GrammarPhile Blog

Double Negatives

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jun 14, 2011 5:30:00 AM

True or False: Never Use Two Negatives in the Same Sentence
The logic behind this rule is that two negatives in the same construction cancel each other out. When we say, "We never did nothing," what we are saying, in effect, is that "At no time did we ever do nothing," which means that at all times we did something. Something like that, anyway.

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Topics: double negatives, double negative, negatives

Use (or misuse) of Double Negatives

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Feb 23, 2010 5:00:00 AM

Most (dare we say ALL?) readers will realize that the following double negative is grammatically incorrect: "They don't have no skis." However, even many literate writers might miss the double negative in the next sentence:

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Topics: double negatives, double negative, singular verb

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