Negation is the process that turns an affirmative statement (e.g. "I am American") into its opposite denial (e.g. "I am not American").

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
1answer
9k views

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? ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do we say INcomplete but UNcompleted?

I'm a native speaker and it's just occurred to me that this is a strange irregularity: "The work is incomplete." < Fine "The work is uncompleted." < Less common but still sounds ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Is it okay to use “doesn’t” twice in one sentence?

I wonder if it's okay to use "doesn't" twice in one sentece. Example I think that she doesn't do something and it doesn't something... Should I split it or it's completely correct? I mean two ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

“I never was” vs. “I was never”

What is the difference between "I never was" and "I was never"? It seems that there is a subtle difference, but I can't quite grasp it. Is one of them informal? For example: I never was a good ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Words where “not [word]” means more than a lack of

Sorry for the poor title. Is there a name/category of words with the property that using "not" before them does not give a standard negation in a way similar to the given examples? The two examples, ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Negative subjunctive

Some verbs require subjunctive, as in: The UN has demanded that all troops be withdrawn. A student has written: ...my sense of responsibility demands that I can't do that. What is the negative ...
3
votes
3answers
562 views

Answering a negative question with one word

There has been talk of how to answer a negative question without ambiguity, most often with a qualifying phrase needed for clarification. (For example, "yes, I do"/"no, I don't.) I've noticed that ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

What does “all not” mean exactly in this context?

All DriveTest Centres do not provide car rentals to applicants. The sentence above is taken from here. In my understanding, it means some DriveTest Centres may provide car rentals while others ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

the meaning of “they should not look nearly as different as they do”

The three species (Man, the chimpanzee and the gorilla) share almost 99 percent of their DNA, and on that basis, surely, they should not look nearly as different as they do. Am I right in ...
28
votes
8answers
28k views

Order of “not” with infinitive

This is one thing that keeps bugging me, and maybe there's a direct answer. Grammatically, which one is more correct of these two? Does it make a difference? I tried not to do that. I tried ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Can we say “you can [not go] to school” or does it automatically become a negative sentence? [duplicate]

"You can [not go] to school." Can this sentence mean that you can stay here and not go, or does it automatically become a negative sentence if I say it like this?
0
votes
0answers
41 views

What is difference between no different and not different

I came up with this sentence "Our lives are no different" in a book called "You can win". I was wondering what if we say like "our lives are not different" will this change the meaning of sentence or ...
2
votes
4answers
21k 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
1
vote
2answers
162 views

My father had no much money / My father did not have much money [closed]

Can both sentences be acceptable? (1) My father did not have much money. (2) My father had no much money. If one of them is incorrect, what is the grammatical reason why?
9
votes
3answers
112 views

Negating a raising verb vs its complement infinitive [duplicate]

Consider the sentence: I don't seem to have enough time. Theoretically, it could be rephrased: I seem to not have enough time. It seems to be grammatically correct, but it sounds a bit ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Is there a verb for 'to make negative'? [duplicate]

If I am instructing someone to make a number negative, is there a verb I can use? Negitivise? Negify? Negate, for me, does not work as this is to cancel out, rather than turn a number into the ...
9
votes
1answer
220 views

When can I use “Only do …” vs. when must I use “Only …” without the “do”?

I'm writing a scientific paper and my supervisor (who is non-native speaker, whereas I am a native speaker) asked me to change this construct: Only do males have a y chromosome. to Only ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “make no mistake” a mistake?

Is "make no mistake" proper grammar? Isn't "no" being used as a quantifier? Aren't quantified nouns supposed to be plural when the quantity is none? For example, I was taught to say, "one egg" and ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What job don't students like very much?

I need to have my English students read a pie chart containing information about jobs. One of the questions I wrote is: "What job don't students like very much?" (They are expected to read the ...
-2
votes
1answer
60 views

The previous text (has not | does not | not) written correctly [closed]

I have a simple sentence, but I have some confusion on it. What is the correct choice and why ? The previous text (has not | does not | not | something else) written correctly. I choose "has ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

Position of Adverbs in Negative Sentences [closed]

How am I supposed to write the sentences below in the negative form? Example A: A.1) Lila is certainly not going to be very happy about it or A.2) Lila isn't certainly going to be very ...
5
votes
2answers
83 views

What the heck is “not”, anyway?

Consider the following sentences: Enough are present to form a quorum. Not enough are present to form a quorum. M-W and Wiktionary both label enough as a pronoun in this usage, but they also ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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?
1
vote
3answers
79 views

Negative form of “Here comes the guy” [closed]

Consider the sentence: Here comes the guy. What would be the best negative form of this sentence--not normal negative like "The guy doesn't come here", but both inverted and negative? One ...
4
votes
4answers
3k 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) ...
4
votes
2answers
129 views

It Is Imperative That You Be Not Afraid?

A question closed recently as proofreading asked about the grammaticality of the following subjunctive statement: They suggested that the washing machine not be put in that place. To my ear, that ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

“So shouldn't you”?

So shouldn't you: is this grammatically correct? Or is you shouldn't either the only appropriate response?
-2
votes
1answer
116 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Possessive followed by negative gerund

Is it correct to say this? Her not paying attention to the class annoys me.
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Which one is better?

" They want nobody's sympathy." Or " They don't want anyone's sympathy." I know they're grammatically correct, but I guess they suit at separate occasions. I mean, one means slightly diffetent. Am i ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

“Undistinguishable” vs. “indistinguishable”

Is there a difference between these two words? To me, it seems that undistinguishable is more where you can't tell what it is, and indistinguishable seems to be where they're the same. It seems a lot ...
3
votes
2answers
680 views

Can I use 'better still' in negative sentences?

Can I use 'better still' in a negative sentence? I'm especially interested in American English usage. Does it sound natural to say: You may not have the access to a trusted counselling, or better ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Is “incomplex” a legitimate word?

I want to create a poster titled "An Incomplex Introduction to Complexity-based Cryptography." As you see, it contrasts the words incomplex and complexity. (Words like simple or easy do not provide ...
0
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
310 views

“I don't agree totally” vs. “I don't totally agree” vs. “I totally don't agree”

What is the difference between the following? I don't agree with him totally. I don't totally agree with him. I totally don't agree with him. I'm puzzled at the meaning of negative ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
287 views

“or not” vs. “or no”: Which one is correct? [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Are you coming to the gym or not? Are you coming to the gym or no?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is “Stick no bills” correct English?

'Stick no bills' sounds awkward. Shouldn't it be something like 'Do not stick any bills'?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the meanings of the sentences where “Not that” is followed by an object-missing expression?

According to my observation, there are at least two types of using "Not that....". And my question is: what does "not that" mean in its second type of usage? In the first usage, "not that" is ...
1
vote
3answers
270 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Does the phrase “so long as” have a negative sense?

Can I use neither . . . nor following the phrase so long as? I read this sentence in an article: When I was in college a Marwari friend of mine told me that her parents would be totally open to ...
0
votes
3answers
81 views

Negation of a chain of verbs conjoined with “and”

Let's consider the following sentence: Ducks are things that walk like ducks and quack like ducks. Now, I wanna negate it to describe something that is not a duck. The most verbose way to do it ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
3k views

“May not have [noun]” or “may have not [noun]”

Which of the following is correct: may not have or may have not? For example, which sentence should one write? They may not have apples. They may have not apples.
6
votes
6answers
233 views

Shift to “must” for negation of “have to”?

According to englishpage.com, if have to or must expresses certainty, the negative form uses must not. Example: That has to be Jerry. They said he was tall with bright red hair. => That must not ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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. ...