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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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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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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10k 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
282 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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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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“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 ...
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1answer
289 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 ...
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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
346 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 ...
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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?
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2answers
205 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
860 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 ...
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2answers
249 views

Do the tug of war rules have a typo? (“Or” vs. “nor”)

The Official Tug of War Rules (link is PDF, here is Google quickview link) say: The rope must not be less than 10 centimetres (100 mm), or more than 12.5 centimetres (125 mm) in circumference... ...
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5answers
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Usage of the phrase “couldn't help myself” [closed]

I am getting confused at the usage of the phrase "couldn't help myself." For example, let's say I played soccer in the evening. What should I say? I couldn't help myself from not playing soccer. ...
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4answers
229 views

“Can take no other” vs. “can't take other”

As an ESL I'm not sure if I can use the following sentences: You can take no other directions. I'm using it on giving indications to a foreigner. Should I use instead: You can't take other ...
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407 views

“Yet” to imply negative?

Yet few colleges and universities have taken sufficient account... Does the sentence above imply a negative/opposite meaning? e.g: Few colleges and universities haven't taken sufficient ...
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1answer
350 views

Please provide me correct interpretation of this sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does negation affect the use and understanding of “or” and “and” A's girlfriend doesn't like movies or Roses. What would be the correct ...
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4answers
829 views

Why “no” rather than “not” in “Life is no Nintendo game”? [closed]

I've just seen this sentence on the internet... You don't get another chance. Life is no Nintendo game. If I had to say something like that, I would say "Life is not a Nintendo game." Why did ...
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1answer
127 views

Does “there is doubt whether it will not …” confuse the meaning of this sentence?

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “FROM SOUTH CAROLINA.; PUBLIC FEELING IN CHARLESTON THE LEADING MEN IN THE SECESSION MOVEMENT MISGIVINGS ABOUT THE ...
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2answers
869 views

Is this correct: “Of [something] I have but none”?

This might be a pretty weird question, given that I'm using awkward grammar. Take into account that I'm trying to play with the language. The question is, would the following be correct? Of milk ...
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1answer
319 views

Intentional double negation

Is there a name for this manner of purposely speaking in double negatives, e.g. I wouldn't say no to a cup of tea! I've noticed it as a habit of some people, perhaps often going along with a ...
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2answers
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Is it not that big a deal vs No big deal

I was just checking an advanced grammar and learned that the following is possible: It is not that big a deal 1) The book says I cannot skip the article. But how come in "ordinary" version there ...
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“Cannot help but think” vs. “cannot but think” vs. “cannot help thinking”

Which of the following are grammatical? I cannot help but think. I cannot but think. I cannot help thinking. I was taught (1) is not correct. Is it true? Or are they all correct? ...
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4answers
415 views

Can you negate a positive without implying the opposite?

I often stumble over the fact that in English, apparently, we imply the reverse when we negate a positive. For example, That wasn't very good. [⇒ That was bad.] That wasn't bad. [⇒ That was ...
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1answer
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“There is no problem” or “there isn't any problem” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “There is no point in” or “There is not a point in” What's the difference between there is no problem and there isn't any problem? Are they both ...
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Difference between “I haven't” and “I've not” etc

If I have three consecutive words where each adjacent pair can be contracted, e.g. "I would have" or "You are not", is there a difference between the two possible contractions, e.g. "I would've" or ...
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5answers
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“There isn't” vs. “there's not”

They both expand to "there is not" but for some reason "There's not" sounds indescribably uncomfortable for most situations. Can anyone elucidate why this might be? Or am I wrong? EDIT: Let me ...
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3answers
399 views

On the expression “no [noun 1] or any [noun 2]”

I have often seen the following expressions: [ex.] 1. I have no allergies or any medical issues. 2. John serves a chicken with no sauce or any kind of seasoning. I suspect that such a use is ...
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2answers
2k views

Tag Questions “is he not”

"He is happy, isn't he?" If you did not use the contraction isn't he, in the question above, would the correct sentence be: "He is happy, is he not?" "He is happy, is not he?" Sentence #1 seems ...
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3answers
552 views

'I don't like fish.' 'Me, too.' Is this natural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can “me, too” be used to reply to a negative statement? 'I don't like fish.' 'Me, too.' Is this sentence natural or unnatural? I mean not the grammatical ...
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4answers
987 views

Can “me, too” be used to reply to a negative statement?

A: I can't understand why my parents keep me from buying fast food. B: Me, too. It's delicious. Does B's answer sound natural? In Korea, we usually teach that we should use 'me, neither' in ...
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Negative in a question with various negative valence words

so I was walking to a very nice place in Berlin today only to find it empty yet again. I was asking myself why this is... and now I am confused. Which of the following forms of asking are correct? ...
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1answer
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Is there a difference in meaning between “does not seem to” and “seems not to”?

Consider the following sentences: Try not to be alarmed if a rule doesn’t seem to work for a specific sentence. Try not to be alarmed if a rule seems not to work for a specific sentence. ...
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2answers
317 views

What is the proper way to punctuate “but no”?

I'm trying to figure out the proper usage and punctuation of "but no". I think it's one of the following: You figure I would have made at least one post about Arthur C. Clarke’s “2010” during ...
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842 views

Which of these sentences use proper grammar?

Unfortunately, there currently is not a way to make it default to a lower resolution. Unfortunately, there is currently not a way to make it default to a lower resolution. Unfortunately, ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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When to use 'no good'; when to use 'not good'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between “no” and “not”? there is a question always confusing me. Is it 'no good' or 'not good'? How do I use them? I guess ...
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2answers
10k views

What is the difference between “no” and “not”? [closed]

What is the difference between "no" and "not"? We know that "no" and "not" have the same meaning. I'm studying English. I hope to get help. Sorry for my language.
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4answers
395 views

What's the negative of the nonstandard perfect: “He done eat his breakfast”

In movies I hear a lot of sentences like that in the title of the question spoken mainly by African Americans. As I understand it's the dialect version of the standard Present Perfect. I was wondering ...
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2answers
650 views

Does “not that you would know” make sense in English?

Today I was teasing a colleague of mine who keeps forgetting things. I said "You forgot because it's Friday today... Well, not that you would not forget any other day". I am not sure if it was ...
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756 views

What's the “opposite” of “any more”?

Consider the following sentence: [This] is not important for the younger generation any more. Now let's suppose that for some reason I am willing or obliged to use the adjective "unimportant" ...
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5answers
435 views

“Why can't I see?” or “Why I can't see?”?

Which of the following is correct? Why can't I see? Why I can't see? I am a bit confused, since both have inversion, negation and a "why" in the beginning.
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1answer
628 views

Is “It won't let me not.” grammatically correct?

I found myself saying the following sentence the other day: I always fasten my seat belt because my car won't let me not — it starts beeping loudly. If I were to use allow instead of let, I ...
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2answers
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'To' vs 'in order to' in negative clauses

The answers to this related question suggest that to and in order to are pretty much interchangeable, the former being preferred in informal contexts. My question is about negative clauses. ...
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4answers
876 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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2answers
668 views

“Does not make changes” or “makes no changes”

I was thinking of using this sentence on my computer program: This action does not make changes on user's machine. Just to be sure, I checked Google Translate which suggested: This action ...
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3answers
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“Neither” and “either” usage in negative sentence

I would like to make sure I understood the usage of these: Do you want A or B? I do not want either. [none of them] I want neither. [Can I say that?]
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1answer
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“There is no point in” or “There is not a point in”

I was thinking about these negations. Do these mean the same thing? There is no point in ... There is not a point in ... or: I have no clue I do not have any clue etc.
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3answers
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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 ...