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  1. #61
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuartnz View Post
    I think that Soup's wonderfully concise and simple summary from page 1 of this thread deserves repeating:


    • Do people say it? Yes.
    • Is it considered Standard English? No.
    And now I ain't got no need to say nothing more about it.


    There are those that say that double negatives are not logical, but they follow their own logic in the dialects that use them.

    Unfortunately, prescriptivists have had way too much influence and have led us to disparage our own language or speakers of that language.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    Well, I might sound silly and excessive but I just feel the urge to contribute my two cents to this funny discussion.

    At school, in English class, we were tought that a double negative is incorrect. You don't want to say "I don't know nothing", "Don't sign nothing". You say, instead, "I know nothing/ I don't know anything" "Sign nothing/Don't sign anything."
    These, I've always believed, are basics.

    Yet when you come to live in the English-speaking country, as it happened to me, people are not going to always speak the correct English for you. So, I believe, we, non-native speakers, should be aware of such expressions to exist and understand them. But we don't have to use them...

    And indeed -- "Don't sigh nothing" sounds awfully clumsy even for my foreign ear.

  3. #63
    $portytheking is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    techniccally no it not the right term would be if you said i cant do othing it would be i cant do anything

  4. #64
    magelarocque is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    No. You have used a double negative. The correct sentence would be: Don't sign anything.
    If you say "Don't sign nothing", you are telling someone to sign something.

  5. #65
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by magelarocque View Post
    No. You have used a double negative. The correct sentence would be: Don't sign anything.
    If you say "Don't sign nothing", you are telling someone to sign something.
    If your first language is English then you should know better. English is not mathematics. Two negatives do not cancel each other out and produce a positive. Don't sign nothing does not mean Sign something. Sometimes "English" teachers do tell us such things, but what we learn from real life tells us something different.



  6. #66
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    No one has mentioned that double negative has a long and respectable pedigree, although my Swiss cheese of a memory can recall offhand no example from Old English, Chaucer, or Shakespeare. Double negative was one of the grammatical deadly sins outlawed by the Enlightenment standardisers of English, while their French counterparts, allegedly the most logical of the lot, were quite content to keep it, as is still the case in Standard French. Portuguese and Spanish are even more fun, allowing multiple negatives, e.g. Spanish 'Nadie no me dijo nada sobre nada', which literally translates as 'Nobody didn't tell me nothing about nothing', i.e. 'Nobody told me anything about anything' in Standard English.

  7. #67
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    Default apologies to stuartnz

    Sorry, I missed stuartnz's post mentioning the Medieval Mangler, aka Chaucer.

  8. #68
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    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    It is very right and proper to indicate to a learner that there is a correct and an incorrect form. Whether the incorrect form is also a colloquially used one may be interesting, but does not help the learner who is trying to pass a test or complete an assignment.

    More advanced learners may well find suitable opportunities to use colloquial forms in acceptable ways.

    Soapboxes are slippery things to stand on.
    Soapboxes are slippery things to stand on.

    What is meant by this statement in this particular context?

  9. #69
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Soapboxes are slippery things to stand on.

    What is meant by this statement in this particular context?
    She was referring (I am sure) to Riverkid's post ( http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ge...tml#post316941 ). There is some disagreement about using the words correct and incorrect regarding English usage.

    If you look up soabox, that might be helpful.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Is this right?

    well this usage is definitely wrong as double negatives are supposed to be incorrect.... Instead we say "I don't know anything"....
    This double negative approach to english speaking actually sounds better in Hollywood movies during some conversation between gangsters.... :)
    Else its no good use....

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