The tag has no usage guidance.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
146 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 part ...
2
votes
3answers
35 views

Double Negative?

Does this sentence suffer from double negation: "The results of this study will not, we do not think, shock economists."
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?
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Is 'Do not be negative' double negation?

Is it correct, if I say, "John, do not be negative". I don't mean to say, "John, be positive". I mean he just shouldn't be negative, not necessarily positive. I'm using 'negative' as an adverb to ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Are double negatives *always* wrong? [duplicate]

Could you use these two sentences the same way? Which one is worse: This wasn't no common day. This wasn't a common day.
1
vote
1answer
208 views

How to answer the question “Isn't it something I haven't watched?”

I would like to know how to respond clearly and correctly to the question "Isn't it something I haven't watched?" with an answer to the effect that the person hasn't watched it.
4
votes
2answers
2k views

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

A double negative is generally defined as two negative words in the same clause. In these examples: "No it is not." "No I don't think so." is "No" considered a clause unto itself? Or is it ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

declined to override a veto - is that a Yes or a No?

The full sentence from the New York Times reads: One day after a mass shooting in California left 14 people dead, Republican lawmakers in New Jersey declined on Thursday to override Gov. Chris ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Jane Austen's use of a double 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 readers ...
1
vote
5answers
145 views

I could not have not noticed

"As a geek I could not have not noticed the error in your calculation." This is how I would say this in Slovak language, is this correct in English? If not, what could I use instead? EDIT: The ...
0
votes
5answers
162 views

“I don't buy no drinks.” Grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I don't buy no drinks. I saw this phrase in a song, and I'm not quite sure if it's correct I hope you'll help me find the answer. Thank you in advance.
0
votes
2answers
83 views

They have never had pizza [closed]

I keep going in circles with trying to correct the following sentence: They have never had pizza. Can someone explain why this is wrong and how to correct it?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Is 'no, we are not' double negation? [duplicate]

I got into a debate with one of my colleagues - we are both not native English speakers. She asked me a question "so we are currently not sending any data to him?" I replied "No". I understand that ...
1
vote
3answers
123 views

Is there a misnegation in the following example?

I have a question about an excerpt that I read online. Here it is: Having reviewed the posts that you have identified, I conclude that you do not have any non-frivolous defamation against any of ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

A sentence with double negative [closed]

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
votes
1answer
127 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 more ...
0
votes
4answers
211 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 stands,...
0
votes
1answer
71 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
180 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
vote
2answers
858 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
vote
1answer
95 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
votes
2answers
164 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
vote
2answers
528 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
555 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.
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'...
2
votes
1answer
644 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) ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
184 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.
0
votes
1answer
547 views
4
votes
4answers
362 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
vote
1answer
373 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
vote
2answers
1k 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
vote
3answers
149 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
vote
3answers
440 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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
861 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
votes
2answers
361 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
152 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
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
182 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
297 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
999 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. ...