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  1. #1
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    Default Partial Negation

    I understand in English when we say "Both windows are not open.", we mean: "Not both of the windows are open. Probably one is open, the other is closed. " Am I right?

    If so, how about: "Everybody doesn't like the book." Does that also mean: "Not everybody likes the book. Some do and some don't."?

    Is there a grammatical term called partial negation existing in English grammar?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    That's correct. In other words, Not everyone likes the book. For example,

    Max: Everyone likes this book, right?
    Sam: No. That's not true. 'Everyone' doesn't like this book.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    Quote Originally Posted by Suwei Wang
    "Everybody doesn't like the book." Does that also mean: "Not everybody likes the book. Some do and some don't."?
    "Everybody doesn't like the book" is semantically the same as "nobody likes the book".

    Your example conversation should go like this:

    Max: Everyone likes this book, right?
    Sam: No. That's not true. Not everyone likes this book. In fact, some people absolutely hate it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    Many thanks for both the replys. I tend to agree with Casiopea more. "Everybody doesn't like the book." shall mean "Not everyone likes the book." not "Nobody likes the book". But I am not really sure and I would appreciate if anyother native speakers can re-confirm that.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    You've got the semantics right, and Steve's example is also correct. The example I provided is an emphatic way of expressing "Not everyone likes the book."

    Emphatic: Everyone doesn't like the book.
    Non-emphatic: Not everyone likes the book.

    Both are correct.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    Welcome, Steve.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    Thank you, Casiopea. This forum is amazingly helpful. From the discussions, I reached a conclusion as below. Please see if I am right:

    When you say: "Everybody doesn't like the book.", you actually express two possiblities:

    1. Nobody likes the book.
    2. Some people do like it and some don't.

    Is above OK to you too, Steve?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    Pat: Everyone likes the book, right?
    Sam: No. Everyone doesn't like the book.
    Based on the context above, the following is not a possible reading for contextual Everyone doesn't like the book,

    Some people in the group like the book.

    In context, Sam uses "Everyone doesn't" to emphasize that either all of the people in the group don't like the book or some people in the group don't like the book. Both readings are possible, if given more context.

    Pat: Everyone likes the book, right?
    Sam: No. Everyone doesn't like it. (Nobody likes the book)

    Pat: Everyone likes the book, right?
    Sam: No. Everyone doesn't like it. (Some of us don't like the book.)

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    "Everybody doesn't like the book." shall mean "Not everyone likes the book." not "Nobody likes the book".
    I think you are confusing between "Everybody doesn't like the book" and "It's not everybody who likes the book" . "Everybody doesn't like the book" means "Nobody likes the book" just like "Everybody in the group doesn't like him." means "Nobody in the group likes him."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Partial Negation

    I think I got it. Thank you all.

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