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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83 views

“I don't agree totally” vs. “I don't totally agree” vs. “I totally don't agree”

What is the difference between the following? I don't agree with him totally. I don't totally agree with him. I totally don't agree with him. I'm puzzled at the meaning of negative ...
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1answer
70 views

“So shouldn't you”?

So shouldn't you: is this grammatically correct? Or is you shouldn't either the only appropriate response?
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1answer
50 views

On the target of “not”

I would like to know the target of the word "not" in the following sentence. The problem is that Britons were never given a chance to vote on whether they wanted the CCTV cameras set up or not. ...
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3answers
54 views

“or not” vs. “or no”: Which one is correct? [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Are you coming to the gym or not? Are you coming to the gym or no?
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3answers
3k views

Is “Stick no bills” correct English?

'Stick no bills' sounds awkward. Shouldn't it be something like 'Do not stick any bills'?
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2answers
764 views

What are the meanings of the sentences where “Not that” is followed by an object-missing expression?

According to my observation, there are at least two types of using "Not that....". And my question is: what does "not that" mean in its second type of usage? In the first usage, "not that" is ...
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3answers
185 views

Negative form of “satisfy”, correct usage of “such”, difference between “quick” and “fast”

I just did an English test on the Internet because I have an entry exam tomorrow and I wanted to recap. I got 91% right, but I wanted to find out why I made these mistakes and what the correct way to ...
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2answers
36 views

Does the phrase “so long as” have a negative sense?

Can I use neither . . . nor following the phrase so long as? I read this sentence in an article: When I was in college a Marwari friend of mine told me that her parents would be totally open to ...
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3answers
47 views

Negation of a chain of verbs conjoined with “and”

Let's consider the following sentence: Ducks are things that walk like ducks and quack like ducks. Now, I wanna negate it to describe something that is not a duck. The most verbose way to do it ...
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4answers
1k views

What exactly does “All Items Not On Sale” mean?

Here's a quote from Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue": Imagine being a foreigner and having to learn ... , that a sign in the store saying ALL ITEMS NOT ON SALE doesn't mean literally what it ...
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3answers
2k views

“May not have [noun]” or “may have not [noun]”

Which of the following is correct: may not have or may have not? For example, which sentence should one write? They may not have apples. They may have not apples.
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6answers
186 views

Shift to “must” for negation of “have to”?

According to englishpage.com, if have to or must expresses certainty, the negative form uses must not. Example: That has to be Jerry. They said he was tall with bright red hair. => That must not ...
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109 views

Most accurate affirmative form of a sentence

The sentence is I can never forget you. We have to find the affirmative form of this sentence without changing its meaning. I can think of two answers for this question. 1.I will always remember ...
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2answers
1k views

Is “will never have been” valid English?

I was reading this phrase "will never have been" and I was wondering what grammatical structure does it belong to / is it grammatical? I'm not sure why but it sounds weird. What is the difference ...
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2answers
2k views

“Would have not” vs. “would not have”

That would not have happened if John had completed his work. That would have not happened if John had completed his work. The former seems correct. The latter doesn't seem incorrect. ...
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1answer
35 views

A word for words that are often seen in their negative forms

Words like "misconstrue" or "disgruntled" are fairly common. But you much less commonly see the word "construe" or "gruntled" Is there a term for words like this?
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5answers
14k views

“Can’t help but” vs. “can help but”

Is "can’t help but" considered to be a confused mix of the expressions "can but" and "can’t help"? If not, what is the difference between "can help but" and "can’t help but"?
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1answer
4k views

“No, I don't” or “No, I do not” in responding English questions

Consider: A: Do you like ice cream? B: No, I don't. Usually in a grammar book when you answer someone's question with negation you'll use shortened answer as in "I don't". I know you can ...
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3answers
81 views

Correct usage of 'not'

I wrote this sentence as the email subject this morning - "Will login not before 12 pm". This has got me thinking if what I wrote is correct or the sentence should have been - "Will not login before ...
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1answer
35 views

Negative granting [closed]

I want to say for example to my kid that tomorrow he has the option to not wear formal shirts in school. What is the best way to say that ? "You can not to wear formal shirt tomorrow" ? Or in some ...
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5answers
8k views

What is the difference between “can't” and “mustn't” in the expressing of prohibition?

You [verb] use your mobile phone while you're driving. It's against the law. What verb should be used? don't have to needn't mustn't can't Is can't correct, or only mustn't is correct? What ...
2
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3answers
2k views

The word “but” used as negation

I would like to know the grammatical term for using the word but in the following context: John speaks loudly, but he's a nice guy. The word but is used to signify a negation, to create ...
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1answer
197 views

“Unauthentic” vs. “inauthentic” [closed]

Is there really no difference between inauthentic and unauthentic? If there is, which is more correct?
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2answers
456 views

Are there many words that come with “a” as the prefix to mean “no, non” like “asymptomatic” and “apolitical”?

I didn’t know the word, “asymptomatic” to my shame, until I heard the following narration in AP Radio news aired on October 27 through AFN network: “Dr. Anthony Fauci with the NIH says CDC ...
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4answers
530 views

Why do not we ask negative questions without a contraction on the not after the verb?

I have found multiple questions touching on this but not a single one that has a comprehensive answer. The information is all there but in little bits. "Do you not" vs. "Don't ...
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2answers
63 views

about 'couldn't' [closed]

Does anyone know what's wrong with 'couldn't' in the following? I think there couldn’t be any trains today due to the strike, so I’m going by bus. What's interesting is that, There ...
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2answers
55 views

Conjunctive usage with negative imperatives: i.e., 'and' and 'or.' Don't eat and drink on the bus vs. Don't eat or drink on the bus

I tried searching for conjunctive usage within negative imperatives but was unable to find any results. I may have just used the wrong search string. My question is as follows. In the following ...
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2answers
2k views

Negation in English

In English there are at least two ways to express negation, for example: — I don't have money — I have no money or — No objects were found — Objects were not found or — No restrictions are applied — ...
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2answers
94 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 ...
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0answers
71 views

What is the meaning of “no” in “I am no…”? [closed]

What is the difference between "I am no financial expert." and "I am not a financial expert." Are they grammatically correct?
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1answer
56 views

In certain case, double negation doesn't cancel the negation?

From time to time I come across a sentence with double negation, but where the meaning is still negative. For example : I don't need no man. I suppose that this sentence means I don't need ...
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1answer
140 views

“I think she is not right” - is this sentence correct?

I know you can say "I don't think she's right" but I was wondering whether there is another way to say that.
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3answers
212 views

What is the origin of auxiliary verbs?

When and why did we start using auxiliary verbs, particularly "do", to ask questions and make negatives?
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1answer
107 views

“Why don't you” . . . with. . . “be” . . .?

I confuse about how to use "Why don't you" with "be". I know that we can use "Why don't you" with "Verb" such as Why don't you go with me? However I confuse that if we can use these two sentences. ...
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1answer
53 views

Complex usage of “nor” and explanation

I'm positive this is an acceptable usage of "nor," but I can't find a rule that explains the usage. Please help! He was too tired to walk to the next open crossing. Nor to start an argument.
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8answers
2k views

Is my worst enemy my best friend (interpreting negative adjectives applied to negative nouns)? [closed]

"The worst student" is the student who is bad at things. In this case, "worst" simply describes the noun. Following this logic, your "worst enemy" would be the person who is very bad at being your ...
2
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1answer
154 views

When do I use non-, ir-/i-, dis-, a-, or un-?

Between using the prefixes non-, ir-, i-, and dis-, a-, or un-, meaning "not (root word) to do something", when is the best time to use each?
4
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1answer
487 views

can't ever vs can never

I can never win. Or I can't ever win. Can these be used interchangeably? Is there a case where one would work and the other wouldn't?
2
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1answer
56 views

Past verb + not

I've found the following constructions with past verbs: They found not the fire. You knew not that. Is this an archaic way? Can we use with "ED" ending verbs, "crossed not the line" or ...
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1answer
667 views

Why does the word “never” not contain an apostrophe?

If never is a contraction of 'not ever' why does it not have an apostrophe, i.e. why is it not written n'ever rather than never? I can understand that the apostrophe has simply fallen out of use, but ...
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3answers
479 views

How was “ben't” used, and when did it cease to be used?

In Jane Austen's The Watsons, the maid of the titular family utters the following sentence: "Please, ma'am, master wants to know why he ben't to have his dinner?" I have never encountered ben't ...
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2answers
51 views

Word usage of “not to fly” vs “to not fly ” [duplicate]

I often read the phrase "not to" preceding an action, as in "not to run" or "not to swim". It seems awkward. Please explain explain the usage.
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7answers
7k views

“All is not lost” vs “Not all is lost”

I guess I've been in mathematics for far too long, and I tend to use the phrase "Not all is lost" as the negative of "All is lost". To me the phrase "All is not lost" suggests that nothing is lost. ...
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2answers
8k 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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2answers
1k views

Why do we say INcomplete but UNcompleted?

I'm a native speaker and it's just occurred to me that this is a strange irregularity: "The work is incomplete." < Fine "The work is uncompleted." < Less common but still sounds ...
3
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2answers
347 views

“Does he go bowling?” or “Doesn't he go bowling?”

Let's say we know a boy called Jonny and he goes bowling twice a week. My daughter has asked me which of the following questions are correct. Does Jonny go bowling? Doesn't Jonny go ...
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1answer
43 views

Dependent clause and negation with “nor”

I came up with sentences involving dependent clause ("that" clause) and/or negation with "nor" with varying degrees of complexity. He doesn't sing nor dance. I don't think he dances. I don't think ...
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4answers
167 views

Modals - ability

"He was able to win the race." It means he won the race. Can it also mean he didn't win? - he didn't use the ability to win. If not, how to express the idea?
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1answer
156 views

I care not (for these things) vs. I don't care

Is the expression "I care not" grammatically correct? Do I care not and I don't care have the same meaning?