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  1. #1
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Default partial negation or total negation

    Hello, I want to ask about partial and total negation.

    What does the sentence below mean?

    "All the people didn't take part in the event."

    Does this mean the same as "Not all the people took part in the event." or
    "None of the people took part in the event.", or either?

    I think that it depends on the context and the sentence can mean either.
    Am I right?

    I appreciate your help.

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: partial negation or total negation

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Hello, I want to ask about partial and total negation.

    What does the sentence below mean?

    "All the people didn't take part in the event."

    Does this mean the same as "Not all the people took part in the event." or
    "None of the people took part in the event.", or either?

    I think that it depends on the context and the sentence can mean either.
    Am I right?

    I appreciate your help.
    It's not the usual way this would be stated, Yoshio. As a stand alone sentence, because 'all' equals 100%, I'd have to say that it could only entail that,

    "None of the people took part in the event."

    unless, it is a negation of what someone has previously stated.

    A: All the people there took part in the event.

    B: Ahh no, all the people didn't take part in the event. There was a group of
    people who actually refused.

  3. #3
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: partial negation or total negation

    Thank you, Riverkid.

    So the sentences like "All the people didn't ..." are basically considered as total negation, though they are unusual, and they could be used as partial negation in the very limited situation which you mentioned in your post.

    Am I understanding OK?

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