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 “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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'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
909 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
688 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
9k views

“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
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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2answers
230 views

“I have nothing” vs “I give nothing” [closed]

Today I was told that "I give nothing to..." cannot be used as "nothing" does not exist and so I cannot give it. But don't you often say "I have nothing to do"? How come that in this case it works, ...
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1answer
762 views

“I give nothing to no-one” or “I do not give anything to anyone”

I have a bit of an issue with negations. Are the following correct? I do not give anything to anyone //I guess this is correct I give nothing to no-one //can I say that? Generally, is it the same ...
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2answers
2k views

“Seems to be not X” vs. “seems to not be X”

Which one of these two sentences is written correctly? This test data seems to be not good. This test data seems to not be good. Better yet if you could explain as to why the correct ...
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2answers
10k views

“I don't think so” vs. “I think not”

I've recently been told that "I don't think so" is, in the U.S.A., a southernism, whereas "I think not" is considered more acceptable everywhere else. Is this true? Example: Q: Is your wrist ...
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3answers
3k views

Difference between “unlikeable” and “dislikeable”?

Is there a difference between unlikeable and dislikeable? It feels like there is, but I'm uncertain how to explain it.
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15k views

What is the opposite of “enroll”?

Deenroll? Unenroll? I understand words like cancel and resign would work, but is there an appropriate antonym with "enroll" in it?
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2answers
895 views

How do “need” and “not” mix and match?

You don't need to play You need to not play You need not play You needn't play You need not to play What does each of these mean, and which ones are equivalent to the others? Is the meaning of the ...
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4answers
2k views

What's the distinction between “nonessential” and “inessential”?

I'm revising a text that uses the word "nonessential", but my ear is telling me "inessential." Usually when there are two very similar words like this, there is some subtle (or not so subtle) ...
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1answer
3k views

Negative of “shall” [closed]

I really wonder if there is a negative of shall. I've heard something like shan't. For example I shan't or Shall we go to the cinema? No, I shan't. I don't know whether this usage is correct or not.
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5answers
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What is the meaning of “ought not”?

Consider this example: A few strong branches over water reach for what they ought not reach. Which of the meanings comes closest to “ought not” in this sentence? Is it “doesn't have to”, “should ...
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3answers
634 views

Adjective describing possession by someone else

Is there any adjective in English that would describe a quality of belonging or being in the possession of someone else who is not the speaker? In short, what adjective would you substitute for the ...
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1answer
5k views

Negative questions vs positive questions

I'd like to know if negative questions are used very often in English. For example, in Spanish, negative questions are used very often just to offer something, to ask about something you're not sure, ...
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0answers
356 views

“My love don't cost a thing” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” In the Jennifer Lopez song "My Love Don't Cost a Thing" she says: My love don't cost a thing ...
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4answers
3k views

Using “any” with positive sentence [closed]

Everyone can do it. Nobody can do it. The both sentences are very clear. I understand what they mean. Anyone can do it But I feel a little confused about this sentence. What does it mean? ...
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4answers
7k views

“The service is temporarily unavailable” vs. “…not available”

Is there a difference? Both versions are common. If there is a difference, which do I use when, and why?
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1answer
953 views

Rules for 'no' and 'not' [closed]

Can anyone elucidate a comprehensive list of rules regarding the usage of 'no' and 'not'? I've found rules of thumb, such as 'no' for nouns and 'not' for everything else, but then there's the case of ...
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4answers
1k views

“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything”

Yes, this is the original quote from Albert Einstein. I tend to put it this way: The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing ...
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2answers
265 views

Is this correct grammar — “which feature in C/C++ don't you like?”

The question in question is this: Which feature in C/C++ don't you like? Just wanted to know if that is proper way of asking. Not sure if "don't you like" is the right way there.
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Why can’t one be “trepid”?

Why can someone be intrepid but not trepid ? The Free Dictionary and Merriam-Webster both consider trepid to be a real word, but my computer’s little spell-checker program does not recognize it as ...
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2answers
1k views

“Haven't you got X ?” or “Don't you have X ?”

In British English negative questions with the verb have (when it's a lexical verb and not an auxiliary) can be formed in two ways. Is there any difference between them? Type 1 Haven't I got your ...
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3answers
410 views

Is “non-freedom” correct?

I need to write something like Students were silenced because of social media posts: a case of non-freedom. That isn't the exact context, but I need to know if non-freedom is correct.
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7answers
848 views

Meaning of “No, yes …”

I'm not sure if this is something only Americans say, but it has confused me for a long time. If someone is asked a question why do some people respond with something like, "No, yes it was"? What does ...
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4answers
517 views

He didn't go to the store, but to the gym

To say that he went to the gym and did not go to the store, is it OK to say, "He didn't go to the store, but to the gym"? It seems that this would mean, "He didn't go to the store, but [he didn't ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
216 views

Why must “not” frequently be paired with “do”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: English questions and negation with do in syntax I've always wondered why English insists on pairing not with do, when negating an action. For example, you say: I ...
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Contraction of “is not”

How exactly can you contract the phrase "is not"? More specifically, what's the difference between the sentences, "The dog isn't running." and "The dog's not running."? They both sound correct to ...
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3answers
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Is “uncomplete” a word? [closed]

Or would I just use incomplete? Would there be any instance that one would uncomplete?
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1answer
234 views

Double 'not' in questions - how is it correct?

Suppose the following sentence: "Aren't the headers not covered by copyright?" Is this sentence correct?
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116 views

How much is he keen not to do something when he’s saying “I do never – if I can help it”?

I guess ‘if I can help it’ is a kind of ‘if possible’. It seems help means to prevent or avoid. By the way, how much are the speakers keen not to do something in the following sentences? I can’t ...
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4answers
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“All X are not made equal” - ambiguous meaning?

A phrase commonly heard in English (at least informal English) is something like the following: Well, this car is good, but all cars are not made equal! This would be commonly understood by most ...
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“I don't think you X” versus “I think you don't X”

Consider the following two sentences: I don't think you love your father. I think you don't love your father. Is the second sentence correct? I was taught it is wrong.
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6answers
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Antonym of the verb “complete”

I have an action on a web form. It's a button whose action is to complete a case. I need to name another button, and I want to use a verb that conveys the meaning of "undo the completion" of this ...
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8answers
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Express an ability not to do something

How would I express my ability not to do something? "I cannot dig" means that I definitely cannot dig. But how do I express my ability not to dig? The first thing that comes to my mind is "I am able ...
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1answer
297 views

Is litotes merely negation or more? [closed]

I came across the figure of speech litotes and it seems that it is the use of a negative to mean and emphasise the opposite. Now, take the following examples: "I just tried the soup. It's not the ...
3
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2answers
351 views

Use of ‘or’ when it means ‘and’ in negatives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does negation affect the use and understanding of “or” and “and” If I want to negate a sentence such as I like beer and whiskey. [Most ...
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2answers
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What exactly is meant by “This is not to say it's not a bad system”?

Someone on a forum wrote This is not to say it's not a bad system. With some context, This is not a component system. This is not to say it's not a bad system, but in this case you should be ...
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2answers
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“can't see neither A nor B” or “can see neither A nor B” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Still confused with “neither…nor…” ...can't see neither A nor B. Is that grammatically correct? Or is this? ...can see neither A nor ...
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4answers
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“Uncapable” or “incapable”?

In Microsoft Word, uncapable is marked as wrong. It sounded pretty alright to me, thus, I checked it up on the Web and found that many dictionaries do not have "uncapable" in their entries, but ...
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1answer
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Meaning of 'no earlier than X days after Y'

I am having trouble understanding the following notice on the American Airlines AAdvantage (miles account) website: Note: Mileage credit requests can be submitted no earlier than 15 days after ...
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3answers
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Can there be a hyphen in “nonlinear”?

As the title says, I'm wondering if "non-linear" is an acceptable spelling of the word "nonlinear." A bit of research on this site turns up Is the use of a hyphen between "non" and an ...
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What is the correct way to use “neither” and “nor” in a sentence together?

Given these facts: The tool cannot be found in the kitchen. The tool cannot be found in the bathroom. Which is the correct sentence to represent the situation above? I can find the tool ...
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“Can hardly wait” versus “can't hardly wait”

This has been bothering me for a while and I'm finally at a forum where I feel like I might get an answer. I have heard people say "I can hardly wait for summer to get here" and I've also heard "I ...
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4answers
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How to answer a negative question without ambiguity?

I faced a problem to answer a negative question, for example When someone ask you: Don't you have any money? It's a yes/no question but how should one answer the question without ambiguity? ...