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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1answer
2k views

Why can we use “inadequate” but not “inspecific”?

I find the use of the word "inspecific" very natural. It makes sense and flows easily in sentences I speak and write (to myself at least). However, upon inspection, it is apparently not a valid ...
4
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3answers
16k views

“Like” versus “not unlike”

Just out of curiousity, how did this double negative come to be? When I use it, it's often because I want to emphasise the fact that x is not y but is still similar in some way, whereas "like" doesn'...
11
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3answers
13k views

“currently not” or “not currently”

What's the correct order: Lessons are not currently being offered. or Lessons are currently not being offered.
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5answers
2k views

“There is no rule” vs. “there isn't rule”

What are the differences between the two sentences below: There is no rule. There isn't rule.
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0answers
25 views

unlike you, I don't write songs

a. I don't write songs like you. b. I don't write songs as you do. c. I don't write songs, as you do. d. I don't write songs, like you. Which of these could be used to mean Unlike you, I don't ...
4
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1answer
25k views

“Never” vs. “never ever”

Example: I never use this cup. I never ever use this cup. What is the difference between these two sentences?
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1answer
62 views

Using (be) as a main verb in this form (be) without using auxiliary verbs, is it possible?

There's no doubt that "Be happy." and "Don't be sad." are correct. But "They be happy" is incorrect. "They are happy" "Are they happy?" "They aren't happy" "Aren't they happy?" "Why aren't they ...
1
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1answer
46 views

Why not present perfect in “Nobody told me”

There is a song by John Lennon called "Nobody Told Me". It goes like this: Nobody told me there'd be days like these / Strange days indeed As ESL learners we are told that in the presence of a ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Adverb position <hardly> [closed]

I’m asking about the position of the adverb “hardly” in sentences. If the second sentence doesn’t have the same meaning as the first, what’s the difference? I had hardly any money coming into ...
14
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0answers
677 views

dogs, not cats -> why 'not'? [migrated]

When I want to clarify something and I say for example "Dogs, not cats.", I automatically want to write/say 'not' even though 'cats' is a noun, and for nouns one uses 'no'. But I'm quite sure this isn'...
-1
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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 “...
0
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1answer
68 views

Confirm and agree to negative questions [duplicate]

on the internet I read the following explanation: "we aren't using "no" to agree, we are using "no" to CONFIRM the negative statement." Does that mean you confirm a negative question with no and ...
0
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2answers
44 views

betray you for nothing

Can one say a. I will betray you for nothing. instead of: b. I will not betray you for anything. ? Normally, (a) would mean: I will betray you even if I don't get anything out of it. I will ...
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0answers
41 views

Neither A nor B

As a native speaker, the basic usage of "neither" and "nor" are perfectly clear to me. However, natives may suffer from colloquial usage sounding more normal than formal grammar. I definitely have ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Sentence negation

One of my professors told me that he prefers not to use "not" in the sentences. Instead try to use other words. For e.g. Instead of "This is not true." => "This is false." "This is not ...
0
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1answer
78 views

Words like 'disgruntled' with no positive counterpart [duplicate]

"I was thoroughly gruntled." Are there many words like 'disgruntled' where there is no positive counterpart? And was there ever a word 'gruntled'? And if not, where did 'disgruntled' derive from?
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0answers
27 views

Should we use “esp not” or simply “esp” following a negation?

This occurred to me when I was having a conversation about sleep disorder with my friend. When I asked of tips to have a good sleep, he advised me to do a lot of workout and make myself as tired as ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Why does the word “never” not contain an apostrophe? [closed]

If never is a contraction of 'not ever' why does it not have an apostrophe, i.e. why is it not written n'ever rather than never? I can understand that the apostrophe has simply fallen out of use, but ...
1
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1answer
70 views

What does it mean to say that a lexical item is specified for semantic negation? [closed]

What does it mean to say that a negative morpheme is specified for semantic negation while another negative morpheme is not?
2
votes
5answers
43k 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
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5answers
54 views

“What would I not exact from you…?”

The meaning of the phrase in bold is incomprehensible to me. Could someone please explain or paraphrase the sentence for me? CAESAR. Vengeance! Vengeance!! Oh, if I could stoop to vengeance, what ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

How to respond to negative questions (adjectives)?

My friend got me this question: When somebody asks, "Is it not available?" Should I say: (1) "Yes, it is not available." OR (2) "No, it is not available."? I know it would be better to use the word ...
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4answers
7k 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.
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0answers
22 views

did not know that I had seen some/certain [closed]

a. She didn't know that I had seen some of her paintings. b. She didn't know that I had seen some of her paintings. Could either of these sentences be used instead of: c. There were certain of her ...
1
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0answers
58 views

Does the word ‘not’ modify verbs beforehand or afterward?

I have had some trouble recently with the word not, and people being confused by my use of it. I suppose I made some incorrect logical connection with it. A friend and I were discussing the placement ...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

“Not bad either” versus “not bad neither”

There are more Google matches for the first sentence, but the last one sounds better to me. Which one is correct?
0
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2answers
66 views

Negation with 'such as'

I want a foo that doesn't bar, such as a baz. Is baz referring to a foo that does bar, or a foo that does not bar?
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0answers
8 views

Negation for “to able” by using “can” [duplicate]

Suppose that by the negative expression for "I am able to" we mean saying "I am able not to". So what would be the negative expression for "I can"? It is not "I can not"! I other words, "I am able to ...
17
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13answers
39k views

What is a good replacement for “ununderstandable”?

I want to tell a colleague of mine I'm doing something that will prevent her from getting "ununderstandable" errors. I have: ...so that you will not get unnecessary, [ununderstandable] errors. ...
0
votes
2answers
43 views

main verb negation/can not

Can one say a. You can not do it now and do it later. b. You may not do it now and do it later. (Meaning: You can do it later. You don't have to do it now.) ? Can one say c. It could happen and it ...
5
votes
2answers
10k 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?
5
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4answers
624 views

“Not bad at all” vs. “Not at all bad”

What is the difference between the two? The weather is not bad at all. The weather is not at all bad.
4
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2answers
225 views

All of …not/ Not all of / None of

Some grammar rules say "All of ... are not" and "Not all of ... are" have the same meaning, yet they are different from "None of ... are". For example: 1) Not all of the books I have are science ...
10
votes
3answers
27k views

“Do you not” vs. “Don't you”

I live in the UK and I mostly hear people saying Don't you..., but some people say: Do you not...? What is the difference and which one is more correct? You can put any example really. Something like:...
0
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0answers
39 views

Answering Negative Questions; Contractions

I heard a dialogue on the radio today: Q: Did you decide not to come with me? A: Yes, I'm busy now. Question 1. Upon hearing this, I felt the answer part of the dialogue was unnatural and ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

Answering the question: Do you mind if…?

The following always puzzles me as a non-native speaker. When somebody asks the question "Do you mind if...", there seem to be two possible responses. "Sure" and "No, not at all", which both mean ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Are “not uncommon” and similar phrases double negatives? Should their use be avoided?

When I think of double negatives I think of phrases that grate on the ears, like: I'm not going to do no homework. I'm never going to not go visit Graceland. There are some phrases that ...
6
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2answers
7k views

can't ever vs can never

I can never win. Or I can't ever win. Can these be used interchangeably? Is there a case where one would work and the other wouldn't?
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1answer
55 views

Does “unrenamed” mean “not yet renamed”?

I am writing a software and the following description cannot be more than 15-20 characters long. I need to concisely say “files that have not been renamed”. I think “unrenamed files” works, ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

Is “little of fun” correct?

I watched a class in which the teacher was explaining how to use quantifiers. One of her examples was "I had lots of fun last night". However, she used the example "I didn't have little of fun last ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
16k views

“It isn't” vs. “it's not”

Is one stronger than the other? More correct? Just curious, one of the many abstract things to pop into my head on the drive home today...
44
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6answers
230k views

“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. It is ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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 questions: ...
0
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2answers
706 views

Can I use “anymore” with “nothing”?

Normally, anymore (or any more in UK) meaning any longer used as an adverb not a as determiner, can be found in negative, conditional, or interrogative sentences. Americans may use anymore in ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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. "...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
110 views

In what varieties of English can “does not qualify” mean “disqualifies”? [closed]

Are there any (nonstandard?) varieties (dialects/registers/styles) of English where "does not X" can mean "does the opposite of X", either in general, or specifically for the transitive verb qualify, ...
2
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2answers
5k views

Is “neither I” grammatically correct?

I'm just trying to figure out if "neither I" is grammatically correct as a standalone statment (in spoken English).
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2answers
130 views

Double Negatives [duplicate]

Is the phrase "Isn't there no need" considered a double negative and would resolve to a positive? Or is it considered an intensifier? So would it resolve to "There is a need"? The full sentence that ...