He suggested that we speak out against the election fraud.

What is the exact meaning of this sentence to natives:

  1. that he asked us to say that there was no fraud in the election (so we say there was no fraud),

  2. that he asked us to publicly talk about the election fraud (so we say there was fraud)

  • 1
    The phrase "the election fraud" only makes sense if you believe that there has been election fraud.
    – Simon B
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:57
  • Note that the wording is such as to convey a prejudice regarding the actual occurrence (and cause) of the "fraud". This is a classical case of using words to twist perceptions.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


This native hears that there was election fraud, and we are encouraged to speak against it. Otherwise, for your meaning #1, we would be exhorted about the fraudulent claim of election fraud.

  • So we are encouraged to publicly say that there was election fraud. Right? But is there something like "speaking out in favor of the election fraud". What would that mean?
    – Optima
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:02
  • 1
    Speaking out in favor of fraud can be done, but you would be declaring yourself a hypocrite and above the law. (That doesn't mean people don't do it ...)
    – RichF
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:26

Speak out against means to denounce or publicly criticize. It never means "to deny the existence of".

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