Double negatives pt. 2


Let's look at how we express ourselves 
in more detail today and we'll look 
closely at negatives.

There are 3 basic ways to communicate, affirmative (positive), negative and interrogative (question).

(+) "Eric likes pizza."                  "She's bored."
(-) "Eric doesn't like pizza."        "She's not bored."
(?) "Does Eric like pizza?"          "Is she bored?"

You can see affirmatives and negatives are direct opposites. We can use the adverb not (or the contraction n't) to show a negative or we can use a negative word like never, nowhere, no-one etc. Words with a negative prefix like un, in, dis or non also have a negative meaning. Examples:
unpopular
incomplete
dishonest

Here is another example like yesterday:

"Kyle doesn't know nothing about computers." The speaker is using 2 negative words to strongly show that Kyle doesn't know computers well. Here the 2 negatives cancel each other, so this grammar is incorrect. We don't use this sentence in natural English because of the speakers meaning.

It's correct to use a single negative to express this idea. Here are 2 ways that are grammatically correct.

"Kyle doesn't know anything about computers." OR
"Kyle knows nothing about computers."


BUT... on Monday I used the sentence "There's nothing I can't do." I'll explain why it's okay tomorrow :)

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