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  1. matilda
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    #1

    Talking 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Dear all

    Hello

    Is this sentence gramatically correct?

    ( it didn't cost you nothing)

    and if it is correct, does it have a negative meaning or a positive one?did the listener pay anything for the stuff?

    Thanks a million

    Matilda

  2. hector51's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
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    #2

    Smile Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by matilda
    Dear all
    Hello
    Is this sentence gramatically correct?
    ( it didn't cost you nothing)
    and if it is correct, does it have a negative meaning or a positive one?did the listener pay anything for the stuff?
    Thanks a million
    Matilda
    I think it should be "it didn't cost you anything" because "nothing" shouldn't be used in negative sentence,it doesn't make sense.


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    #3

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Hi Matilda,

    As Hector has already said; When you use two negatives in one sentence it becomes positive in a way. When you take your sentence "it didn't cost you nothing" then it means that the person had to pay for it, that it wasn't for free.
    I won't go so far to say that it doesn't make any sense at all. Because you could use this sentence to point out that the thing you bought wasn't cheap at all. As far as I'm concerned, the native English speakers dear to use such a construction. Have heard similar things before.
    But normally we tend to say "it didn't cost me anything" or it didn't come for free" .... .

    Kind Regards

    Johan

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    #4

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    You will hear people usig double negatives, but it is regarded by many as incorrect and would certainly not be acceptable in formal use.


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    #5

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    sorry for cutting in,

    but I can confirm what tdol says, however weird it sounds for the people who were told that there was no such thing like double negative in English.

    I noticed this manner of speaking in many US movies or in songs' lyrics --usually, it is used by the uneducated from the city's ghetto to emphasize their origins or delibaterely by subcultures (hip-hop) to show their lack of concern for the proper language.

    ewelina


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    #6

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Ewelina,

    Thanks for cutting in

    What you say, is possible for sure. As I have said before, I have heard double negatives quite often before. It doesn't sound that weird to me to be honest, but of course you don't tend to you these structures yourself.

    I don't know that it is used in subcultures to stress their origin and lack of concern towards the English language. If you look or listen to the lyrics of rap songs you often hear grammatical mistakes (tense mistakes) and especially when you look how they write certains words.... that's even worse

    The question that I ask myself when it comes to the use of double negatives is; Do people use it to stress something in particular ?
    For instance, in this example "it didn't cost you nothing" is it another way to say that it costed you lots of money ?

    Kind Regards

  3. Hayseed's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by Johan[@CLT]
    Ewelina,
    Thanks for cutting in
    What you say, is possible for sure. As I have said before, I have heard double negatives quite often before. It doesn't sound that weird to me to be honest, but of course you don't tend to you these structures yourself.
    I don't know that it is used in subcultures to stress their origin and lack of concern towards the English language. If you look or listen to the lyrics of rap songs you often hear grammatical mistakes (tense mistakes) and especially when you look how they write certains words.... that's even worse
    The question that I ask myself when it comes to the use of double negatives is; Do people use it to stress something in particular ?
    For instance, in this example "it didn't cost you nothing" is it another way to say that it costed you lots of money ?
    Kind Regards
    Quote Originally Posted by Johan[@CLT]
    If you look or listen to the lyrics of rap songs you often hear grammatical mistakes (tense mistakes) and especially when you look how they write certains words.... that's even worse
    Truthfully, they sound like morons. There, I said it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Johan[@CLT]
    For instance, in this example "it didn't cost you nothing" is it another way to say that it costed you lots of money ?
    Yeah, but there`re much better ways of saying so, imo.


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    #8

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Hi Hayseed,

    Thanks for you reply

    As far as I'm concerned, this is quite an interesting topic as especially for non native English speakers It's nice and clear that you say they sound like morons. The fact is that I could often hear the mistakes in there speech and especially if you look up the lyrics of a song and you see the spelling mistakes. At the end, all these mistakes don't change the meaning. I consider that is a positive thing
    Anyway, I'm not into using these constructions myself.

    A downside to this story is that lots of youngsters who start with learning English probably look at the same lyrics and copy these constructions into their speech, not knowing that these are incorrect.

    A good thing you cleared this out!

    Kind Regards
    Last edited by Johan[@CLT]; 22-Feb-2006 at 23:28.


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    #9

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    I think that the meaning of the sentence above tends to come out like this:
    it didn't cost you nothing, it's obvious that you didn't pay anything at all
    and it didn't cost you anything, it might not cost you then, but who know it would cost you a little later.
    I don't know whether my interpretation is corrertable or not, but that's how i understand that sort of expression from the conversations with my US friends in high school.
    Have ever heard something similar like this: "I ain't got no money" or "I ain't got no reason". It's the most common way that my US friends in highschool uesd to say with each others when they don't have money or reason.
    It's just another way people use in day-by-day conversations, even if it's incorrect grammatically literally .
    Looking forward for some more explanation.

  4. Sebaylias's Avatar

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    #10

    Re: 37-it didn't cost you nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by quynhnguyen815
    I think that the meaning of the sentence above tends to come out like this:
    it didn't cost you nothing, it's obvious that you didn't pay anything at all
    and it didn't cost you anything, it might not cost you then, but who know it would cost you a little later.
    What is happening is this:

    In speech "it didn't cost you nothing" NOTHING is emphasised but logically and grammatically that it didn't cost you nothing means is cost you something.
    Same applies to "ain't got nothing" It's clear the speaker doesn't have anything at all, but logically it means the speaker has something since it is nothing that he/she doesn't have :)

    What using these double negatives does sociolinguistically is mark the person as having limited education and/or it says they come from a low socio-economic class.
    That is they use a "basilect": The variety of speech that is most remote from the prestige variety, especially in an area where a creole is spoken. For example, in Jamaica, Jamaican Creole is the basilect whereas Standard Jamaican English is the acrolect or prestige language.
    "acrolect": Closest to standard language: the language variety among a group of related varieties that is closest to the standard form of the language

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