english - practical english grammar

Competitive Exams - English

Practical English Grammar

MCQ
Notes

Confusing usage words part eight


In mathematics, a negative number times a negative number yields a positive number.

Similarly, in grammar, when two negative words are used (where only one is needed), the
negatives cancel each other out, making the idea positive and not negative as intended. In
the sentence, ‘‘I cannot get no respect from them,’’ the two negative words, cannot and no,
cancel each other out. Thus, the sentence is really saying, ‘‘I can get respect from them,’’
a far different thought from what seems to be the sentence’s original intention. Had the
sentence read, ‘‘I cannot get respect from them,’’ or ‘‘I can get no respect from them,’’
the meaning is quite different from that when both negative words are included in the
sentence.
Here is another example of this double negative situation. Notice the different meanings
when the negative words are included or deleted.
Two negative words in the sentence: We didn’t have no disappointments.
One negative word in the sentence:We didn’t have disappointments.
One negative word in the sentence:We had no disappointments.

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Notes


Practical English Grammar - Notes
1. compound subjects part two
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2. Quotation Marks Part Three
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3. Italics Hyphens and Brackets
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4. the object of the preposition
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5. the participle and participial phrase
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6. what good writers do
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7. complete and simple predicates
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8. the noun clause
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9. compound subject and compound predicate
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10. the direct object
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11. the verb phrase
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12. the pronoun
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13. the adverb
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14. The nominative case
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15. the gerund and gerund phrase
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16. the interjection
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17. introducing phrases
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18. the adjective
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19. The possessive case
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20. introducing clauses
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21. the adjective clause
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22. Confusing usage words part three
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23. Second Capitalization List
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24. types of sentences by purpose
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25. subject complements predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives
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26. types of nouns
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27. the noun adjective pronoun question
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28. Confusing usage words part one
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29. Confusing usage words part six
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30. More subject verb agreement situations
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31. the preposition
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32. The coordinating conjunction
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33. the correlative conjunction
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34. Indefinite pronouns and the possessive case
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35. Parentheses Ellipsis Marks and Dashes
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36. the indirect object
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37. the adjective phrase
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38. the verb
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39. sentences fragments and run on sentences
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40. the adverb phrase
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41. the adverb clause
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42. Active and passive voices
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43. Sound a like words Part Two
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44. Commas Part Two
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45. complete and simple subjects
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46. the noun
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47. personal pronouns
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48. irregular verbs part two
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49. the appositive
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50. Confusing usage words part eight
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