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  1. #1
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    Default Meaning of "I don't know nothing."

    Hi Everybody,

    I always hear native speakers say the following sentences, but I am not sure how to understand them easily and I don't want to misunderstand the real meaning, please give me the better way to understand it....

    e.g. I don't know nothing.
    e.g. I didn't tell him nothing.
    .....
    ......

  2. #2
    yuriya's Avatar
    yuriya is offline Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of "I don't know nothing."

    Quote Originally Posted by Williamyh View Post
    Hi Everybody,

    I always hear native speakers say the following sentences, but I am not sure how to understand them easily and I don't want to misunderstand the real meaning, please give me the better way to understand it....

    e.g. I don't know nothing.
    e.g. I didn't tell him nothing.
    .....
    ......
    Well, they are so-called double negatives, which are spoken frequently in real life but frowned upon if they are used in written English. Don't read too much into them. That is, two wrongs don't make a right!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Meaning of "I don't know nothing."

    If taken literally, "I don't no nothing" would mean "I know something" due to the double negative. However, as a rule, when someone uses the slang phrase "I don't know nothing," it means that they have no information about the situation. For example, in Gone with the Wind Prissy says "I don't know nothing about birthing babies," which means that she has no knowledge about the childbirth process.

  4. #4
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of "I don't know nothing."

    Some languages are more strict than others regarding double negative usage.
    I wonder how this works in the Outer Space Language Williamyh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Williamyh View Post
    e.g. I don't know nothing.
    e.g. I didn't tell him nothing.
    If you translate these literally to Outer Space Language what do they mean?

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