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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an one “no not” to eat

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such ...
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140 views

Inconsecutive or nonconsecutive or …? [closed]

I want to say that the data is not like 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159 but can be 154, 156, 157, 159. How do I negate the word "consecutive"? I was not able to find it in the dictionary. I have found ...
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3answers
194 views

Which is right, “worst nightmare” or “best nightmare”?

When we refer to the most negative dream, we say it as worst nightmare. Since that nightmare is negative, does that mean that the meaning of the worst nightmare is the least negative of all ...
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3answers
969 views

Difference between “Can't you” and “Can you not”?

I've been wondering about the difference between questions that use can't you and can you not. Like: Can't you tell just by looking? [I read this from a comic-detective series] Can you not ...
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1answer
48 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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1answer
135 views

Why does the word “budge” always come in negative form?

I came across the word "budge" in a dictionary, and it said about this word: "Usually used in negative". Why does this specific word always come in negative form?
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2answers
255 views

“There is no A or B” vs “There is no A and B”

If A doesn't exist and B doesn't exist either, what is the correct form below? There is no A and B. or There is no A or B. What if the sentence is long, such as There is no bound on ...
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2answers
164 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 ...
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1answer
323 views

Reported speech commands - negations which aren't related to subject

First my english ain't pretty good but I hope you can understand me. :) So at the moment I'm doing my homework and I'm pre-finished with it but 2 sentences are very difficult for the exercise. I need ...
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3answers
117 views

Does the word “except” increase the negativity of the sentence?

I have encountered a set of instructions that contains the text: The option exists to expand onto the second drive while the system is live. Except for simplicity, there isn't any reason not to. ...
5
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1answer
560 views

Comparing negatives: “she seems not to know” vs. “she doesn't seem to know”

What is the difference in style and meaning between the following two: She seems not to know. She doesn't seem to know. Is there a name to this type of construction?
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6answers
466 views

Is there an acceptable corresponding negative to “well off”?

When we wish to refer to people who are living an affluent lifestyle or simply enjoying favorable circumstances in any particular area, we often say they are well off. So far so good. But ...
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1answer
291 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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2answers
138 views

Difference between “illusion” and “delusion” [closed]

Can somebody please elaborate on the difference between illusion and delusion? Especially in medical terms.
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2answers
160 views

Affirmative form of “He has no right to question.” while preserving the meaning

He has no right to question. What would this sentence be if we were to make it affirmative. This question appeared in an exam. I tried It is unlawful for him to question. but the answer ...
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2answers
207 views

“If not” vs “If it is not”

You were sent a package. If it is not received please call customer support. or You were sent a package. If not received please call customer support. Which version is correct? Is there a better ...
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2answers
209 views

“Even though none of you have yet to believe it” — grammatical?

Is the following sentence from the TV series American Horror Story correct, formal grammar? We are powerful. Even though none of you have yet to believe it. In my understanding, it would be ...
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1answer
3k views

“Can not” vs. “cannot” [duplicate]

Is there a difference in meaning and/or connotation between "can not" and "cannot"? I have read and seen both used interchangeably, but I know people who argue for a slight difference in meaning. ...
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1answer
485 views

Can “nor” be used without “neither”?

I came across this sentence: Cummings Motors, Smith Electric nor our subcontractors can be held liable. Is this a proper use of the word nor? I can understand Neither Cummings Motors nor ...
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2answers
130 views

Using “not” versus the negation prefixes for negation

Let's take this sentence as an example He is able to move. Now, what is the best negation of that action between those two? He is not able to move. He is unable to move. And what ...
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3answers
7k views

“Not able to” vs. “unable to”

Which phrase is more suitable to convey one's inability to do something — "not able to" or "unable to"? For example, not able to join the meeting unable to join the meeting
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4answers
716 views

Boogie - Negative connotation?

I work in a company which has a product called "Boogie" (for reasons that the original owner knows). The product has been called that way for years in our French Canadian environment. Our few English ...
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3answers
1k views

Can an affirmation be negative?

I'm angry. I'm not angry. Are both (1) and (2) affirmations? I ask because Merriam-Webster defines affirmation as 'a positive assertion', so this make me confused as to whether (2), ...
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4answers
568 views

Single word for “never fails”

Is there a single word for "never fails"?
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2answers
166 views

“Any club cannot use . . .” vs. “No club can use . . .”

Here in Japan, many of my students use "any" in a negative sentence like this: "Please note that any club/group cannot use the copy machine after 8:00pm." I believe this is grammatically ...
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2answers
119 views

“Known not to …” or “Known to not …”

Which one of the following word orders is correct: This program is known not to work correctly. or This program is known to not work correctly.
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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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3answers
254 views

Difference between “not every” and “every … is not”

I've always understood that you can order the words not and every (or similar words) in the following two ways to convey distinct logical meanings. Every human is not a man. There is no human being ...
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2k views

“Having not” vs “not having”

I did a bit of searching on the difference between "not having" and "having not", but I could not find a convincing argument. I typed this sentence; Congratulations on not having given up yet! ...
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1answer
6k views

“Never” vs. “never ever”

Example: I never use this cup. I never ever use this cup. What is the difference between these two sentences?
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3answers
94 views

“Be without money and job” vs. “be without money or job”

If I want to express that someone is without money and also without a job, how do I phrase it correctly? He's without money and job. He's without money or job. Please explain your ...
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2answers
395 views

“Not a clue” vs. “no clue”

Example: — What is he called? — I have not a clue. — What is he called? — I have no clue. Are both versions grammatical in English? If they are, which one is preferred by native ...
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6answers
505 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

perfect continuous or simple perfect in negative sentences

I want to know the difference between present perfect continuous and present perfect in negative sentences. My textbook says (namely, English Grammar In Use, 2nd edition) 'use simple for negative ...
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1answer
324 views

“Is you is or is you ain't my baby?” [duplicate]

Is this phrase grammatically correct? Is you is or is you ain't my baby? It's from a Tom and Jerry cartoon: http://vimeo.com/40283242 (at 1:30, 2:00 and 3:00).
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1answer
936 views

Negative question; what's the affirmative answer here? [duplicate]

My wife and I communicate in English. She's Japanese, I'm Norwegian and we're both language enthusiasts; this makes for a lot of interesting language discussions. This is something that surfaced ...
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2answers
597 views

“No restriction” vs. “no restrictions”

The data center must be flexible. There should be no restriction/restrictions on user's choice of protocols. What should it be?
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1answer
89 views

Usage of 'not different'

Take a look at this sentence. Many apps are not good. Even some of Apple's own apps are not different. I intend to mean some of Apple's own apps are not good. Is this correct?
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459 views

Is the answer to this question “neither” or “either”?

She doesn't think so or you don't think so? Is it grammatically correct to respond with Either. or Neither. to this question? Or does this depend on the meaning intended to be ...
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2answers
2k views

Not only X but also Y are (is?)

At first glance, sentence 1 below seems more correct because there are two subjects. However, something seems more natural about sentence 2. Maybe there is something abbreviated, elliptical, or ...
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2answers
207 views

“My job is not to worry about those people” — what does “not” refer to?

In the famous leaked video, Mitt Romney says My job is not to worry about those people An equivalent sentence probably is It is not my job to worry about those people Some media in my home ...
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3answers
232 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 ...
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1answer
429 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, ...
2
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1answer
839 views

Litotes: Always for Emphasis? Used for Non-committal Hedging? Any Authoritative Source?

My question is about litotes. I’m wondering if it is always for emphasis, or whether it can be a type of non-committal statement or hedging. And, is there an authoritative source that can be cited ...
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0answers
283 views

Why does a negative adverbial phrase trigger inversion? [duplicate]

When a negative adverb (or adverbial phrase) is placed at the beginning of a sentence, we exchange the normal placement of subject and verb. Why is that?
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3answers
187 views

Why does no dictionary carry the word 'non-affair', though all carry 'nonevent'?

I came across the word “non-affair” in Jeffery Archer’s novel Kane and Abel, which I just finished reading yesterday. The word appears in the following sentence (p. 544): “She couldn’t recall ...
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1answer
207 views

Why is “not as … as” preferred to “not cheaper than”?

In the rephrasing exercise A is more expensive than B. > A is not _________ B. The only correct answer is supposed to be "A is not as cheap as B". However, a student suggested "A is not cheaper ...
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2answers
867 views

Is “unmissable” a valid word?

I noticed an advert on TV advertising "unmissable" shows coming up. MS Word marks it as a spelling mistake, but the Mac OS is OK with it. I don't particularly like it.
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1answer
720 views

Why do positive and negative variants of the same question elicit the same answer? [duplicate]

In common American English usage, these two questions elicit the same response: Do you have a ticket? Don't you have a ticket? These are the usual answers (I was going to say "possible answers" ...
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1answer
3k views

Interpreting “not bad”

In conversations people often use "not bad". How to interpret this? Are they feeling good or just not bad or somewhere in the middle? Does it depend on the context? E.g.: X: How are you doing ...