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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Usage of not with verbs [migrated]

I'm a little bit confused about using the word 'not' with verbs in some situations. I'd been trying to find any specific information, but I've failed. I would like to receive any help with the ...
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“No, I don't” or “No, I do not” in responding English questions

Consider: A: Do you like ice cream? B: No, I don't. Usually in a grammar book when you answer someone's question with negation you'll use shortened answer as in "I don't". I know you can ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
6k 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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6answers
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“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 ...
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4answers
26k 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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2answers
61 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 ...
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Question regarding negation? [duplicate]

Usually, one says, I didn't know how. But I've seen this: I knew not how... What is this type of negation called, and when do you use it? Examples: I knew not how... I lie you not... I ...
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5answers
221 views

What's the antonym of “prioritize”? [closed]

If someone is asked to do something important, they might say "I'll prioritize that". But if someone is asked to put something aside to work on something else more important, what could they say? In ...
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4answers
53 views

Should it be “no sign of” or “no signs of”?

I'd like to say: The calm, balmy evening air showed no sign of the carnage that would ensue. My question is: should it be "no sign of" or "no signs of"? Obviously the word "sign" is countable noun ...
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11answers
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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. ...
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1answer
47 views

Negation of auxiliary

In He is not right, it is usually said that not negates the auxiliary is. But why not think of not as negating right instead?
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Try not to wake her by A) talking too loud or B) talking quietly?

As I see it both can be correct: Try not (to wake her by talking too loud). (Try not to wake her) by talking quietly. I'm not sure which one a native speaker would use. Any preferences?
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4answers
8k views

“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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3answers
86 views

“To not” vs. “not to” [duplicate]

A little bit of context, I read the sentence below after the system - a computer application - has been subject to a certain kind of update: The system will be able to not create a record of that ...
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3answers
206 views

How to form this tag question?

We always use a positive tag question after a negative sentence: You shouldn't take this medicine, should you? We use a negative tag question after a positive sentence: She must leave early, ...
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1answer
32 views

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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1answer
42 views

“…mustn't have done..”: can it mean reproach for a past action or prohibition of a future action?

Can "You mustn't have done that" have a similar meaning to "You shouldn't have done that" / "You were not supposed to do it (but you did)"? (not logical probability but obligation) Since we have the ...
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3answers
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“Repairable” vs. “reparable” vs. “irreparable” vs. “unrepairable”

I've been looking online at these three words, but I'm not able to determine their relationship and the rules surrounding their usage. I believe this is true: Repairable: Just what you'd think, ...
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1answer
110 views

What is the difference between “have not to” and “have to not”?

English isn't my native language, of course, to ask something like this. I personally thought that "have not to do something" and "have to not do something" were the same. But recently, I've seen a ...
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8answers
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What does 'infinitesimally small' mean?

If infinite is the opposite of infinitesimal, and small is the opposite of large, then: infinitely large ---------- Means "very large" infinitely small --------- Means "very small" infinitesimally ...
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2answers
50 views

How alive is the distinction between 'not any more' and 'not any longer'?

Does I don't love you any more. mean that my love dwindled till there was not any more of it left, focus(s)ing on the process, whereas I don't love you any longer. would mean that there ...
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1answer
8k 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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1answer
104 views

I have no/I don't have any [duplicate]

What am I supposed to say if I want to say that I don't possess ssomething? here are some sentences I have trouble with: 1-I have nobody or I don't have anybody? 2-There isn't any sugar or there's ...
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2answers
96 views

Use of Like/Unlike (Double negative)

What is the correct way? Birds are not mammals like cats. Birds are not mammals, like cats. Birds are not mammals, unlike cats. *Just in case, reminder: Cats are mammals. Birds are not mammals.
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an one “no not” to eat

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such ...
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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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Inconsecutive or nonconsecutive or …? [closed]

I want to say that the data is not like 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159 but can be 154, 156, 157, 159. How do I negate the word "consecutive"? I was not able to find it in the dictionary. I have found ...
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3answers
122 views

Which is right, “worst nightmare” or “best nightmare”?

When we refer to the most negative dream, we say it as worst nightmare. Since that nightmare is negative, does that mean that the meaning of the worst nightmare is the least negative of all ...
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1answer
2k 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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4answers
23k views

“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 ...
17
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6answers
419 views

Is there an acceptable corresponding negative to “well off”?

When we wish to refer to people who are living an affluent lifestyle or simply enjoying favorable circumstances in any particular area, we often say they are well off. So far so good. But ...
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1answer
208 views

Proper use of “nor” [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Is this a proper use of the word nor? Cummings Motors, Smith Electric nor our subcontractors can be held liable. Cummings Motors, Smith Electric and/or our ...
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2answers
496 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
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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. ...
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4answers
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How productive is the prefix “un-”?

Is it possible to use un- with new words such as sit, sleep, sad? I'm currently seeing many words (in programming) which use "un-" in the meaning of undoing something. For example, is it possible to ...
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6answers
2k views

“Don't got” — how common is it in American usage?

I often hear the usage "don't got" in American English as spoken on TV programmes. Recently I was watching season four of "Prison Break" and one character, an Asian computer wizard, repeatedly used ...
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4answers
2k views

Isn't the word “uninstall” wrong?

I've never understood this. Why is the proper usage "uninstall"? You can't actually "unin" something at all and this isn't that case with most (all?) other use cases. Examples: You make someone ...
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2answers
77 views

“Known not to …” or “Known to not …”

Which one of the following word orders is correct: This program is known not to work correctly. or This program is known to not work correctly.
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1answer
98 views

Why does the word “budge” always come in negative form?

I came across the word "budge" in a dictionary, and it said about this word: "Usually used in negative". Why does this specific word always come in negative form?
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2answers
106 views

“There is no A or B” vs “There is no A and B”

If A doesn't exist and B doesn't exist either, what is the correct form below? There is no A and B. or There is no A or B. What if the sentence is long, such as There is no bound on ...
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2answers
107 views

Negating ‘to’-infinitive in negative clause

The sentence: There aren't any reasons to do it. I'd like to say other form of this phrase with opposite meaning. Something like this: There aren't any reasons to don't do it. How to say this form ...
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2answers
819 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
273 views

Comparing negatives: “she seems not to know” vs. “she doesn't seem to know”

What is the difference in style and meaning between the following two: She seems not to know. She doesn't seem to know. Is there a name to this type of construction?
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1answer
193 views

Reported speech commands - negations which aren't related to subject

First my english ain't pretty good but I hope you can understand me. :) So at the moment I'm doing my homework and I'm pre-finished with it but 2 sentences are very difficult for the exercise. I need ...
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3answers
94 views

Does the word “except” increase the negativity of the sentence?

I have encountered a set of instructions that contains the text: The option exists to expand onto the second drive while the system is live. Except for simplicity, there isn't any reason not to. ...
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1answer
161 views

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

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 ...
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2answers
114 views

Difference between “illusion” and “delusion” [closed]

Can somebody please elaborate on the difference between illusion and delusion? Especially in medical terms.
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2answers
117 views

Affirmative form of “He has no right to question.” while preserving the meaning

He has no right to question. What would this sentence be if we were to make it affirmative. This question appeared in an exam. I tried It is unlawful for him to question. but the answer ...
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2answers
101 views

“If not” vs “If it is not”

You were sent a package. If it is not received please call customer support. or You were sent a package. If not received please call customer support. Which version is correct? Is there a better ...