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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2answers
78 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 ...
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0answers
24 views

What does “That she belov'd knows nought that knows not this:” mean and why does it begin with “That”?

In Act I, scene 2 of Troilus and Cressida, Cressida uses a double negation. Women are angels, wooing: Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing. That she belov'd knows nought ...
2
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1answer
99 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 ...
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1answer
42 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"? ...
3
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2answers
67 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 ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
-1
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1answer
62 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'...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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2answers
558 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?
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1answer
138 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 . ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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2answers
16k views

“Never don't give up”

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. ***Thank you so much for all of your help. At first I really ...
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2answers
14k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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3answers
109 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 ...
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1answer
236 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?
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
87 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 ...
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1answer
109 views

No two things/thing? [closed]

Which one is correct? No two speaker speaks the same language. No two speakers speak the same language.
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3answers
2k views

“I leaked nothing to nobody.” - SAE? AAVE? Deliberate double negative?

"I leaked nothing to nobody" (around 3:42 in the video) Is the sentence above from Susan Rice grammatically correct in standard American English (SAE)? Seems like it should be: I leaked nothing ...
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1answer
967 views

Is this correct: “I didn't skip gym for no reason”

I was having a conversation with my coworkers, and we just can't seem to agree on what is the grammatically correct way to say this. In the context of the conversation, he was trying to express that ...
4
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1answer
485 views

“There is no man who has never looked upon a woman WITH/WITHOUT desire”

In Atticus's closing speech he argues: “Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson’s skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Is “The trick is to not try to tell yourself not to think about the bad things…” a double-negative used correctly?

An answer to the stackexchange question I've just been bitten by a rattlesnake; how, exactly, do I “keep calm”? includes the following advice: The trick is to not try to tell yourself not to think ...
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1answer
126 views

About double negative sentences problem [duplicate]

'This is a not uncommon mistake.' 'This is not an uncommon mistake.' Are those sentences above both means 'This is somewhat common mistake.' ? or could they have different meanings?
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4answers
2k views

Correct interpretation of a “double-negative” in American Pop Culture (i.e. “I ain't afraid of no ghost!”) [duplicate]

In the 2016 film Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd states: I ain't afraid of no ghost! To which a lady who looks like Jennifer Anniston replies: That's a double negative! That means you ARE afraid of ...
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2answers
2k views

Is Shakespeare's Double Negative Grammatically Wrong?

In Act I Scene I of The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare's character Salarino uses a double negative in the phrase Not in love neither?, is this grammatically wrong or was this acceptable at the time? [...
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2answers
227 views

Does this double negative make any sense? [closed]

Corporate attorney trying to develop a standard form for hiring decisions, with a check mark for me to fill out. Does the second sentence make sense? ____There is a legal basis to not extend offer of ...
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2answers
180 views

Double Negative with Parallelism

I came across this long sentence in a novel, and would like to analyze it grammatically: "I spent [...] time racking my brains for gems of Philosophy [....] , but I have come up with nothing that you ...
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2answers
2k views

How does “I never had nothing” mean “I never had anything”? [duplicate]

In a BBC Documentary about Brexit, an interviewee stated his reason for voting out as following: We are giving to some of the eastern Europeans who come in here at that time. they have more priority ...
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3answers
68 views

Double Negative?

Does this sentence suffer from double negation: "The results of this study will not, we do not think, shock economists."
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1answer
230 views

Is 'Do not be negative' double negation?

Is it correct, if I say, "John, do not be negative". I don't mean to say, "John, be positive". I mean he just shouldn't be negative, not necessarily positive. I'm using 'negative' as an adverb to ...
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2answers
447 views

Are double negatives *always* wrong? [duplicate]

Could you use these two sentences the same way? Which one is worse: This wasn't no common day. This wasn't a common day.
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1answer
55 views

declined to override a veto - is that a Yes or a No?

The full sentence from the New York Times reads: One day after a mass shooting in California left 14 people dead, Republican lawmakers in New Jersey declined on Thursday to override Gov. Chris ...
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5answers
1k views

I could not have not noticed

"As a geek I could not have not noticed the error in your calculation." This is how I would say this in Slovak language, is this correct in English? If not, what could I use instead? EDIT: The ...
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1answer
3k views

How to answer the question “Isn't it something I haven't watched?”

I would like to know how to respond clearly and correctly to the question "Isn't it something I haven't watched?" with an answer to the effect that the person hasn't watched it.
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1answer
398 views

Is 'no, we are not' double negation? [duplicate]

I got into a debate with one of my colleagues - we are both not native English speakers. She asked me a question "so we are currently not sending any data to him?" I replied "No". I understand that ...
2
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3answers
284 views

Is there a misnegation in the following example?

I have a question about an excerpt that I read online. Here it is: Having reviewed the posts that you have identified, I conclude that you do not have any non-frivolous defamation against any of ...
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5answers
453 views

“I don't buy no drinks.” Grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I don't buy no drinks. I saw this phrase in a song, and I'm not quite sure if it's correct I hope you'll help me find the answer. Thank you in advance.
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2answers
413 views

A sentence with double negative [closed]

I came across the following sentence in Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse Five. “Trout would have gone upstairs if Billy hadn't asked him not to.” If this sentence is considered independently, ...
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1answer
273 views

Is this a double negative sentence?

Many in the government disagree with a plan to debunk the low budget grassroots effort to expose the frivolity of Project X; the government employee’s union, with a newly elected leadership that more ...
3
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1answer
298 views

Possible double negative sentence explanation

At nearly 450 pages, the novel is prolix : the author does not often resist the temptation to finish off a chapter, section, or even paragraph with some unnecessary flourish. Is the second part ...
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1answer
137 views

“will not long go unsold to” meaning?

What does "will not go unsold to" mean in the following sentence? The King of Portugal, Lord of Spices, has set... prices just as he pleases, for pepper, which, at any cost, no matter how dear, ...
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4answers
5k views

Alternative for “couldn't not help”?

Given a sentence like: I couldn’t not help him right? I was wondering if that sentence was grammatically correct, and even if it is, what better way is there to rephrase it? Because as it stands, ...
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2answers
537 views

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative?

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative? No, failing at something doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. What are some other cases where double negatives may work or where they may not actually be ...
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1answer
364 views

Is “prohibit” a negative word?

I encountered the word prohibited in some software documentation and am curious if this is an example of a double negative: Prohibit requests for PROHIBITED parts (This is an option in a piece of ...
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2answers
230 views

Is this a 'justified' double negative? The answer may require some Old English knowledge.

The following is is my translation of a sentence from Bede's Account of the Conversion of King Edwin. Old English tolerated the double negative, and I am trying to translate the text in such a way ...
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3answers
15k views

Using “I don't think” to express an opinion

This morning, I used the phrase I didn't sleep very well, I don't think. when speaking to my Colombian friend and he asked me what on earth I was talking about. I thought about it and realised ...
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2answers
1k views

Since when a double negative as an intensifier was considered as non-standard and why?

In present-day English, a double negative as an intensifier is regarded as non-standard. For example I don't think that "I can't get no satisfaction" is considered as standard English. https://www....
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3answers
8k views

Are these double negatives? “No it is not. No I don't think so.”

A double negative is generally defined as two negative words in the same clause. In these examples: "No it is not." "No I don't think so." is "No" considered a clause unto itself? Or is it in ...
2
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2answers
576 views

''don't/can't [verb] no…'' [duplicate]

I have seen the following sentence: I can't get no satisfaction. Can we say ''don't/can't [verb] no...''? I would like an explanation about this expression.