five. “Trout would have gone upstairs if Billy hadn't asked him not to.” If this sentence is considered independently, ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Is this a double negative sentence?

Many in the government disagree with a plan to debunk the low budget grassroots effort to expose the frivolity of Project X; the government employee’s union, with a newly elected leadership that ...
3
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1answer
46 views

Possible double negative sentence explanation

At nearly 450 pages, the novel is prolix : the author does not often resist the temptation to finish off a chapter, section, or even paragraph with some unnecessary flourish. Is the second ...
0
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1answer
31 views

“will not long go unsold to” meaning?

What does "will not go unsold to" mean in the following sentence? The King of Portugal, Lord of Spices, has set... prices just as he pleases, for pepper, which, at any cost, no matter how dear, ...
0
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4answers
78 views

Alternative for “couldn't not help”?

Given a sentence like: I couldn’t not help him right? I was wondering if that sentence was grammatically correct, and even if it is, what better way is there to rephrase it? Because as it ...
1
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2answers
88 views

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative?

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative? No, failing at something doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. What are some other cases where double negatives may work or where they may not actually ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Is “prohibit” a negative word?

I encountered the word prohibited in some software documentation and am curious if this is an example of a double negative: Prohibit requests for PROHIBITED parts (This is an option in a piece of ...
3
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2answers
99 views

Is this a 'justified' double negative? The answer may require some Old English knowledge.

The following is is my translation of a sentence from Bede's Account of the Conversion of King Edwin. Old English tolerated the double negative, and I am trying to translate the text in such a way ...
1
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2answers
121 views

Using “I don't think” to express an opinion

This morning, I used the phrase "I didn't sleep very well, I don't think" when speaking to my Colombian friend and he asked me what on earth I was talking about. I thought about it and realised that ...
2
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1answer
344 views

In the rap Baby Got Back, does Sir Mix-a-Lot's anaconda want buns or not? [duplicate]

In the rap Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-a-Lot claims: My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns, hun. Which at first glance would appear that his pet snake doesn't want any (food, presumably) ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Are these double negatives? “No it is not. No I don't think so.”

Double Negative is generally defined as two negative words in the same CLAUSE. In these examples, "No it is not."and "No I don't think so.", is "No" considered a clause unto itself? ...or is it in the ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Is it “shouldn't we?” “No, we should not” or “Yes, we should not”. And why? [duplicate]

As the title says: Someone wants something done: "Shouldn't we go to the park?" Someone else answers, saying that we should not go to the park. Would the answering person say Yes, we should not! ...
2
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2answers
104 views

''don't/can't [verb] no…'' [duplicate]

I have seen the following sentence: I can't get no satisfaction. Can we say ''don't/can't [verb] no...''? I would like an explanation about this expression.
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Emphasis of this double negative? [closed]

Without which, we would be able to act at all. I’m hearing this in my own head as, “Without which, we would not be able to act at all.” So I'm wondering, is the former just a cleaner and less ...
4
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4answers
214 views

I can't not be pregnant

This is a quote from a Gwyneth Paltrow interview where she talks about her miscarriage: "It was awful," she told the Daily Mail's You magazine. "It happened really late, and I wasn't expecting it ...
1
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2answers
306 views

Idiom for “nothing bad will happen” or“ nothing bad will not happen”?

I just was talking with my Enlish friend and I wanted to use a construction: If yes - ok, if not - nothing bad will happen, right? I am Russian and I am unsure if there is such idiom in English. ...
1
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1answer
195 views

When to use double negatives in written English?

I have always been a little confused as to when to use double negatives when writing (I am unsure if this is what they are termed in English, it is the term used in Mathematics). E.g. when to use: ...
1
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2answers
498 views

Question tags: “Hardly seems… Doesn't it?” vs “hardly seems…does it?”

Is it correct to use a negative question tag in this sentence: "It hardly seems fair, doesn't it?" Bit confusing, because if I wrote "it doesn't seem fair, ..." The correct tag would be a positive ...
1
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3answers
136 views

How prevalent is this reversal of “yes” and “no”? [duplicate]

Example: Aren't you going to the store? Where I am from, the correct answer indicating I am going to the store is yes. The contraction "not" is ignored. Is this sort of confusion prevalent ...
1
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3answers
342 views

Is this sentence a valid example of a double negative

Me and my friend were talking about grades and I said Grades don't mean shit. and we had some more debate and now we are arguing whether that sentence is a example of a sentence with double ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Jane Austen use of triple negative in Pride & Prejudice (Chapter 28)

Jane Austen once said: When Mr. Collins said any thing of which his wife might reasonably be ashamed, which certainly was not unseldom, she involuntarily turned her eye on Charlotte. Now ...
18
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8answers
5k views

What does 'infinitesimally small' mean?

If infinite is the opposite of infinitesimal, and small is the opposite of large, then: infinitely large ---------- Means "very large" infinitely small --------- Means "very small" infinitesimally ...
0
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1answer
359 views

Double negative: “Didn't I say that I didn't want any trouble?”

Does the above sentence make sense? It's meant to be rhetorical.
2
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2answers
512 views

double negation: unless followed by a negative verb form

"We will not cancel the game if the weather gets better." Replacing "if" with "unless", you end up with either: "We will cancel the game unless the weather gets better." or "We will not cancel the ...
0
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2answers
283 views

Negating ‘to’-infinitive in negative clause

The sentence: There aren't any reasons to do it. I'd like to say other form of this phrase with opposite meaning. Something like this: There aren't any reasons to don't do it. How to say this form ...
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2answers
1k views

Is “cannot not say” standard English?

Is "cannot not say" standard English? In context, I would like to know whether "I cannot not say precisely what attracted them to the part of Giuliette" is grammatical. Also, does the phrase "cannot ...
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1answer
125 views

Is this sentence an example of double negative? [closed]

and no woman will not come within 1 mile of you The other person wanted to say - no woman will come within a mile around you.
0
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4answers
359 views

Why do people say “Why don’t you not?”

Why do people say “Why don’t you not?” — what is meant by that? It seems especially to be a Dublin thing.
0
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1answer
3k views

Is “Don't Nobody/Anybody/Anyone + verb” a double negative?

I was reading a passage in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and a character, a migrant farmer, says of another character's fighting ability: "Nobody don't know what Slim can do". And then a little ...
0
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4answers
4k views

Origin and correctness of “ain’t no”?

In contemporary American English usage, I come across sentences like: I ain’t got no money. Ain’t no man like him. Saying ain’t no sounds incorrect to me because it is a double ...
1
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1answer
153 views

“Why not” and double negatives

This popped up during a conversation. My friend said (roughly): Some vegetarians don't eat meat. Why not fish? To me, this felt somewhat weird. Her intent was to ask, if some vegetarians refuse ...
2
votes
3answers
275 views

Can a double negative be used to express caution or uncertainty?

In the following statement, what is the effect of the double negative? Is it necessarily emphasis? Or could it be a kind of cautious statement implying a degree of uncertainty? If a double negative ...
1
vote
3answers
636 views

Is it gramatically a good start to say “It is definitely not unheard that people say”?

I was reading an answer to a question in this site which started with this phrase: It is definitely not unheard that people say ... I feel it is incorrect or at least not a very nice phrase. ...
0
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1answer
6k views

Why does “I ain't doing nothing” translate to “I am doing nothing”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I ain’t got no money” Why does the phrase "I ain't doing nothing" mean "I am doing nothing"? According to me, "I ain't doing nothing" should translate to "I am not ...
5
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1answer
619 views

Double negation “does not any”

I understand that any has negative connotations, as can be seen in the above link, but I need to say that there are no pages in a book. I've come up with the following sentence: That book does not ...
2
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2answers
790 views

Does double negation turn “neither” into “either”?

Peter Guess posted tongue twister with a construct where something occurs that creates what looks like a paradox to me. neither either...or...or nor neither...nor...nor are either particularly ...
7
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3answers
707 views

“John Doe is an uninteresting name. Usain Bolt [is]/[isn't]”

Given the two separate facts: John Doe is an uninteresting name. Usain Bolt is an interesting name. which of the following statements is correct: A - "John Doe is an uninteresting name. Usain ...
3
votes
2answers
18k views

Should we use “not to” or “to not”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive It's OK to make mistakes; it's not OK not to learn from them. What kind of grammar structure is this? Could I use "to ...
0
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2answers
547 views

Double negations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a rule about double negations that aren't meant as double negations (e.g. “We don't need no education”)? Meaning of “you don't need no memory” and ...
6
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4answers
6k views

“I ain't got no money”

I know the ultimate meaning of this is "I have no money." But why? If ain't means have not, then isn't it true that "I ain't got no money" would be read as "I have not got no money"? Can I have not ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Is there any difference if Peeves said “Not doing anything” instead of “Not doing nothing?

Peeves the Poltergeist is a practical joker in Harry Potter books. Why is he saying ‘nothing’ for ‘anything’ in the following citation? Does this express his character? Is it possibly a dialect or ...
2
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1answer
245 views

Double 'not' in questions - how is it correct?

Suppose the following sentence: "Aren't the headers not covered by copyright?" Is this sentence correct?
9
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7answers
926 views

Meaning of sentence with double negation

I'm a learner of English, and I got this sentence from a dating book which I find difficult to understand: We know a man who was horribly disfigured by fire who has a constant stream of women in ...
3
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2answers
5k views

What exactly is meant by “This is not to say it's not a bad system”?

Someone on a forum wrote This is not to say it's not a bad system. With some context, This is not a component system. This is not to say it's not a bad system, but in this case you should be ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

How to understand “You don't get no coffee”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 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 ...
9
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5answers
4k views

What constitutes a double negative?

Is "not unpleasant" a double negative, and hence bad grammar? See the first answer (by Ham and Bacon) to this question, for the basis of this question. Are all "not un..." forms incorrect? They are ...
7
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6answers
11k views

Are double negatives ever appropriate in English?

I have heard several sentences in which there was a prominent double negative, but the double negative "sounded right". Is this ever true, or is it just a misleading feeling? Edited to include an ...
0
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2answers
510 views

I can't get no satisfaction? really? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I Can't Get No Satisfaction” — what's the correct meaning? I know this is a popular song and they might have twisted it a bit. but is it the ...
2
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2answers
9k views

“Like” versus “not unlike”

Just out of curiousity, how did this double negative come to be? When I use it, it's often because I want to emphasise the fact that x is not y but is still similar in some way, whereas "like" ...
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4answers
4k views

Are “not uncommon” and similar phrases double negatives? Should their use be avoided?

When I think of double negatives I think of phrases that grate on the ears, like: I'm not going to do no homework. I'm never going to not go visit Graceland. There are some phrases that ...