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Questions tagged [double-negation]

For questions about statements containing more than one negative element, usually in a way to negate the predicate more than once.

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Does double negation make sentences ambiguous? [closed]

I'm having a discussion about if this sentence is logically right or wrong or ambiguous. What do you think? If you do not at least have one or two beliefs that your culture would not retaliate ...
Fee's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
50 views

Is this sentence considered a double negative? [duplicate]

"There is no way it doesn't work on your phone." Is this considered a double negative?
Guest001's user avatar
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0 answers
34 views

Using not with both, either, neither: word choice when expressing negation of two options [migrated]

In a sentence responding negatively to multiple statements or questions, which of the following ways sounds best and has the least grammatical error? He didn’t do both. He didn’t do either. He didn’t ...
NahZ1ky's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
220 views

What's the meaning of "not no small feat"? [closed]

I didn't understand meaning of "not no small feat" in this sentence: I want y'all to meet Deltron Zero, hero, not no small feat. From Deltron 3030's song 3030 Verse 1, 2nd line I know what ...
Walter Bishop's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
198 views

Avoidance of double negation in early modern English? (Spenser's The Faerie Queene)

There's this very famous line in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (Book V, Canto II, Stanza 39) that reads For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought. I know that the interpretation ...
thaddad's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
711 views

What is meant by statistical inevitability?

What is meant by statistical inevitability? For e.g. in Editorial: summer accidents no statistical inevitability - Estonian news inevitability means something that can't be avoided EDIT: From your ...
Porcupine's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
221 views

What are "double negatives" in English, and are they ever correct?

This is a followup to a comment exchange and particularly this comment over on ELL. One user contends that a double negative is always wrong in standard English. This user also maintains that: First, ...
David Siegel's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
130 views

Is using "abysmal" and "lack" in this sentence ambiguous?

I had recently come across a sentence that said, The lack of representation for LGBTQ people and women of color is abysmal. Page 241 of Broken Horses, by Brandi Carlile. Considering that the rest of ...
kenntnisse's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
153 views

Is the sentence below ambiguous? [duplicate]

The sentence is: “X is not legal in all contexts.” Couldn’t the logical negation be interpreted as applied to either “legal” or “legal in all contexts”, the former would result in “X is illegal in all ...
Eli's user avatar
  • 39
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the difference between "The army didn't have any" and "didn't have no" in "It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier"?

In his intro to the song "It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier," Tom Lehrer says: The army didn't have any, excuse me, didn't have no official song. And after that the audience laughs. ...
ripfruit's user avatar
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1 vote
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Negating prefixes in implied repetition of adjective

Although his argument is incorrect, his grammar is [not]. Here, my intuition says we need the "not" to form the double negative "not incorrect". But a person I'm arguing with ...
Gustaphe's user avatar
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3 answers
128 views

How can the double negative be removed from "She has to touch it! She can't not touch."?

I am new to the group. I am a lifelong poet and enslaved to the written word. This query spawns from a line in Jurassic Park: Lost World. Whilst the line in question is one of my very favorites, the ...
Disenchanted and Angst-ridden's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

Does a double negative itself convey a positive meaning?

Does a double negative itself convey a positive meaning on its own? Or do we just infer a positive meaning by a double negative?
mapper's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Is there a right and wrong way to use double negatives? [closed]

Somewhat related to How can double negatives "has a respectable history as a rhetorical device for emphasis" when they're harder to understand? I am noticing that that there is an ...
Chris Rogers's user avatar
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-2 votes
2 answers
65 views

Can the words "right" and "wrong" be considered to be grammatical affirmatives and negatives? [closed]

Can the words "right" and "wrong" be considered to be grammatical affirmatives and negatives? Consider the sentence "I am not wrong." This can be simplified to "I am ...
Noah's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
231 views

What does "not XXX in the sense that YYY does not ZZZ" mean?

This could be a weird example, but consider the following statement: "She is not cute in the sense of being a cat." Which of the following should this sentence be understood as? "...
Ashley's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
85 views

Is "Not X is Not Required" an example of a double negative?

Well, obviously there are two negatives in the sentence. But, at least I am of the opinion that it can't be contracted into a positive- "Not X is Not Required" means a very different thing ...
LJSmith's user avatar
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17 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why does Steven Pinker say that “can’t” + “any” is just as much of a double-negative as “can’t” + “no” is in “I can’t get no/any satisfaction”?

In reference to "I can't get no satisfaction" vs "I can't get any satisfaction", Steven Pinker said (at 6:13): But "can't" and "any" is just as much of a ...
MWB's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
419 views

On Passage, Objections to the Contrary Notwithstanding

What does the following mean? There seem to be a lot of double negatives in here, so I'd like to understand this better. On passage, objections of the president to the contrary notwithstanding This ...
JustBeingHelpful's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
47 views

Why do some double negatives oppose with the natural or instinctive meaning which apparently occurs from the context of sentence they're applied in? [closed]

There would be more double-negatives like these, but I specifically want to mention "This couldn't be further/farther from the truth". When this phrase is used, it apparently incites the ...
Vicky Dev's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
146 views

not followed by nobody (double negation) [duplicate]

I wrote this question in a funny and entertaining way, if you want to go straight to the question go to the end. Last day I was in a bar with some friends and they were talking about soccer (for which ...
Elerium115's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
807 views

Older or younger than 3 months old? [closed]

The below is an excerpt of a document requirement for a UK visa: a bank statement dated no more than three months earlier than the date of application showing transactions relating to [...] We're ...
Fabio Milheiro's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
78 views

A synonym for "don't omit" not including a negativiser

I have a technical document with a lot of sentences like "Use X." or "Don't use Y." Instead of "Don't use ..." I sometimes use "Omit ...". Whether to choose the ...
user90726's user avatar
  • 555
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

I will call somebody else, not neither him nor you

I have a sentence I will call neither you nor him I guess it means I won't call neither you nor him Out of it it's not clear whether I will call anyone at all but I want to say that I will call but ...
Michael Azarenko's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

Use of double negatives [duplicate]

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 ...
Maxyeet's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
637 views

Why is "I didn't mean to, not miss it" incorrect?

I know someone who initially typed the phrase, "I didn't mean to not miss it." After I pointed out that this had a double negative, he corrected this to "I didn't mean to, not miss it" I believe this ...
Wittiest's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
4k views

What does "I can't never" mean?

What does "I can't never" mean? For example: "We can't never come here." Please, explain in other words.
SashOKNovikOFF's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
355 views

To say that something is "never indistinguishable"

Is to say that something is "never indistinguishable" poor grammar? We rarely, if ever, see such phraseology in English, but my understanding is that it is grammatically valid, even if it would be ...
The Pointer's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
108 views

"It has not been unchanged." Is that a valid sentence? [duplicate]

Do I have to understand the sentence: It has not been unchanged .. as if the related subject actually changed, or whether there has been no change at all? In short, is this a double negative?
Joseph Tran's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
171 views

Double negative as intensifier with neither

I'm aware that a double negative like in I didn't do nothing that day. to emphasize that you really didn't do anything that day is not standard English. Yet, I thought it's quite commonly used, ...
sorrymissjackson's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
124 views

Double Negative - How to read?

There is no chance the email you recieved isn't a scam. How to interpret this sentence? If I attempt to remove the double negative, it doesn’t make much sense to me at all. There is a chance the ...
Man with no Name's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

Not not round enough balls to alter the data

In the following sentence, are the "not's" found in the proper place with correct grammar? If not, what's the best way to format this sentence? The balls were not, not round enough to alter the ...
Dimitri's user avatar
  • 39
10 votes
4 answers
7k views

Is "prohibition against," a double negative?

"Prohibition against stealing," was the phrase that was being used. I get what the speaker was trying to say, but I'm just wondering if it is grammatically correct or if it could have been worded ...
Jericho's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
393 views

History of Neither Nor - Negative Meaning with Negative Verb Structure

I know that neither–nor yields a negative meaning if used in a sentence that has a positive verb structure. That is, when we say: Neither George nor James goes to school. we mean: George does ...
FatihAkici's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

How do I use proper grammar in the negation of "have not" for the following sentence translation?

I'm translating a DIALOUGE sentence from Japanese to English, and I'm having issues with keeping the negation of the verb "have not" in my translation while following proper English grammar, or ...
Toyu_Frey's user avatar
  • 269
0 votes
1 answer
366 views

double negative - no one ~ who hadn't also

No one would want to be famous who hadn't also, somewhere in the past, been made to feel extremely insignificant. Is the sentence a double negative? Is "who" a relative pronoun which modifies "one"? ...
jinnyk216's user avatar
  • 127
3 votes
2 answers
144 views

Double negative in "...the most dangerous threat was not not getting..."

I created this sentence: For your ancestors, the most dangerous threat to survival was not not getting the social vibe of your group. I am confused because, as grammar websites say, double ...
ikigai20's user avatar
  • 149
-1 votes
1 answer
916 views

"At least + NOT " ambiguity [closed]

this sentences : "The patient knows in advance what are the possible outcomes; without that knowledge quality cannot be measured (AT LEAST NOT from the patient perspective)." is that mean that i can ...
QualityNatzi's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
69 views

Which of the following two (apparently)possible meanings is the right one? [closed]

Here's a conversation I had: A:"don't strain your brain" B:"can't happen when I'm talking to you" Does this imply that it's impossible for A to strain their brain while talking to B, or, Is it that it'...
Daniel's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Meaning of "But no Source never made me not buy an album when they say it was wack"

I cannot get the real meaning of this AAVE sentence from rapper Kon Artis, a song lyric transcribed at Genius: But no Source never made me not buy an album when they say it was wack Source is the ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

"Don't let no one" vs. "don't let nobody" [closed]

Does the phrase "don't let no one touch it" fall under the double-negative category? What would be the difference if no one was replaced with nobody?
Don B's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote
1 answer
173 views

Negative question [duplicate]

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair (Mother to Son", by Langston Hughes) As per my knowledge we can't use Two Negative words in a clause or a sentence .I did research But could find anything . ...
Farhan Ahmed's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
90 views

Is this a case of double negatives?

She was a little, brown, thin, almost skinny, woman, with big, rolling, violet-blue eyes, and the sweetest manners in the world. You had only to mention her name at afternoon teas for every woman in ...
Swami's user avatar
  • 164
-1 votes
3 answers
34k views

“Never don't give up” [closed]

I'm a bit confused of this phrase "Never Don't Give up". What does it actually mean? Never give up or just give up @.@ Please advise. I see it in the tattoo picture. Is it supposed to ...
Mimi's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
2 answers
60k views

Negative questions: “No, I don’t” or "Yes, I don't"? [duplicate]

I’m an English teacher in Japan. Recently I ran into quite a conundrum, which I’m sure many others have struggled with. I was talking to one of my students in the presence of my boss and something my ...
Jeikobu's user avatar
  • 19
0 votes
1 answer
9k views

Double negation: not, neither - nor in a sentence

Can you please explain why these sentence are correct: He hadn’t done any homework, neither had he brought any of his books to class. We didn’t get to see the castle, nor did we see the cathedral. ...
Seo Jin's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
141 views

Double negative complicated with the use of 'hard'

What does the author mean by this: 'It is hard not to conclude there is none...' Here is the whole context: What is the cure? It is hard not to conclude there is none: some problems have no ...
Appy's user avatar
  • 13
-2 votes
1 answer
635 views

Is using two negatives in one sentence ever okay? [closed]

If I were to say: I can't and I won't. or something similar, is that a double negative?
Bellator's user avatar
  • 237
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

"Can't help but think": origin and current meaning

The regular English-language column in this week's Spectator (by one 'Dot Wordsworth') examines the opaque but not uncommon construction "I can't help but be reminded of the relationship...", which ...
Tim Lymington's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
191 views

don't and don't in the same sentence? What was the authors point?

Reading an article, I came across this sentence which I can't seem to make sense of. The author uses a double negative but I'm not sure what the point is. Could this just be poor grammar? Here is ...
StuckWithoutCoffee's user avatar