Questions tagged [negative-polarity-items]

Terms indicating or emphasising negation - for example, any, at all, ever, neither.

7
votes
5answers
4k views

Use of “ever” in non-negated sentence

Is the sentence grammatically correct: I do recall ever seeing my mother in the light of day.
10
votes
5answers
14k views

Should “anymore” be used only in a negative statement or question?

I don't know why this is so, but I've always believed that the word anymore should only be used in a question or negative statement. Do you go there anymore? Don't do that anymore. But I often ...
1
vote
3answers
48k views

How to know when to use “someone” or “anyone”?

I am trying to write a grammar rule that will be able to identify when to use someone or anyone, and I got confused. I couldn't find any clear way to do this. For instance, "anyone can do it" is ...
7
votes
4answers
50k views

Origin and correctness of “ain’t no”?

In contemporary American English usage, I come across sentences like: I ain’t got no money. Ain’t no man like him. Saying ain’t no sounds incorrect to me because it is a double negative. ...
21
votes
1answer
22k views

Is “one needs only” or “one need only” correct?

This questions concerns the singular or plural form of the word "need". It might concern the property of the word "need" under different circumstances, which consequently affects whether it can ...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

“Any” or “some” in various questions?

I'm wondering why I always hear "some" in questions, although according to English grammar there should always be "any". At least the one I'm looking at uses "some". For example: Why are some ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Reason for Subject-Verb Inversion: Only in cases where A is B, shall the Company do X [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they subject-auxiliary inversions not associated with questions In the following, why does subject-verb inversion occur? Is it ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

The difference between “We’ll ever be back to normal,” and “We’ll never be back to normal.”

Time magazine (Aug.2) reported that Toledo Mayor instructed city residents not to drink tap water polluted with toxin caused by algae bloom under the headline: Toledo, Ohio without drinking water for ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Use of “never” in questions

I was taught that ever should be used in questions (Have you ever...?) and never should be used in negations (I have never...). But reading "A wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula K. Le Guin I spotted such a ...
6
votes
2answers
54k views

use of “everything” or “anything” in positive and negative sentences? [closed]

As a non-native speaker, when I read the books about grammar, I learn that usually the word "everything" is used in a positive sentence and that the word "anything"is used in a negative or ...
2
votes
2answers
675 views

'Yet' is to 'already' as what is to 'eventually'? Could 'never' do?

I don't know if my title serves well in expressing what I am actually trying to ask, so maybe an example will do better: I have done it already. <-> I have not done it yet. I waited ...
0
votes
2answers
179 views

Why must “has” come before the main verb here? [duplicate]

Wrong Sentence: Never before in the history of the world such a thing has happened, I don't think that will ever happen again. Right sentence: Never Before in the history of the world has such ...
12
votes
1answer
537 views

Using anymore in the positive

I have used the term and have heard the term anymore used in the positive. For example: I use Apple anymore. I use Windows anymore. My co-workers "yelled" at me because I was using anymore ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

“Never saw” versus “didn't ever see”

Do these sentences have different meanings? I never saw such a thing. I didn't ever see such a thing. I never saw him dancing. I didn't ever see him dancing. My questions: Are ...
1
vote
2answers
529 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
127 views

Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present? [closed]

Regarding an event between the interaction of two distant elements, an expert in this field states: As far as anyone knows, there is no transmission of any useful information We accept this ...