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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29 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
7 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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13answers
37k views

What is a good replacement for “ununderstandable”?

I want to tell a colleague of mine I'm doing something that will prevent her from getting "ununderstandable" errors. I have: ...so that you will not get unnecessary, [ununderstandable] errors. ...
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1answer
41 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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2answers
37 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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2answers
9k views

“I won't” vs. “I'll not”

I won’t and I’ll not are both short forms of I will not. Both are used in English. Are there any situations where one is preferred over other?
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4answers
281 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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2answers
120 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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3answers
24k views

“Do you not” vs. “Don't you”

I live in the UK and I mostly hear people saying Don't you..., but some people say: Do you not...? What is the difference and which one is more correct? You can put any example really. Something ...
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0answers
34 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
11k views

Answering the question: Do you mind if…?

The following always puzzles me as a non-native speaker. When somebody asks the question "Do you mind if...", there seem to be two possible responses. "Sure" and "No, not at all", which both mean ...
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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?
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1answer
49 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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2answers
109 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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4answers
993 views

untypical, atypical, nontypical

I'm trying to label customer data with a word describing how typical they are. There is basically 3 possible values: typical, temporarily untypical, untypical. But I'm not sure if "untypical" is the ...
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4answers
14k views

“It isn't” vs. “it's not”

Is one stronger than the other? More correct? Just curious, one of the many abstract things to pop into my head on the drive home today...
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6answers
213k views

“Whether or not” vs. “whether”

This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job. This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job or not. This will depend on whether or not he's suitable for the job. ...
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3answers
4k views

“Never saw” versus “didn't ever see”

Do these sentences have different meanings? I never saw such a thing. I didn't ever see such a thing. I never saw him dancing. I didn't ever see him dancing. My questions: ...
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2answers
626 views

Can I use “anymore” with “nothing”?

Normally, anymore (or any more in UK) meaning any longer used as an adverb not a as determiner, can be found in negative, conditional, or interrogative sentences. Americans may use anymore in ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the grammatical function of “never”?

What is the grammatical function of "never" in the following sentence? You will have to do something you've never done. Is it an adverb? My father disagrees with this. In "I have studied" vs. ...
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2answers
241 views

To what extent is hardly a negative adverb?

The American Heritage Dictionary notes about adverbs like hardly that they are not truly negative in meaning. The sentence Mary hardly laughed means that Mary did laugh a little, not that she ...
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1answer
86 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
4k views

Is “neither I” grammatically correct?

I'm just trying to figure out if "neither I" is grammatically correct as a standalone statment (in spoken English).
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2answers
116 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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3answers
41 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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0answers
21 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
5k 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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3answers
85 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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1answer
13k views

Question tags — “did you” vs. “didn't you”

Typically, when we ask for confirmation/denial of a statement, we say something like the following: We turn left here, don't we? You have a cat, don't you? We've met before, haven't we? ...
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0answers
52 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
94 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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1answer
86k views

Why use “need not” instead of “do not need to”?

The header of psyco.sourceforge.net states: High-level languages need not be slower than low-level ones. Why use need not instead of do not need? What does it mean? Also, why no to before be? ...
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3answers
105 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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4answers
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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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6answers
1k views

Do the following negations mean the same thing?

I don't think you understood me. / I think you misunderstood me. Do these senteces mean the same thing? If not, what's the difference? Edit: I just realized that I asked something different ...
3
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1answer
70 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
31 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 ...
8
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1answer
836 views

Un-(adjective) but In-(noun) — does it ever go the other way?

Many pairs of words use un- as a prefix for the preferred adjective but in- as a prefix for the preferred noun (e.g. unstable/instability, unequal/inequality, unable/inability, unjust/injustice, ...
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1answer
112 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
48 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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Is “make no mistake” a mistake?

Is "make no mistake" proper grammar? Isn't "no" being used as a quantifier? Aren't quantified nouns supposed to be plural when the quantity is none? For example, I was taught to say, "one egg" and ...
0
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1answer
31 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 ...
13
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9answers
11k 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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1answer
89 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Answering questions with a negation at the end

How are you supposed to answer a question like this (assuming you're from Minnesota)? You are a Minnesotan, no? Are you supposed to give the same answer as your answer to this question or give ...
0
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1answer
42 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
1k 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 ...
2
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3answers
7k 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. ...
6
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3answers
786 views

About question tags

He did nothing*. Which is the correct question tag for the sentence above? didn't he? did he? What is the effect of using nothing for negation?