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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Is the expression “It don't” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don’t impress me much” It doesn't. Usually, we say it this way, right? But I have seen some song lyrics using "it don't". (Examples ...
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445 views

Why say “nay” when you could say “no”

I am curious as to why "nay" replaces the simple unequivocal "no" in the context of voting. My research in Merriam-Webster tells me that "nay" means "no" (not the other way around) and the first ...
3
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2answers
291 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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2answers
1k views

“Least expected” or “least unexpected”

When I was talking to my girlfriend, she mentioned an incident where one of her friends surprised her with a gift. She said something like that least unexpected ... after which we got into a debate ...
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4answers
148 views

Is there a word for the total amount of time you weren't working in a day?

I can say that I plan to work 7 hours today, but how do I say I plan to "not work" for 2 hours? "Be on a break/pause for 2 hours" or "Rest for 2 hours" doesn't work because I might take several ...
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2answers
1k views

Is “dispreferred” a mainstream word in English?

I just recently came across the word dispreferred in a linguistic document. I have never heard the word used before, rather I generally hear something like "preferred something else" in everyday ...
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1answer
352 views

Use of “afraid not”

Is this sentence correct? I am afraid not of preparing for the exam but of the result. Or is there some other way to write that sentence?
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2answers
1k views

You have no idea, (…): “do you” or “don't you”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Question tags — “did you” vs. “didn’t you” Which one is correct? option 1: You have no idea, don't you? or, option 2: You have no idea, do you?
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1answer
138 views

Is the “or not” in “whether or not” optional? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Whether or not” vs. “whether” I am not sure about the usage of whether. My confusion over it is whether or not is optional. Suppose I have the following sentence: ...
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1answer
364 views

Double negation “does not any”

I understand that any has negative connotations, as can be seen in the above link, but I need to say that there are no pages in a book. I've come up with the following sentence: That book does not ...
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1answer
236 views

Answering a negatively-expressed question [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to answer a negative question without ambiguity? 2). Didn't we park on the C level? (A) Yes, I sure thought we did. (B) No, we'll park on the D level. (C) ...
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2answers
808 views

Usage of “no more” in a sentence

I would need help with the following sentence: It may be no more difficult to claim in words a feeling not felt than one that is. The “no more” is related to the whole sentence or just to the ...
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1answer
299 views

What is wrong (if anything) with the phrase “it don't mean nothing”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don’t impress me much” “I don’t know nothing” vs “I don’t know anything” I've noticed that sometimes people say "It don't mean nothing". ...
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3answers
472 views

Double negation and litotes

A friend of mine who's a native English speaker corrected me the other day. I said something like "it's not something no-one has done before". He told me about the rule that states that double ...
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2answers
314 views

Can inversion be used without auxiliary verb?

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? I don't like autumn to be honest, neither like I winter that's coming after it. Can inversion be used in this way? Or does it requires auxiliary ...
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3answers
290 views

“Why you no…?” or “What that no…?” — are those grammatically correct? [closed]

Why you no come? Why you no talk English? Why you no have a girlfriend? What kind of English are these sentences? Are these types of sentences grammatically correct?
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2answers
778 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
960 views

Question tag for a sentence starting with “few”

Which is correct? Few people knew the way, didn't they? Few people knew the way, did they?
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2answers
218 views

Negatives with “a” or “any”

Are both these sentences correct? There isn’t a cat in the kitchen. There isn’t any cat in the kitchen.
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4answers
2k views

How productive is the prefix “un-”?

Is it possible to use un- with new words such as sit, sleep, sad? I'm currently seeing many words (in programming) which use "un-" in the meaning of undoing something. For example, is it possible to ...
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6answers
991 views

Euphemism for “non-useful”

I was just about to tell someone how something "wouldn't really be much useful" if they leave it the way it is — which is like a much more polite version of useless, but I just couldn't find the word. ...
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2answers
2k views

“I wouldn't ever” vs. “I would never”

The two expressions from the title, “I wouldn't ever” and “I would never”, are very similar. But are they completely equivalent or do they bear any subtle differences? If so, how do they differ in ...
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2answers
5k views

“Not possible” and “Impossible”

When we say, It is not fair. or It is unfair. I'm not sure enough to say whether both of the sentences have the same meaning or not though superficially, there is no difference between ...
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5answers
536 views

“Not once he would” vs. “not once would he”

Not being a native speaker and suffering semantic satiation from overthinking this, I'd like to ask this probably overly simple question. Not once would he... uses reversal for negation and ...
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2answers
700 views

“Neither of you understands him as I do” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”? “Neither Michael nor Albert is correct” or “Neither Michael nor Albert are correct”? Neither of you understands him ...
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2answers
108 views

Without, free from, lacking, etc.: Unambiguous total negation with “OR”?

In the following, “does not cause” seems to be clear negation, and total negation requires “or”, therefore: The widget does not cause deformities or cracks However, it is unclear to me whether ...
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2answers
3k 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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When should we use proximity rule in “either/or”, and “neither/nor”?

According to this link, if at least one of the nouns involved is plural then it should take the plural form of the verb. Otherwise, it should take the singular form of the verb. But in the last part ...
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2answers
498 views

Does double negation turn “neither” into “either”?

Peter Guess posted tongue twister with a construct where something occurs that creates what looks like a paradox to me. neither either...or...or nor neither...nor...nor are either particularly ...
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1answer
4k views

“I haven't got” vs. “I don't have”

Which is the correct way of saying this in English? I haven't got any money. I don't have any money. If both are correct, which is the difference between them?
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1answer
3k 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 ...
9
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2answers
358 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
2k views

“You have nothing to do” - “Yes I do” / “Yes I don't” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When a negative question is asked, what is the grammatically correct way to answer? How to answer a negative question without ambiguity? If someone says "You have ...
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2answers
437 views

“His hopes had not materialized”/“have not materialized”/“have not been materialized”

Which one is preferable in following sentence? His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. had not materialized till today's date. His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. have not materialized ...
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1answer
1k views

“Is it not raining” vs. “Isn't it raining”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tag Questions “is he not” Which is correct: Is it not raining today? Isn't it raining today?
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3answers
9k 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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3answers
704 views

“I ain’t gonna give nobody none of my jelly roll” (Armstrong, 1958) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a rule about double negations that aren't meant as double negations (e.g. “We don't need no education”)? “I give nothing to no-one” ...
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4answers
211 views

Austin fragment: “sane and undivorced”

for (Christian) marrying, it is essential that I should not be already married with a wife living, sane and "undivorced", and so on (Austin, 1962) If "undivorced" implies married, what does ...
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1answer
26k views

When to use “cannot” versus “can't”?

When is it best to write "can't" versus writing "cannot"? Are they interchangeable in every situation?
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1answer
9k views

“I don't know nothing” vs “I don't know anything” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a rule about double negations that aren't meant as double negations (e.g. “We don't need no education”)? Double negation   I'm not a native ...
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1answer
255 views

“Who cares [if/that] it [is/isn't] true” — which to use when?

Imagine the following scenario: Person A: I love this movie so much! The story is so beautiful! Person B: Well, the story isn't true. Now, person A has a few options in how to follow the ...
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3answers
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Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase

Does "non-" prefixed to a two word phrase permit another hyphen before the second word? If I want to refer to an entity which is defined as the negation of another entity by attaching "non-" it seems ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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8answers
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Are “disgraceful” and “ungraceful” two different kinds of negations?

"Disgraceful" and "ungraceful" are both derived from negations of "graceful". Wiktionary describes disgraceful as bringing or warranting disgrace; shameful. giving offense to moral sensibilities ...
4
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1answer
275 views

Is this correct: “…to all avail”?

Many of you have probably heard the phrase "to no avail", as in "I tried to talk them out of it to no avail." (Which means I tried to talk them out of something but failed to do so). However, I was ...
44
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6answers
3k views

Please, don't - I'm not

“Please, don't mock me.” “Oh, no, I don't! I’m not! I'm completely serious about that.” This is a correction I received from a proofreader of my story. How does that work? What happens here so ...
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2answers
326 views

Not always + inversion? [closed]

My neighbour's little son (they are from UK) asked me for something, saying that he wants it and hence he will get. I realized I do not know how to say that correctly (for the first one I used ...
3
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2answers
2k views

“Allows not” vs. “does not allow”

Which should I use: allows not or does not allow? Can I use both? Are there verbs that does not allow the two forms?
3
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2answers
198 views

“Nobody ever joined” vs “Nobody joined at all” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Usage of “ever” in a negative statement Yesterday I read a discussion here and I still cannot figure it out. What is the difference between the following: ...
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3answers
798 views

Usage of “ever” in a negative statement

I know that "ever" can be used to express the strengthened negation but would it work like that? I created a session but nobody ever joined. Is it possible? It does not sound right to me. If ...