Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 38
    #1

    "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    I have been wondering if a sentence like "I don't know nothing" is correct, because I have heard many actors speaking in this way. Grammatically speaking, "I don't know anything" should be correct, shouldn't it? So I guess speaking like this reflects character's academic background or something in a story.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #2

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by mogu View Post
    I have been wondering if a sentence like "I don't know nothing" is correct, because I have heard many actors speaking in this way. Grammatically speaking, "I don't know anything" should be correct, shouldn't it? So I guess speaking like this reflects character's academic background or something in a story.
    Don't get too excited about movie English or music lyric English. "I don't know nothing" is incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bengali; Bangla
      • Home Country:
      • Bangladesh
      • Current Location:
      • Singapore

    • Join Date: Jul 2013
    • Posts: 495
    #3

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Sorry for butting in. Can't "I don't know nothing" imply that I know something?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #4

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by UM Chakma View Post
    Sorry for butting in. Can't "I don't know nothing" imply that I know something?
    It can, but I estimate that 98% of the time it's used, it's the non-standard usage meaning "I don't know anything."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 38
    #5

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Thank you for the comments. What I'm concerned about the most is whether this expression is associated with speaker's social status, personality or intellectual level. As far as I know, a person who plays a role of a high official, a lawyer, a doctor and etc. rarely speaks in this way.
    Last edited by mogu; 05-Sep-2013 at 01:58.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,514
    #6

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Type 'I don't know nothing' in the Google Custom S(earch) box near the top of the page. You will find links to previous answers to your question.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,912
    #7

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by mogu View Post
    Thank you for the comments. What I'm concerned about the most is whether this expression is associated with speaker's social status, personality or intellectual level.
    Some people will make such associations, others won't. It's a common form, but non-standard. To be honest, it's so common in movies that I wouldn't make any such association, but if I saw it in a piece of formal writing, I would be surprised.

  5. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 38
    #8

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Your comment is quite helpful. Thank you.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,912
    #9

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by mogu View Post
    Thank you for the comments. What I'm concerned about the most is whether this expression is associated with speaker's social status, personality or intellectual level. As far as I know, a person who plays a role of a high official, a layer, a doctor and etc. rarely speaks in this way.
    I assume you meant "lawyer" unless carpet layers etc have now become "high officials".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 38
    #10

    Re: "I don't know nothing." Is this correct?

    That's right. Thank you for proofreading.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] "don't you" meaning at the begining of a sentence
    By Tryna learn English in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-May-2013, 23:13
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-May-2013, 21:53
  3. "Donít stew about the futures."
    By Odessa Dawn in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Feb-2013, 06:07
  4. "You donít have to rob a bank"
    By Odessa Dawn in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Dec-2012, 20:51
  5. "donít side track"
    By 1364 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2005, 11:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •