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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    Negative+negative = positive?

    I have some sentences here:
    1)
    I do not know anything
    I do not know a thing
    I do not know nothing

    I think I have heard the three somewhere, is the third sentence can only be used in Informal English to mean" I don't know anything:?
    2)
    Many years ago, people often said" A woman's place is in the home". But Americans do not feel that way_____more
    a) any
    b) no
    Why we choose a but not b?

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Negative+negative = positive?

    I do not know nothing and Americans do not feel that way no more are examples of a double negative constructions, and whether the coupling not ... no is correct or not is a matter of dialect. In Standard English it's considered unacceptable.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #3

    Re: Negative+negative = positive?

    I don't know anything

    Anything sounds negative, doesn't it? So if it sounds negative, why would people still use that structure?

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    #4

    Re: Negative+negative = positive?

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    I don't know anything

    Anything sounds negative, doesn't it? So if it sounds negative, why would people still use that structure?
    ''anything'' is not negative. ''nothing'' is negative.

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