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  1. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #1

    cannot not?

    It is a fact that cannot not be denied.


    Is the negative particle not correctly used? If it is OK, does it have the same meaning as It is a fact that cannot be denied? Or does it just add emphasis to the given sentence?

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    #2

    Re: cannot not?

    A double negative is common, but not a triple. Why make it so confusing?

    It is a fact that cannot be accepted.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: cannot not?

    I have seen it somewhere on the web. And I thought it is correct English.

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    #4

    Re: cannot not?

    It is a bit unusual. If you were arguing with someone, and they say said, "It is a fact that cannot be denied:, you might retort, "It is a fact that cannot not be denied".

    Sometimes we deliberately repeat word-for-word what someone said, substituting only just enough of the language to make our counter point. It is a way of emphasizing you hold the totally opposite opinion to the speaker.

    In most cases, however, it would be more natural to say, "It is a fact that must be denied".

    I'm using bold to indicate an oral stressing of the word.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: cannot not?

    I agree with CD that this type of double negation is not uncommon in response to a negative -

    A: You can't invite Aunt Mabel to the wedding. She'll get drunk and be rude to everybody.
    B: I can't not invite her. She might cut me out of her will.

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    #6

    Re: cannot not?

    'You cannot not do something' is sometimes heard, but Piscean's example is more realistic than that in the OP.

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