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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #1

    Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

    Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

  2. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #2

    Re: Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

    Hi tomlui
    .
    "I don't know nothing" is a double negative and is grammatically incorrect. Therefore, you should never use it on an English test or in any formal context. You will sometimes hear people say "I don't know nothing" in very informal spoken English.
    .

  3. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomlui View Post
    Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?
    As Philly said it is a 'no-no' If you think about it, 'I don't know nothing' must mean that you know something, so you can't 'not know anything'

  4. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #4

    Re: Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philly View Post
    Hi tomlui
    .
    "I don't know nothing" is a double negative and is grammatically incorrect. Therefore, you should never use it on an English test or in any formal context. You will sometimes hear people say "I don't know nothing" in very informal spoken English.
    .
    informal??


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #5

    Re: Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomlui View Post
    Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?
    Informal generally means the language of everday.

    Double negatives do not state the opposite. They have the identical meaning to those that use the marker 'any'. They are often used to be more emphatic.

    What these are are nonstandard for most English dialects but they are commonly used in casual everyday speech. Princess Diana was quoted as saying, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

    You can even say,

    I don't know nothin' from nothin' about [____].

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    #6

    Re: Can i say "i don't know nothing" rather than "I don't know anything" ?

    However, if you wrote it in an exam, it would be marked wrong; it is a colloquial usage and one that is disputed by many, though you will hear native speakers using it.

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