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    #1

    Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Hi,
    you agree negative questions with "no":
    -You are not at home?
    -No, I am not at home. I am outside.

    But how do you agree with negative statements? I have read somewhere in a forum that you can also agree with Yes?
    -Maria is not home today.
    - Yes. She's not home today.

    Is this possible?

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    #2

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Please see below.
    Quote Originally Posted by radeo23 View Post
    You are not at home?
    -No, I am not at home. I am at the grocery store. ("Outside" in your own yard would be still be "at home.")
    - Yes I am. -- This means you are home.


    Maria is not home today.
    - No, she's away for the weekend.
    - Yes she is. -- Meaning, yes, she is at home.
    Sometimes more complex statement are made, like "I thought..." or "He said that..." regarding a negative statement. Move variation in the answers might exist.

    He said she wasn't home on Tuesday nights.
    - That's right. She's not.
    - Yes [he was correct], she goes bowling.
    - Yes [he was correct], usually, but this week she's home with a cold.
    - No [she isn't home]. But she'll be here tomorrow night (Wednesday).
    - No [he is wrong about that] - she bowls on Wednesdays, and is usually home on Tuesdays.

    In those cases, a simple "yes" or "no" won't be enough information.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Jun-2016 at 18:23. Reason: Fixing typo.
    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.

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    #3

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Some languages make answers to negative questions clear. English doesn't, though, so it's up to you to make your answer unambiguous.

    Aren't you coming with us?
    Yes, I am.

    Maria isn't home today? (This must be asked in a rising tone. It's for spoken English only.)
    No, she's not./Yes, she is.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Also being answered here.

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    #5

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    But somehow I think I need more help. Let's say B knows that Maria is not at home and she is in Italy:

    Question:
    A: Maria is not at home?
    B: No, she's not at home. She's in Italy.

    Is this the correct answer?


    Statement:
    A: Maria is not home today.
    B: Yes. She's not home today. She's in Italy.

    Is this possible with "yes"? I mean A doesn't ask a question, A and B both make a statement.

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    #6

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    There is no hard-and-fast rule, as far as I know. I would answer yes to a negative question only if I were contradicting the question, as in Yes, she is (home). I just saw her go inside. It would sound to answer Yes, she's not home.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Ok thank you. The reason I ask is because in another forum I wanted to know the meaning of the last answer "No they aren't" in this conversation:
    Bryan: Is that an old photo of your friend?
    Cathy: No.
    Bryan: Okay, I always need to think about that person on the picture, who I thought was your friend. But they are not the same then.
    Cathy (looks closer): No they aren't.

    Someone answered: The NO means that Cathy agrees with the idea that they are not the same person. While it should have been, "Yes", sometimes people say No to mean they are in agreement with the negative statement. The "they aren't" also means agreement that they are not the same person.

    Is the answer wrong? But is his interpretation that Cathy agrees with the idea that they are not the same person right? Or is everything in his answer wrong?

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    #8

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Quote Originally Posted by radeo23 View Post
    Statement:
    A: Maria is not home today.
    B: Yes. She's not home today. She's in Italy.

    Is this possible with "yes"? I mean A doesn't ask a question, A and B both make a statement.
    Anything is possible, but most native speakers would say "No, she's not home today. She's in Italy."
    If you wanted to show you were agreeing with A, you'd say something like "Right. She's in Italy." You'd use "right" to agree, not "yes."

    As Goes said, you'd use "Yes" to contradict the person. "Yes, she is."

    Quote Originally Posted by radeo23 View Post
    Bryan:But they are not the same then.
    Cathy (looks closer): No they aren't.

    Someone answered: The NO means that Cathy agrees with the idea that they are not the same person. Agreed.
    While it should have been, "Yes", Disagree. It should NOT have been "Yes." Native speakers don't use "Yes" that way.
    sometimes people say No to mean they are in agreement with the negative statement. Mostly disagree. Almost always, not "sometimes" - we aren't using "no" to agree, we are using "no" to CONFIRM the negative statement.
    The "they aren't" also means agreement that they are not the same person. Yes, that's exactly what the first sentence says.

    Is the answer wrong? But is his interpretation that Cathy agrees with the idea that they are not the same person right? Or is everything in his answer wrong?
    Regardless of whether it's a statement or question and regardless of whether it's phrased in the negative or positive:
    A: Jane is home.
    or
    A: Jane isn't home?
    B: Yes, she is. (When Jane is home)
    B: No, she is not. (When Jane isn't home.)

    Ah, so it's the same person after all?
    Ah, so they are different people?

    Yes, it is the same person.
    No, it is a different person.

    Do not worry about agreeing with the person's belief. Answer in a way that tells what the actual situation is.
    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.

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    #9

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    Please do not create multiple user IDs. Please delete one of them. If you don't, a moderator will.

    Thank you.
    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.

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    #10

    Re: Agreeing with Negative Statements

    The "they aren't" also means agreement that they are not the same person. Yes, that's exactly what the first sentence says.
    Which first sentence do you mean? Can you quote it?

    And sorry for the two accounts, I forgot the username, but when I just used another computer I saw i was still logged in. I will delete this account after my question is solved and only use the other one.

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