32 votes
Accepted

Is "one needs only" or "one need only" correct?

The most common use of need is as a regular catenative verb, taking a to-infinitive as its complement. In that use, it inflects normally (need/needs/needing/needed), can follow an auxiliary verb, and ...
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  • 14k
24 votes

Is "prohibition against," a double negative?

A double negative is a grammatical construction occurring when two forms of negation are used in the same sentence. - wikipedia Your example isn’t a double negative because there aren’t two forms ...
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  • 37.7k
16 votes
Accepted

Using anymore in the positive

In its article on Western Pennsylvania English, Wiki the Pedia opines: "positive" anymore adv. these days; nowadays (Montgomery 1989; McElhinny 1999; Montgomery 1999) Example: "It ...
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  • 127k
12 votes

"There are things I can't give up either/too", which is correct?

Short answer: “Either” is correct. “Too” might not be wrong, but choose “either” just to be safe. Long answer: “Either” is commonly used in place of “too” for negative statements (ones using “not”, or ...
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  • 1,095
12 votes

"There are things I can't give up either/too", which is correct?

It's "too". It's clear that the speaker B is responding to a remark made by somebody else, A. B said "things", not "them". This shows that B is not referring back to any ...
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  • 4,528
11 votes

Is "prohibition against," a double negative?

“Prohibition against” is not a "double negative" (or rather, it isn't an example of negative concord)*. Compare “a battle against”. Even though the preposition “against” often is used to express that ...
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  • 73.7k
9 votes

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative?

English has no rule against ‘double negatives’ per se. No, that is not a case of the forbidden kind of “double negatives”, since your negatives are in two different clauses. That is not a strange ...
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  • 127k
9 votes
Accepted

Are articles pronouns?

TL;DR Traditionally, a is regarded as a determinative. Traditionally, any is considered a determinative when used with a following noun and either a determinative or a pronoun when used on its own, ...
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8 votes
Accepted

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

Double negation is not an issue. What the mayor said was I don’t believe we’ll ever be back to normal There's only one negative in that sentence. And there's only one negative in this sentence, ...
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7 votes

Using "Whether" or "Whether or not"

Bryan Garner, Garner's Modern American Usage, second edition (2003) answers this question in a consistent way that is easy to apply to particular instances of "whether (or not)": Whether or ...
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  • 151k
6 votes
Accepted

Is "neither I" grammatically correct?

No, it is grammatically unacceptable. Correct constructions using neither include: Neither a nor b: This is the most common usage. Neither Alaska nor Florida charges state income tax. Neither ...
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  • 6,866
6 votes
Accepted

"Ain't ... no more" is "am not ... [any more]"?

Two points to make here: Ain't is a dialectal variant and is considered nonstandard, especially in writing. Use am not instead in writing. Using no more after a negative is also a dialectal variant,...
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5 votes

use of "everything" or "anything" in positive and negative sentences?

We'll do anything - you don't know what you're going to do yet, and for sure you won't do everything (which is impossible), but you'll do whatever is required - there is nothing that you would not be ...
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  • 311
5 votes

What is (do) for here?

Only often triggers "inversion", where the subject and verb switch places. A simpler example of that might be: Only later are we told why. (meaning "We aren't told why until later&...
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  • 14k
5 votes

Are articles pronouns?

Both "any" and "a" are determiners - words which are used at the beginning of a noun group to indicate, for example, which thing you are referring to or whether you are referring to one thing or ...
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  • 3,475
5 votes
Accepted

Either or Neither in sentence with another negative

It is not true that nor can only occur in sentences that also involve neither. But this is still quite a different proposition from trying to pair it up as either..nor instead of as neither..nor. ...
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  • 127k
5 votes
Accepted

Ain't got no negative concord

Ain't and "double negatives" (using no, none, nowhere etc with not) are both features of many non-standard varieties of English, all over the world. Neither of them is used in any standard English; ...
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  • 74.6k
4 votes

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

That particular instance shouldn't be construed as a negative clause for the purpose you suggest. Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too In ...
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  • 147k
4 votes

Using "Whether" or "Whether or not"

Usually when using the word whether in a sentence, the or not is superfluous (i.e., not required). However, when whether or not means regardless of whether, the or not part is required. Examples of ...
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  • 426
4 votes
Accepted

Does "So as long as" mean the same as "Just as long as" in this sentence?

It has been my experience that occasionally younger speakers who are comparatively unfamiliar with the forms and styles of written English can become confused by so..as, and that they do not use this ...
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  • 127k
3 votes

Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

All you know from the second part of the sentence is that nothing useful is transmitted. The statement says nothing on the subject of whether complete nonsense is transmitted. "As far as anyone ...
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  • 21k
3 votes

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

You can not go to school. It's perfectly possible to use the sentence above to mean that not going to school is a possible option. Notice that usually the word cannot is written as one word. This ...
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3 votes

Using "any" and "a" along with "there is"

I think we can't use Any like this because it's a determiner and a pronoun used to refer to indefinite or unknown quantities or an unlimited entity. Referring to Any - English Grammar Today - ...
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  • 184
3 votes

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

What is the difference between “I don’t believe we’ll ever be back to normal,” which is simple negation and “I don’t believe we’ll never be back to normal,” which is double negation? In this context, ...
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  • 141
3 votes

"Ain't ... no more" is "am not ... [any more]"?

The sentence means I am not going to go to that place anymore. Or I am going to go to that place no more. Or I will not go to that place anymore. Or I will no longer go to that place. This place ...
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  • 14.9k
3 votes
Accepted

Is 'many' used in positive sentences or not?

There are some senses of "much" and "many" that are restricted to non-affirmative contexts, and when "much" and "many" are used in that way then they are negatively-oriented polarity-sensitive items (...
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  • 6,076
3 votes

Negative question

In English there are differing usages of 'double negatives' that you describe in your question. People can often use it in a joking and playful way, often to obscure information, for instance riddles ...
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  • 163
3 votes
Accepted

The difference between 'I don't know nothing else' and 'I know nothing else'

Standard Englishes (all of them) do not allow so-called "double negatives" like your first example, which is ungrammatical in them. Many speakers throughout the Anglosphere use forms like ...
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  • 74.6k
3 votes
Accepted

The multiple meanings of "any" in different circumstances

The first thing to know about any is that it's a Negative Polarity Item. That means it's got weird grammar and semantics, and is part of a lot of idioms, so one can't make assumptions about what it ...
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2 votes
Accepted

use of "everything" or "anything" in positive and negative sentences?

We'll do almost anything for our beloved animals. The class of NPIs (Negatively-oriented Polarity-sensitive Items) includes the any class of items: any, anybody, any longer, any more (AmE anymore),...
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  • 6,076

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