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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did not think he would steal some

a. I did not think he would steal some of my ideas. b. I did not think he would steal certain of my ideas. Could these sentences have two meanings: I did not think he would steal any of my ideas. ...
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3answers
5k views

Is “Stick no bills” correct English?

'Stick no bills' sounds awkward. Shouldn't it be something like 'Do not stick any bills'?
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3answers
80 views

Is “not very” considered polite? [closed]

I've heard that if you want to describe something in a negative way but polity, use "not very" + "negative" adj. For example, describing a bad thing would be: This is not very good. Or talking ...
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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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43 views

'Neither' and 'Nor' Usage

What would be the correct sentence? Neither does he abuse nor does he beat. or Neither does he abuse nor he beats.
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2answers
70 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 ...
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4answers
73 views

Meaning of “I may never be able to do this”?

The problem is, that I fail to unambiguously understand this phrase. There are two ways in which I can understand it (and a number of similar phrases): I may never be able to do this = It's ...
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0answers
17 views

Proper use of expect + negation? [duplicate]

Which one is correct / better ? I expect him to not have been called I expect him not to have been called
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2answers
76 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 ...
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1answer
78k views

Why use “need not” instead of “do not need to”?

The header of psyco.sourceforge.net states: High-level languages need not be slower than low-level ones. Why use need not instead of do not need? What does it mean? Also, why no to before be? ...
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3answers
27 views

What is the correct use of the negation of “There to be”?

"There is no man outside the house" "There is not a man outside the house" "There was no solution to the problem" "There was not a solution to the problem" Can I use both of them? Are the sentences ...
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3answers
94 views

Why is there a negation of “ability” but not a negation of “agility”?

Would like to know what is the reasoning behind the use of some prefixes for example if one were to use "un-"able as opposed to "dis-"able the situational context is understood yet the same does not ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the origin of auxiliary verbs?

When and why did we start using auxiliary verbs, particularly "do", to ask questions and make negatives?
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2answers
22k 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 ...
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6answers
953 views

Do the following negations mean the same thing?

I don't think you understood me. / I think you misunderstood me. Do these senteces mean the same thing? If not, what's the difference? Edit: I just realized that I asked something different ...
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1answer
54 views

What's the difference between “He is no fool” and “He is not a fool”? [duplicate]

For a non-native speaker, the above two sentences seem similar. From the point of the native speaker's view, is there any slight difference? In the same vein, "I have no money" and "I don't ...
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1answer
28 views

declined to override a veto - is that a Yes or a No?

The full sentence from the New York Times reads: One day after a mass shooting in California left 14 people dead, Republican lawmakers in New Jersey declined on Thursday to override Gov. Chris ...
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5answers
195k 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. ...
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1answer
794 views

Un-(adjective) but In-(noun) — does it ever go the other way?

Many pairs of words use un- as a prefix for the preferred adjective but in- as a prefix for the preferred noun (e.g. unstable/instability, unequal/inequality, unable/inability, unjust/injustice, ...
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1answer
95 views

difference between the prefix “un” and “not” [closed]

is there any plausible way to seperate the semantics of undefined - not defined or undetermined - not determined ?
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2answers
45 views

Can a negative ever mean the opposite outside of double negatives? “ex: I was not a little disturbed by the news” [duplicate]

I saw this sentence while reading:"The mansion was lovely-she particularly liked the topiary-but not a little intimidating." I don't understand the function of the not? from context she is ...
2
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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 ...
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1answer
31 views

Negation of two things

Which one of the following is correct? We don't need to know A, nor B, individually. Instead, we only need the sum of A and B. or We don't need to know A and B individually. Instead, we only ...
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9answers
10k views

“All is not lost” vs “Not all is lost”

I guess I've been in mathematics for far too long, and I tend to use the phrase "Not all is lost" as the negative of "All is lost". To me the phrase "All is not lost" suggests that nothing is lost. ...
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1answer
74 views

Not only not A, but also B. Does this imply B or not B?

Let's take the following two statements. He who lives in a glass house shall not cast stones (1) He who lives in a glass house shall have his toilet in the basement. (2) Now, if we try to ...
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2answers
2k views

Answering questions with a negation at the end

How are you supposed to answer a question like this (assuming you're from Minnesota)? You are a Minnesotan, no? Are you supposed to give the same answer as your answer to this question or give ...
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1answer
41 views

Implied Negations

For the idiomatic phrase, "There, but for the grace of God, go I", I take it literally to mean "There I would go, but because of God's grace, I don't." If I'm correct, I'm confused as to where this ...
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891 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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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3answers
5k 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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3answers
747 views

About question tags

He did nothing*. Which is the correct question tag for the sentence above? didn't he? did he? What is the effect of using nothing for negation?
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3answers
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 ...
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5answers
156 views

“I don't buy no drinks.” Grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I don't buy no drinks. I saw this phrase in a song, and I'm not quite sure if it's correct I hope you'll help me find the answer. Thank you in advance.
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2answers
42 views

Double negative Q/A?

If someone asks "Can I not have a drink?", and someone else responds "No", is that considered as: No = No, you can't not have a drink. = You can have a drink. or No = No, you can't have a ...
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2answers
2k views

Question tag for a sentence starting with “few”

Which is correct? Few people knew the way, didn't they? Few people knew the way, did they?
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1answer
20k 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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3answers
259 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, ...
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0answers
49 views

Meaning of a positive answer to a negative question [duplicate]

I'm watching Orange Is the New Black, and I'm confused about whether a woman character said she did something well or not. This is the conversation. Man: "Don't make me regret putting you in ...
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1answer
117 views

“Not X so much as Y” vs. “not so much X as Y”

E.g. which don't describe an action so much as describe a state of being which don't so much describe an action as describe a state of being Are both constructions grammatically ...
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4answers
5k views

Present perfect used in the negative

For the following sentence: I haven't been there in a long time. I want to know if the above sentence conveys any connection with time up to now. How can I correct this sentence it if it is ...
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2answers
3k 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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4answers
2k 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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1answer
114 views

How to use will in tag questions [closed]

Open the door, will you? Open the door, won't you? As I know the first one is the right one, but last week I came across with the second one, so I am really confused now.
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5answers
31k 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
2
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2answers
229 views

Can we use “not either” instead of “neither”?

Can we use "not either" instead of "neither"? For example, given that… I don't like football I don't like basketball … which of the following are correct? A. I like neither football nor ...
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3answers
11k 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 ...
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1answer
140 views

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

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 ...
0
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1answer
68 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
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3answers
701 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
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2answers
100 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 ...