Questions tagged [negative-polarity-items]

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

21
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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 ...
12
votes
1answer
536 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
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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.
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. ...
7
votes
2answers
83k views

“Any information” or “some information” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Any” or “some” in various questions? I'm trying to figure out which is correct, or if both are correct. From what I understand (and I may be wrong, so please correct me)... "...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Is 'many' used in positive sentences or not?

It is uncanny how many books will insist that neither 'many' nor 'much' can be used in positive sentences. Have you got many pens? / Have you got much money? --> correct I haven't got many pens. / I ...
7
votes
2answers
383 views

Why does “I never recognize 90% of the people” mean “I never recognize more than 10% of the people”?

Apparently, "I never recognize 90% of the people" means that each time you can only recognize less than 10 percent of the people. (Cf. comments under this video.) My naive syntactic preconceptions ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Double negation “does not any”

I understand that any has negative connotations, as can be seen in the above link, but I need to say that there are no pages in a book. I've come up with the following sentence: That book does not ...
5
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
518 views

Are articles pronouns?

I'd like to know whether articles are a kind of pronoun. I believe that "a/an" should be an indefinite pronoun because "a" is similar to "any", and "the" should be a definite pronoun. For example: ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
20k views

Is “neither I” grammatically correct?

I'm just trying to figure out if "neither I" is grammatically correct as a standalone statment (in spoken English).
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Ain't … no more” is “am not … [any more]”?

First of all, I ain't a native speaker. And one of the most confusing sentences to me is I ain't going to this place no more. Ain't in this sentence basically means am not, so it translates to ...
3
votes
2answers
629 views

“Nobody ever joined” vs “Nobody joined at all” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Usage of “ever” in a negative statement Yesterday I read a discussion here and I still cannot figure it out. What is the difference between the following: ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can we say “you can [not go] to school” or does it automatically become a negative sentence? [duplicate]

"You can [not go] to school." Can this sentence mean that you can stay here and not go, or does it automatically become a negative sentence if I say it like this?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What grammar is used in “are there” for not a question & “is a compromise view” without a subject?

I have found 2 sentences in a law book, but I cannot figure out what grammar rules are used in them. Please advise. 1.) In no state, however, are there [what rule, why such order of the words?] ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Syntax Questions in “You don’t have a clue where your money is.”

In the captioned sentence: You don’t have a clue where your money is. If "where your money is" is a nominal clause, what is its relationship to "clue"? I am thinking maybe the nominal clause is ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

uninterested / me too or me either [closed]

Which statement is grammatically correct? A: I am uninterested. B: Me too./ So am I. A: I am uninterested. B: I am uninterested either./ Neither am I.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of “either/or” in a negative phrase

I'm not sure if a sentence I wrote is correct: "The last one didn't get neither my changes nor thiago's". I'm trying to say that the last activity I ran in a system didn't get the changes I sent ...
2
votes
2answers
928 views

In what dialects is “I don't like it too” grammatical?

Consider: Too — (adv.) also, as well, in addition. We don’t usually use too in negative clauses; we use either instead: I don’t like that kind of stuff. I don’t like it either. That said, here’s ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Adverb position <hardly> [closed]

I’m asking about the position of the adverb “hardly” in sentences. If the second sentence doesn’t have the same meaning as the first, what’s the difference? I had hardly any money coming into ...
2
votes
1answer
369 views

Emphasis of this double negative? [closed]

Without which, we would be able to act at all. I’m hearing this in my own head as, “Without which, we would not be able to act at all.” So I'm wondering, is the former just a cleaner and less ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “much” used in affirmative sentences?

Is the word "much" used in affirmative sentences? Example: I want to buy much milk. I know that "much" is used in negative sentences and questions, but I am not sure if using it in affirmative ...
2
votes
2answers
63k views

What’s the difference: “I didn’t do anything” vs “I haven’t done anything”

Imagine the following scenario: I looked at a girl and gave her a smile. My friend next to me has put a serious look on his face and is staring at me. I turn to my friend and figured that I'd say one ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
528 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What is (do) for here?

I know that if do come between the pronoun and the verb, it makes the verb stronger. Does it work the same if it came before the verb. This is the text: Only after the trucks have passed through my ...
1
vote
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 . ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

“not to anybody” vs “to nobody”

I will not talk to anybody. or I will talk to nobody. I think both of them are valid (no double negation). My questions are: Is one of the two sentences stronger? I.e., does one of the two ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

“aware of no independent” or “not aware of any independent”?

Should I say: I am aware of no independent research on the topic. or I am not aware of any independent research on the topic.? I would naturally opt for the second form, but I've seen and heard ...
1
vote
1answer
799 views

“Know jack” vs. “Don't know jack.” [duplicate]

When you want to say that someone doesn't know anything about a particular thing, do you say they don't know jack about it, or that they know jack about it? I've seen it used both ways. Which is ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

A question about the 'polarity sensitive' any

In academic literature, the 'free-choice' any and the 'polarity sensitive' any are often discussed, when in fact the latter is the 'negative polarity' any. In the majority of the cases, authors call ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Difference between “Never Yet” vs “Ever Yet” vs “Yet”

What is the difference between the three? Specifically, I always thought that "yet" has an implied "never". Is this not true? Edit: No sources or research material here listed because I was unable ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

Any more+comparitive+than

I heard a person saying, “That place is not any more riskier than this place”. (And it wasn’t about time- like how it has changed from earlier to now) I thought it’s grammatically incorrect to say so. ...
1
vote
1answer
506 views

Is “Have you some water?” a grammatically correct sentence? [duplicate]

I believe it same as saying "Do you have some water?" Is it?
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Before the 20th century, how did people express ideas like “X isn't going to happen anytime soon”?

Something I was writing recently included the phrase "They aren't going to disappear anytime soon." I was a bit unsure about whether to write "any time" or "anytime", so I looked that up and found ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Should the following sentence use the English or plural form of the verb? [duplicate]

Is it grammatically correct to use the singular? Neither sympathy nor empathy is relevant to the decision. Or should I be using the plural form? Neither sympathy nor empathy are relevant to the ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

English word for superstitiously negative self assumption

Is there an English word (or psychological condition), which describes the negative, fearful, superstitious mentality of immediate self application or assumption? For example if I was to say "my ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
355 views

grammatically correct or double negative?

If I write "I have absolutely nothing to do with him and never will." is that clear and grammatically correct in meaning that I will never have anything to do with him? Could it be interpreted/...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

“No question of”,paired with “either/or”

Even after reviewing other "either/or" questions in relation to a negative preceding them, the negatives themselves being almost exclusively verbs, I am still a bit conflicted about the following ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

negative and or

With following two conditions, Do not use A, if possible. Do not use B, if possible. How can I make it as a sentence? Which one is right? Do not use A or B, if possible. or Do not use A nor b, if ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

I won't be changing too/either

A song called "Same Old Love" by Selena Gomez has these lyrics: Take away your things and go You can't take back what you said, I know I've heard it all before, at least a million times ...