What's up. I wanna ask about the sentence:

'I don't think I will know no one at the party'

Which means that I will actually know someone. The question is, is this correct? I know I should not use 'no' or 'not' twice in simple sentences. But what about the complex, like the one above, or compound sentences? I really appreciate any help you can provide.

P.S I agree that I could've made a mistake in terms of complex and compound. If it so, please let me know.


1 Answer 1


Your interpretation is correct. However, this is not recommended and can lead to confusion.

Unless your reader will understand this from context, it's best avoided.

A similar issue is when someone uses a double negative for emphasis, rather than negation.

  • I get it, thank you.
    – Maxyeet
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 13:43
  • 1
    When you do not use two negatives in the same clause, but rather two different clauses each with a single negative, this is not a double negative.
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 14:31
  • The OP's interpretation is correct in so far as 'I don't think I will know no one at the party' is usually colloquially interchangeable with 'I think I will know someone at the party'. As a matter of logic, however, the former does not entail the latter, because it is possible that I don't think I will know no one, and that I also don't think I will know someone (i.e. it may be that I don't think anything at all about that matter).
    – jsw29
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 20:44

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