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    #1

    What should I use?

    I`m doing nothing too or I`m doing nothing either?
    The point is that the meaning of the sentence is negative, but the structure of the sentence is positive.
    What should I use?

    By the way, could you give me the link where I can find negative words.

    Thanks in advance,
    Max


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #2

    Re: What should I use?

    It sounds acceptable to me:

    A: Everyone does nothing here.
    B: And you?
    A: I am doing nothing, too/either.

    However,
    Swan says 'too' does not work here:
    * You cannot have an apple and you cannot have an orange, too.

    I am not sure he would disagree with my version, because it is different from his example sentence.

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    #3

    Re: What should I use?

    Do you mean Michael Swan`s book "Practical English Usage?"


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    #4

    Re: What should I use?

    Quote Originally Posted by usignolo View Post
    Do you mean Michael Swan`s book "Practical English Usage?"
    Yes. Konecno.

    In my example, 'too' appears in an assertive territory, judging by the form of pronoun (everybody and not anybody).

    In Swan's, 'too' sits in a negative, non-assertive environment.

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    #5

    Re: What should I use?

    Konecno.
    Do you know Russian?))))


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    #6

    Re: What should I use?

    Quote Originally Posted by usignolo View Post
    Konecno.
    Do you know Russian?))))
    I had to learn Russian for 4 years in the elementary school from grade 5 to 8. No linguistic level. We only scratched the surface of Russian

    Do my answers to your original question satisfy your needs?

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    #7

    Re: What should I use?

    Yes, but it is a big problem, actually. I`ve come across sentences like this:
    I don't want nothing.
    He didn't say nothing
    and so on.
    According to M. Swan such sentences are prohibited, but as I understood some authors think that they are still used.
    Here are the links:
    Double Negatives
    double negative - definition of double negative by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    double negatives

    What`s your opinion? Should we use such sentences according to normative grammar?


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    #8

    Re: What should I use?

    Quote Originally Posted by usignolo View Post
    Yes, but it is a big problem, actually. I`ve come across sentences like this:
    I don't want nothing.
    He didn't say nothing
    and so on.
    According to M. Swan such sentences are prohibited, but as I understood some authors think that they are still used.
    Here are the links:
    Double Negatives
    double negative - definition of double negative by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    double negatives

    What`s your opinion? Should we use such sentences according to normative grammar?

    When Jim Loy said that he did not think of your examples. I am sure he would deem them inappropriate too.

    You can say:
    I do not want anything.
    I do not want anything from you.
    I can't disagree with you.
    To me this is strange. What does negation mean? The way I see it, want is the negation of 'not want'. How can I decide which of the two is the negated version, once they mutually negate each other. So, in a way the first sentence is double negation too, only morphologically it is not explicit - there is no two no's.
    In the third sentence, disagree means having a different view. Double is the negation because that dis- prefix is there.

    Semantically, the third sentence is equivalent to this:
    My view coincide with yours. Where are two negations here?
    Conclusion: it seems to me negation is not a semantic, but a morphological feature of grammar.
    Last edited by svartnik; 05-Aug-2009 at 10:54.


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    #9

    Re: What should I use?

    It would be clearer to say, "I'm not doing anything, either."

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    #10

    Re: What should I use?

    Many thanks for a very detailed answer.
    By the way, if you have some problems with Russian, you are welcome.
    I`m a native Russian speaker.

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