I have a problem understanding the need for the word “no” in sentences like : I don’t eat no meat. - I don’t smell no dinner cooking. ... Why would we need to add “no” if we already have “Don’t” in these sentences ? Is it grammatically correct ?

  • "Double negative" has already been dealt with earlier. See previous related posts on ELU. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Dec 26 '18 at 10:57
  • Ah, “double negative” . Good that I have a name now for these sentences. Thanks a lot. I will Google it.
    – Paulo
    Dec 26 '18 at 11:07
  • Possible duplicate of Are double negatives ever appropriate in English? Dec 26 '18 at 11:29
  • I don’t know this kind of sentences are called “ double negative”. That is why my question is a duplicate .
    – Paulo
    Dec 26 '18 at 13:17

Your example sentence is emulating colloquial/slang English speech and a charismatic one at that. The sentence is not properly written English. The unnecessary "no" is for emphasis.


You absolutely don't need "no" in those sentences, and those who believe that there is only one "correct" English will say that you mustn't use "no".

Millions of English speakers in many parts of the world customarily use "no" in sentences like those. In many other languages this sort of construction is normal; but a couple of centuries ago some writers made up rules for English that said you mustn't, and somehow persuaded other people to believe them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.