Questions tagged [negation]

Negation is the process that turns an affirmative statement (e.g. "I am American") into its opposite denial (e.g. "I am not American").

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37 views

What is the correct sequence of negatives for this use case? [migrated]

Which of the following sentences is most grammatical for US English, or are all of them ungrammatical and should be written differently? I will not allow anyone to do something to him or her. ...
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Which one is correct? Double negatives [migrated]

Which one is correct? 1. I cannot do not eat for 5 days straight 2. I cannot not eat for 5 days straight 3. I cannot not to eat for 5 days straight
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Interpretation of “For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” [closed]

Regarding the poem "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens, can anyone please help me interpret the last stanza, the part marked in bold here? One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the ...
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48 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?
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62 views

Is the usage “all … are not” always the same as “not all … are”?

Is it true that both the following lines are identical in English? All dogs are animals. All animals are not dogs. All dogs are animals. Not all animals are dogs. In some other languages, (1) and (2)...
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28 views

Is it correct to use never/nor in this sentence without commas/dashes?

This question is mildly related to Can't with anybody/anyone neither and nor I saw a notice in a bus, stating: 1) Never leave a child nor a pram unattended I felt that it would be preferable ...
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1answer
58 views

“Not” after a statement that is not a joke

Is it valid to use Not after a statement to negate it in joke style when we are not trying to joke but making a point? Eg., Yes, what you said totally makes sense. Not!
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1answer
146 views

Where, in English, is the simple* negation enjoyed by the rest of the world's peoples?

I have a smattering of exposure to several languages, and it appears to me that many languages allow a simpler* negation than we usually use in English. They allow the insertion of a word like no or ...
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237 views

Where should “never” go in “Harris Should Have Never Run for President”

"Harris Should Have Never Run for President" is the title of an article from the Los Angeles Times about Senator Harris' run for President. When I read it the placement of "never" really grated, but ...
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20 views

Neither/nor/any vs. or/neither

Which of the following two sentences is stylistically preferred or easier to understand? I could affirm or negate neither of these two hypotheses. I could neither affirm nor negate any of these two ...
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60 views

Use of the prefix “non-” on compound words [duplicate]

What is the correct way to apply the prefix "non-" to negate a (maybe dashed) compound adjective? Suppose that we want to negate a generic compound adjective "adjective1 adjective2". In this case: "...
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3answers
147 views

Ain't got no negative concord [duplicate]

In Englishes which allow the usage of ain't, why do we put "no" afterwards? I ain't got no money. Your dad ain't got no nose. Is it compulsory to use no in order to make a proper structure ...
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Are “No more healthy than” and “No more big than” both OK?

I am Japanese and a teacher of English. Now I am at a loss at a topic on "Comparison." This sentence should be considered grammatically OK: Oversleeping is no more healthy than overeating. ...
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without X and without Y

I want to express absence of 2 things. For example: It was a pretty day without rain and without snow. Logically: (not X) and (not Y), which is equivalent to: not (X or Y) Therefore, I guess the ...
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1answer
105 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 ...
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147 views

'I disagree that either of these options is correct'

I thought that I mastered the usage of "either" (and neither)...only to be unsure about the following sentence (which I heard, not that it was me who said it): I disagree that either of these ...
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1answer
72 views

phonological process

We can form negative versions of words such as audible and edible in English by adding in- to produce inaudible and inedible. How would you describe the special phonological processes involved in the ...
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66 views

Is “may or may not” a correct way of negation of “may”?

In my paper, I wrote this sentence: Individual fitness then may or may not project into the population-level demography rates. Now I started to doubt if it is correct! Because if I look up the ...
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1answer
61 views

Indefinite pronoun in negative sentence [closed]

Can we write "Everybody didn't know he was a famous inventor."
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1answer
72 views

Is it correct to say “where don't you like to go? ”

Is it correct to say "where don't you like to go?" or we must say "where do you not like to go?" . If both does it make any difference where to use them?
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2answers
161 views

Do native speakers actually “feel” the difference between the following sentences?

[A] Haven’t they sold many tickets? [B] Haven’t they sold a lot of tickets? According to the Cambridge dictionary, there's a difference in meaning here. When we use much and many in negative ...
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19 views

I don't like it too [duplicate]

I know that the sentence "I don't like it, either" is correct. I've come across some native speakers say, "I don't like it,too." What about this variant?
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Difference among You never change. and You change never. and Never do you change

I think "You never change." is the most usual and basic. But "You change never." is also well used in spoken English. "Never do you change." is almost never seen on books and heard in conversations. I ...
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1answer
77 views

“Has he come yet'” vs “Has he not come yet?”

I referred to the Michael Swan's Practical English Usage, regarding the use of yet as an adverb (chapter 539.3 yet). The following examples are given below: The postman has not come yet. Has the ...
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What is the question tag for sentences whose subjects are “none…is” and “each…is”? [duplicate]

I know that indefinite pronouns like none and each take singular verbs, but what about their question tags? None of the boys has passed the test, ________? Each of the girls was given a prize,...
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2answers
59 views

What is the average reader most likely to guess that “If they don’t have A or both B and C” was exactly intended to mean?

There is a sentence saying "If they don't have A or both B and C," I interpret it means "If they have no A or if they have neither B or C". Am I correct? The condition seems to me that having only B ...
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There is no question that you will not misunderstand this sentence

The MacMillan Dictionary has the following definition for the phrase 'there is no question that': used for saying that something is definitely true It gives the example: There is no question ...
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3answers
52 views

How to properly negate “could you go there”? [closed]

In an online discussion I have used a phrase "Could you not go there?", in the sense of asking a person not to go there. Someone pointed out to me that the expression is completely wrong, which ...
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2answers
139 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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61 views

What does “Disturb not X” mean?

I already know what the word disturb means, but I do not understand what disturb not means. I’ve seen titles that start with this, like Disturb Not the Dream and Disturb Not the Sleep, etc. What does ...
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2answers
224 views

Which “not” is not in the proper place: “Not only does (not) she (not) know, but also …” [closed]

I know that whenever we bring "not only" at the beginning of a sentence, what comes after it has to be in question form. Now, I'm having a problem with the negative form of this question. Which one ...
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1answer
51 views

Understanding a negative sentence

“I don’t like anything that’s not expensive” Can anyone explain what this means? Do they only like expensive things or they don’t?
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63 views

Grammaticality of “Don't let's get you cheap”

I have come across a sentence in one of my textbooks with which I seem to have some problems. One just needs to translate it, paying attention to the verb "hold" used with the appropriate particles. ...
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106 views

Is the question “Did I say I would take the job even if it was offered?” logically correct?

I'm actually curious as we've had a little debate online about whether this usage is logically correct. I am aware that gramatically this sentence is fine, however, due to the negation value of "Did I ...
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1answer
108 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
200 views

Either or Neither in sentence with another negative

I am writing something where I want to say the following: I have never visited either Scotland (n)or England. I couldn't find information about this on either this site (n)or any other site on ...
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1answer
77 views

“Would you like this or no” vs “Would you like this or not”?

I would like to discern if both of these phrasings are correct and if they possibly even mean different things. One of them bothers me terribly.
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1answer
64 views

Where does compulsory do support come from?

We are familiar with the concept of "do support", where the verb do is used as a modal verb. It can be found frequently in Shakespeare and before and it is claimed to derive from the Celtic languages ...
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3answers
113 views

A word to describe a person who ensures members of a group receive less favourable treatment

Is there a word or phrase that describes when: A single person in a group receives a less favorable treatment compared to other group members. The person's solution is to make sure everyone else also ...
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1answer
61 views

How to tell someone that what they're looking for doesn't exist

If someone asks you, say, "Is there a dollar store around here?" and you're pretty sure there aren't any dollar stores in the area, what would be a grammatically correct (and gentle-sounding) way to ...
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2answers
59 views

In this sentence with multiple negations, should I use “is” or “isn't”?

My apologies, I’m having issues with a double negative sentence. Bear in mind I don't want to change the sentence structure around, I just want to know if at the end of the sentence, I should put the ...
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1answer
30 views

Is there any difference between the following two forms? [duplicate]

I'm reading right now a paper related to the state of Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and I saw: BEVs produce no pollutants such as particulates, (...) What is the ...
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82 views

Why doesn't “need” take a “to” infinitive in some cases? [duplicate]

In a book of Alexander McCall Smith I found this phrase: No historical novelists need apply. Why isn't it this with a to for the infinitive? No historical novelist need to apply?
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How do you derive an adverb from “difficult”?

Consider this sentence: The solution to this question should no more difficult be obtained than that to the other question. Is this sentence grammatical? Is difficult here used as an adverb?
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Understanding the purported ambiguity in “Every boy didn’t run”

I am a com­puter sci­ence pro­fes­sional. I am read­ing the book Nat­u­ral Lan­guage Un­der­stand­ing by James Allen where he writes: “Every boy didn’t run” which is am­bigu­ous be­tween the read­...
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86 views

How to negate the double modal construction “might could” (and others)?

I have relatives from the southern U.S., and they often use double modal verbs in their speech, like "I might could go to the market". I understand that this isn't considered standard, but it got me ...
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540 views

Should I say “I am unaware of neither” or “I am unaware of both”?

Should I say "I am unaware of neither of A and B" or "I am unaware of both of A and B"? In other words, is unaware negation?
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1answer
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Negating both the primary verb and a relative clause

The photo caption in a recent New York Times article stated the following: "Artist rendering. This is not a photo of Johnny Depp with his best friend who is a lizard!" I believe that the writer ...
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850 views

“Unless instructed to do so” vs “Unless instructed otherwise” preferred usage

I want to give a short but clear instruction like: 1. Please do NOT perform X unless instructed to do so. 2. Please do NOT perform X unless instructed otherwise. Which one would be a better option ...
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2answers
233 views

The negative form of “extreme”

What is the negative form of the word "extreme" for this context: Temperature/climate insignificantly influences the production of honey due to the  ______(non-extreme)______  temperature during ...