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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Negative form of “satisfy”, correct usage of “such”, difference between “quick” and “fast”

I just did an English test on the Internet because I have an entry exam tomorrow and I wanted to recap. I got 91% right, but I wanted to find out why I made these mistakes and what the correct way to ...
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50 views

What's the correct form of the negative subjunctive?

It is essential that [some parameter] be not reset during the day. (1) It is essential that [some parameter] not be reset during the day. (2) Which one is the correct form? I do know the ...
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Most accurate affirmative form of a sentence

The sentence is I can never forget you. We have to find the affirmative form of this sentence without changing its meaning. I can think of two answers for this question. 1.I will always remember ...
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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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4answers
209 views

Use of 'not' in questions

When is it okay to use 'not' when posing a question? I believe that the person asking would include the 'not 'when he believes the implied to be true. For example: "Are you going to the store? "Are ...
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88 views

“Unavailable” vs. “not available” [duplicate]

What is the difference between unavailable and not available? In my opinion, unavailable is something that will never be available, while not available is something that is not available right now ...
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72 views

Explain this sentence to me please

I'm taking this true or false questionnaire for work. One question is Most supervisors accept that you cannot always call in for an absence. true or false
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3answers
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
65 views

“I'm not going to have…” vs. “I'm going not to have…” vs. “I'm going to not have”

Is there a rule that governs when you change around the placement of "not" in a sentence relative to the verb? For example: I'm NOT going to Spain to have fun. or I'm going, NOT to have fun, ...
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4answers
6k 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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21 views

How should “vice versa” be conjoined to a negative prase that uses “cannot”?

In a passage of proposed programming language documentation I was reading today, I came across this sentence: Strings cannot directly be compared with binary sequences, and vice versa! The "and" ...
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263 views

What is the meaning of not in “as often as not” and “as likely as not”?

Am I failing to get a point here? Collins English Dictionary: as often as not: quite frequently as likely as not: very probably Considering the meanings of these phrases, to my eye, ...
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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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A simple question about syntax [closed]

I guess this would be a pretty simple question to answer. Is this sentence correct: The player appears to have not connected. I am having my doubts about the appears to have not part. P.S.: Not ...
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189 views

The use of “not” in idiomatic English

The Daily Mirror recently used the phrase "Pentagon experts on Friday said it was impossible to imagine that the missile could not have been fired without Russian help". This exact phrase has appeared ...
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86 views

Ambiguity in Negation: “John did not come because of the rain”

John did not come because of the rain. This sentence seems to allow the following two completely different interpretations. John did not come. And the reason was the rain. John came. But the ...
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“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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47 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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81 views

Nor without neither?

I am correcting a translation for a friend. He wanted to say: "Don't look for treasure nor earthly pleasure." This sounds wrong to me. I would say: "Look not for treasure nor earthly pleasure." ...
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2answers
91 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. ...
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Is the use of a hyphen between “non” and an adjective strictly necessary?

Do I need to put a "-" between "non" and an adjective? As an example in physics we say "a non isolated photon", "non tight photon"... The context is very formal (paper publications and similar). Is ...
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4answers
1k views

“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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1answer
34 views

What is the difference between “not that X is going to Y” and “X is not going to Y”? [closed]

Not that running away is going to solve everything. Running away is not going to solve everything. I am not a native speaker. Is there a difference between the two?
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“Why do not you come here?” vs “Why do you not come here?”

I have two questions. What is the difference between "Why do not you come here?" and "Why do you not come here?"? Are both of "Why do not you come here?" and "Why do you not come here?" ...
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2answers
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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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86 views

Can we say “I can't not go” or for instance “i couldn't not look” [duplicate]

I've seen this in an English Learning Facebook page that we can say: I can't not go I can't not tell her I couldn't not eat I couldn't not look Are they true? Is it formal or informal? What ...
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461 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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Does the negative enhance the sentence?

When saying, for example, "Isn't that your mother?" versus "Is that your mother?" Is the former sentence more effective because of the negative?
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Reply to a question with “Yes, it is” or “No, it is” [duplicate]

What is the correct response to the following question: Ten divided by five is not two? 1) Yes, it is. 2) No, it is. Intuitively I would say "Yes, it is", but then I thought about it in the ...
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6answers
146 views

Is there a functional difference between “not believing” and “believing not”?

If you tell your friend some incredible story and they say, "I don't believe you!" It seems like they are pretty obviously trying to say that they believe that your story isn't true. I have someone ...
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Why is “cannot” spelled as one word?

Why is “cannot” spelled as one word whereas other similar constructions such as “do not,” “will not,” “shall not,” “may not” and “must not” are spelled as two words (unless they are contracted as ...
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134 views

Does “you don't want X” mean “I don't recommend X to you”?

Quite often I read exchanges like this: — I want [something], I tried this and that but still no luck, how can I do that? — You don't want [it]. An example: example. I'm Russian, and this ...
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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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It's not ___, but it's not not ___ either

Are there general modifiers for adjectives that indicate a gray area between the adjective and its negative? E.g., "Plywood isn't wooden, but it isn't not-wooden either. Therefore, plywood is ____ly ...
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Why is the phrase 'Should we not' a Positive assertion?

This phrase is asking the listener to take action in the positive to help our neighbors. "Should we not stand by our neighbors who seek to better their conditions in Kansas and Nebraska?" ...
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4answers
677 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
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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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“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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Transform negative to affirmative? [closed]

What is the affirmative form of the following sentence? He is neither poor nor honest. I tried, but couldn't transform it from negative to affirmative.
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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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What is this “Nor”?

And I saw Tityos, son of glorious Gaea, lying on the ground. Over nine roods he stretched, and two vultures sat, one on either side, and tore his liver, plunging their beaks into his bowels, nor ...
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reporting statements: that-clauses [closed]

How would you write the negative statement of: She declared the item to be faulty, the police reported the girl to be missing. Would it be: She declared the item not to be faulty, the ...
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2answers
368 views

“Hitler will send no warning” vs “Hitler won't send warnings”

As in this WWII poster: Are they the same thing, or are there differences in expression? Why do native speakers choose the first one?
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1answer
70 views

Is “Rouse me not” grammatically permissible? [duplicate]

In A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, he writes that the “words” [see footnote] of House Grandison are Rouse Me Not. Is this grammatically correct? Does English allow such word-scrambling ...
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36 views

“I'm not” or “I amn't” or “I am not”? [duplicate]

Does there exist a short form of I am not? I'm not or I amn't or I am not?
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1answer
478 views

“No” vs. “not” for negation

I am not clear about the use of no and not . I have come across two sentences like: All I asked was time, not money. I met this person about a month ago. I remember his name, what he was ...
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3answers
926 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
253 views

What are the differences between “seems not” and “doesn't seem”?

Are the following sentences correct? He seems not to want to help us and He seems want to help us. Is it correct if I use "seem" in a negative sentence? Which role does "seem" play? ...
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How to hyphenate a negated compound noun?

We have a term for a process, "defect source assessment". We want to describe a set of processes that are not related to that process. Which of the following (if any) would be correct? non ...
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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 ...