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    • Join Date: Apr 2006
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    #1

    negatives

    Hi,

    I'm curious about "negatives".

    (a) I told no one anything.

    (b) I told nothing to anyone.

    (c) I did not tell anyone anything.

    (d) I dod not tell anything to anyone.

    (e) I told anyone nothing.

    What are correct? Could you plz tell me the reason?

    Thanks in advance.

    Spoon

  1. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: negatives

    .
    I find E a little odd (I don't know why); otherwise, they are all fine.
    .

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    #3

    Re: negatives

    Is this incorrect?
    `
    "Anyone didn't tell me anything."

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: negatives

    .
    Yes, for the same reason as E above (whatever that is).
    .

  3. rewboss's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: negatives

    "Anyone" usually goes with negative verbs and questions:

    "Did you see anyone there?"
    "No, I didn't see anyone."

    The sentence "*I told anyone nothing" is a statement but not a negative, so you can't use "anyone" here. Grammatically, you should use "someone": "I told someone nothing." That's a grammatically correct sentence, although you would probably never need it: it means you approached a specific individual and told that individual nothing -- but you don't know the identity of that individual, or the identity is unimportant or a secret.


    • Join Date: Apr 2006
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    #6

    Re: negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    "Anyone" usually goes with negative verbs and questions:

    "Did you see anyone there?"
    "No, I didn't see anyone."

    The sentence "*I told anyone nothing" is a statement but not a negative, so you can't use "anyone" here. Grammatically, you should use "someone": "I told someone nothing." That's a grammatically correct sentence, although you would probably never need it: it means you approached a specific individual and told that individual nothing -- but you don't know the identity of that individual, or the identity is unimportant or a secret.

    Tanks a million!
    Additionally, words starting with any- cannot go before 'not' as you can see in "(e)". But words starting with any-(anyone, anything) can go before 'not' if they are modified by relatives or phrases.

    Note that...

    Anyone who did it can come to the party. -> This is correct.

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