Negation is the process that turns an affirmative statement (e.g. "I am American") into its opposite denial (e.g. "I am not American").

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How does “I never had nothing” mean “I never had anything”? [duplicate]

In a BBC Documentary about Brexit, an interviewee stated his reason for voting out as following: We are giving to some of the eastern Europeans who come in here at that time. they have more priority ...
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25 views

unlike you, I don't write songs

a. I don't write songs like you. b. I don't write songs as you do. c. I don't write songs, as you do. d. I don't write songs, like you. Which of these could be used to mean Unlike you, I don't ...
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1answer
46 views

Why not present perfect in “Nobody told me”

There is a song by John Lennon called "Nobody Told Me". It goes like this: Nobody told me there'd be days like these / Strange days indeed As ESL learners we are told that in the presence of a ...
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1answer
58 views

Adverb position <hardly> [closed]

I’m asking about the position of the adverb “hardly” in sentences. If the second sentence doesn’t have the same meaning as the first, what’s the difference? I had hardly any money coming into ...
14
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0answers
677 views

dogs, not cats -> why 'not'? [migrated]

When I want to clarify something and I say for example "Dogs, not cats.", I automatically want to write/say 'not' even though 'cats' is a noun, and for nouns one uses 'no'. But I'm quite sure this isn'...
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1answer
68 views

Confirm and agree to negative questions [duplicate]

on the internet I read the following explanation: "we aren't using "no" to agree, we are using "no" to CONFIRM the negative statement." Does that mean you confirm a negative question with no and ...
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0answers
43 views

Neither A nor B

As a native speaker, the basic usage of "neither" and "nor" are perfectly clear to me. However, natives may suffer from colloquial usage sounding more normal than formal grammar. I definitely have ...
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1answer
59 views

Sentence negation

One of my professors told me that he prefers not to use "not" in the sentences. Instead try to use other words. For e.g. Instead of "This is not true." => "This is false." "This is not ...
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1answer
78 views

Words like 'disgruntled' with no positive counterpart [duplicate]

"I was thoroughly gruntled." Are there many words like 'disgruntled' where there is no positive counterpart? And was there ever a word 'gruntled'? And if not, where did 'disgruntled' derive from?
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27 views

Should we use “esp not” or simply “esp” following a negation?

This occurred to me when I was having a conversation about sleep disorder with my friend. When I asked of tips to have a good sleep, he advised me to do a lot of workout and make myself as tired as ...
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1answer
70 views

What does it mean to say that a lexical item is specified for semantic negation? [closed]

What does it mean to say that a negative morpheme is specified for semantic negation while another negative morpheme is not?
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5answers
55 views

“What would I not exact from you…?”

The meaning of the phrase in bold is incomprehensible to me. Could someone please explain or paraphrase the sentence for me? CAESAR. Vengeance! Vengeance!! Oh, if I could stoop to vengeance, what ...
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1answer
38 views

How to respond to negative questions (adjectives)?

My friend got me this question: When somebody asks, "Is it not available?" Should I say: (1) "Yes, it is not available." OR (2) "No, it is not available."? I know it would be better to use the word ...
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0answers
22 views

did not know that I had seen some/certain [closed]

a. She didn't know that I had seen some of her paintings. b. She didn't know that I had seen some of her paintings. Could either of these sentences be used instead of: c. There were certain of her ...
1
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0answers
58 views

Does the word ‘not’ modify verbs beforehand or afterward?

I have had some trouble recently with the word not, and people being confused by my use of it. I suppose I made some incorrect logical connection with it. A friend and I were discussing the placement ...
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2answers
67 views

Negation with 'such as'

I want a foo that doesn't bar, such as a baz. Is baz referring to a foo that does bar, or a foo that does not bar?
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2answers
44 views

betray you for nothing

Can one say a. I will betray you for nothing. instead of: b. I will not betray you for anything. ? Normally, (a) would mean: I will betray you even if I don't get anything out of it. I will ...
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0answers
8 views

Negation for “to able” by using “can” [duplicate]

Suppose that by the negative expression for "I am able to" we mean saying "I am able not to". So what would be the negative expression for "I can"? It is not "I can not"! I other words, "I am able to ...
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2answers
43 views

main verb negation/can not

Can one say a. You can not do it now and do it later. b. You may not do it now and do it later. (Meaning: You can do it later. You don't have to do it now.) ? Can one say c. It could happen and it ...
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0answers
39 views

Answering Negative Questions; Contractions

I heard a dialogue on the radio today: Q: Did you decide not to come with me? A: Yes, I'm busy now. Question 1. Upon hearing this, I felt the answer part of the dialogue was unnatural and ...
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4answers
646 views

“Not bad at all” vs. “Not at all bad”

What is the difference between the two? The weather is not bad at all. The weather is not at all bad.
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1answer
62 views

Using (be) as a main verb in this form (be) without using auxiliary verbs, is it possible?

There's no doubt that "Be happy." and "Don't be sad." are correct. But "They be happy" is incorrect. "They are happy" "Are they happy?" "They aren't happy" "Aren't they happy?" "Why aren't they ...
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1answer
56 views

Does “unrenamed” mean “not yet renamed”?

I am writing a software and the following description cannot be more than 15-20 characters long. I need to concisely say “files that have not been renamed”. I think “unrenamed files” works, ...
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1answer
112 views

In what varieties of English can “does not qualify” mean “disqualifies”? [closed]

Are there any (nonstandard?) varieties (dialects/registers/styles) of English where "does not X" can mean "does the opposite of X", either in general, or specifically for the transitive verb qualify, ...
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2answers
131 views

Double Negatives [duplicate]

Is the phrase "Isn't there no need" considered a double negative and would resolve to a positive? Or is it considered an intensifier? So would it resolve to "There is a need"? The full sentence that ...
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0answers
22 views

did not think he would steal some

a. I did not think he would steal some of my ideas. b. I did not think he would steal certain of my ideas. Could these sentences have two meanings: I did not think he would steal any of my ideas. ...
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3answers
91 views

Is “not very” considered polite? [closed]

I've heard that if you want to describe something in a negative way but polity, use "not very" + "negative" adj. For example, describing a bad thing would be: This is not very good. Or talking ...
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0answers
55 views

'Neither' and 'Nor' Usage

What would be the correct sentence? Neither does he abuse nor does he beat. or Neither does he abuse nor he beats.
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4answers
123 views

Meaning of “I may never be able to do this”?

The problem is, that I fail to unambiguously understand this phrase. There are two ways in which I can understand it (and a number of similar phrases): I may never be able to do this = It's ...
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3answers
47 views

What is the correct use of the negation of “There to be”?

"There is no man outside the house" "There is not a man outside the house" "There was no solution to the problem" "There was not a solution to the problem" Can I use both of them? Are the sentences ...
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3answers
112 views

Why is there a negation of “ability” but not a negation of “agility”?

Would like to know what is the reasoning behind the use of some prefixes for example if one were to use "un-"able as opposed to "dis-"able the situational context is understood yet the same does not ...
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2answers
230 views

All of …not/ Not all of / None of

Some grammar rules say "All of ... are not" and "Not all of ... are" have the same meaning, yet they are different from "None of ... are". For example: 1) Not all of the books I have are science ...
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2answers
132 views

Is “little of fun” correct?

I watched a class in which the teacher was explaining how to use quantifiers. One of her examples was "I had lots of fun last night". However, she used the example "I didn't have little of fun last ...
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1answer
87 views

What's the difference between “He is no fool” and “He is not a fool”? [duplicate]

For a non-native speaker, the above two sentences seem similar. From the point of the native speaker's view, is there any slight difference? In the same vein, "I have no money" and "I don't ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
141 views

difference between the prefix “un” and “not” [closed]

is there any plausible way to seperate the semantics of undefined - not defined or undetermined - not determined ?
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2answers
59 views

Can a negative ever mean the opposite outside of double negatives? “ex: I was not a little disturbed by the news” [duplicate]

I saw this sentence while reading:"The mansion was lovely-she particularly liked the topiary-but not a little intimidating." I don't understand the function of the not? from context she is intimidated,...
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1answer
33 views

Negation of two things

Which one of the following is correct? We don't need to know A, nor B, individually. Instead, we only need the sum of A and B. or We don't need to know A and B individually. Instead, we only ...
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1answer
103 views

Not only not A, but also B. Does this imply B or not B?

Let's take the following two statements. He who lives in a glass house shall not cast stones (1) He who lives in a glass house shall have his toilet in the basement. (2) Now, if we try to ...
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1answer
45 views

Implied Negations

For the idiomatic phrase, "There, but for the grace of God, go I", I take it literally to mean "There I would go, but because of God's grace, I don't." If I'm correct, I'm confused as to where this ...
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2answers
46 views

Double negative Q/A?

If someone asks "Can I not have a drink?", and someone else responds "No", is that considered as: No = No, you can't not have a drink. = You can have a drink. or No = No, you can't have a ...
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0answers
51 views

Meaning of a positive answer to a negative question [duplicate]

I'm watching Orange Is the New Black, and I'm confused about whether a woman character said she did something well or not. This is the conversation. Man: "Don't make me regret putting you in ...
1
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1answer
220 views

“Not X so much as Y” vs. “not so much X as Y”

E.g. which don't describe an action so much as describe a state of being which don't so much describe an action as describe a state of being Are both constructions grammatically correct?...
3
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1answer
217 views

How to use will in tag questions [closed]

Open the door, will you? Open the door, won't you? As I know the first one is the right one, but last week I came across with the second one, so I am really confused now.
2
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2answers
870 views

Can we use “not either” instead of “neither”?

Can we use "not either" instead of "neither"? For example, given that… I don't like football I don't like basketball … which of the following are correct? A. I like neither football nor ...
0
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1answer
215 views

Is it okay to use “doesn’t” twice in one sentence? [closed]

I wonder if it's okay to use "doesn't" twice in one sentece. Example I think that she doesn't do something and it doesn't something... Should I split it or it's completely correct? I mean two ...
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2answers
2k views

“I never was” vs. “I was never”

What is the difference between "I never was" and "I was never"? It seems that there is a subtle difference, but I can't quite grasp it. Is one of them informal? For example: I never was a good ...
0
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1answer
85 views

Negative subjunctive

Some verbs require subjunctive, as in: The UN has demanded that all troops be withdrawn. A student has written: ...my sense of responsibility demands that I can't do that. What is the negative ...
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2answers
168 views

What does “all not” mean exactly in this context?

All DriveTest Centres do not provide car rentals to applicants. The sentence above is taken from here. In my understanding, it means some DriveTest Centres may provide car rentals while others may ...
8
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3answers
273 views

Words where “not [word]” means more than a lack of

Sorry for the poor title. Is there a name/category of words with the property that using "not" before them does not give a standard negation in a way similar to the given examples? The two examples, ...