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4
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
266 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
votes
7answers
979 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
votes
2answers
8k 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
501 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 meaning ...
10
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
15k 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
votes
2answers
585 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
16k 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" doesn'...
6
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
234 views

Parenthetical double negation?

Is this a double negation? Is it still grammatically correct? If not, what is a better form? He cannot go outside (legally, not physically), because he is under house arrest. The meaning is that ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there a rule about double negations that aren't meant as double negations (e.g. “We don't need no education”)?

How can you explain that this double negation is not a double negation? Is there a rule in English about this kind of sentence? PS / Do I have to mention Pink Floyd Copyright ? :-) Edit : Since ...
2
votes
3answers
568 views

Double negation

How should I interpret the following lyric from America: we ain't had no time to drink that beer?
7
votes
1answer
12k views

“Not bad either” versus “not bad neither”

There are more Google matches for the first sentence, but the last one sounds better to me. Which one is correct?
10
votes
4answers
7k views

What does “I Can't Get No Satisfaction” mean?

This song by The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". As a non-native speaker, I always wondered what's the exact meaning of this phrase? Is it "I'm not getting any satisfaction" (this ...