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21
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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
863 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 ...
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) ...
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 ...