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What is a double negative?

3 years ago

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11 Replies

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C

Citlalli Nicolas


11 Answers

Anna W Profile Picture
Anna W Verified Sherpa Tutor ✓

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A double negative is a statement containing two negative words. It is not part of standard English and its use should be avoided.


A double negative is usually created by combining the negative form of a verb (e.g., cannot, did not, have not) with a negative pronoun (e.g., nothing, nobody), a negative adverb (e.g., never, hardly), or a negative conjunction (e.g., neither/nor). 


Some examples of double negatives are:


I haven't seen nothing.

I am not going to pay no bills.

I don't want no pizza.

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Shona W Profile Picture
Shona W Verified Sherpa Tutor ✓

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A double negative is a sentence which includes two negations and therefore one negation cancels out the other.

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Richard A Profile Picture
Richard A Verified Sherpa Tutor ✓

Primary Teacher with 15 years teaching experience. 11+ tuition.

Great question! Well done!


I would describe a double negative as using two negative words in a phrase or a sentence. Unfortunately double negatives sound awkward and aren't grammatically correct! Hope that helps!

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G
George Tsiotsis

A double negative is a literary device to so emphatically what you want to say by using two negatives instead of one affirmative sentence. It is not correct grammatically, though, but they appear occasionally. "There is no way you can do nothing about it"."The hospital won't allow no more visitors".

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Elizabeth

I do not not know!

A double negative is when you use two f negative words in a row - therefore cancelling them out and creating a positive, we shouldn't use this in our writing as it can be confusing for the reader!

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Krissi Verified Sherpa Tutor ✓

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Two negatives make it a positive, but also confusing. It should be avoided in writing.

I aint got no pencils. = I do not have pencils.

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Christel Ringelmann

A negative form can either be created by adding a negation to a verb (I will not go there, She won’t eat anything etc.) or by using a negative noun (nowhere, nothing etc.). A double negative happens when both are used in one sentence. For example, I will not go nowhere, she won’t eat nothing. In standard English we should only use one, not both. 

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Pamela Akita

 A double negative is a statement containing two negative parts. For example - I didn't go nowhere or ' I didn't do nothing '. These statement are grammatically incorrect in English.

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Erik White

A double negative is when you use two or more negative describing words in a sentence. (ie That won't do you no good) These two words negate each other, and making a positive statement. One negative word is all that's necessary.

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Emma Sears

A double negative is a statement containing two negative words that convey the opposite meaning. For example, “I didn’t do nothing”. That means you DID do SOMETHING.

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Rhian Verified Sherpa Tutor ✓

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A double negative is when you use two or more negative describing words in a sentence. These two words negate each other, and form a positive statement.


For Example:

"I will not pay no money" - which actually means "I will pay money"

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