Definitions for double negative

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word double negative

Princeton's WordNet

  1. double negative(noun)

    an affirmative constructed from two negatives

    "A not unwelcome outcome"

  2. double negative(noun)

    a grammatically substandard but emphatic negative

    "I don't never go"

Wiktionary

  1. double negative(Noun)

    A phrase in which there are two negative words or their compounds (e.g. no, not, never, none, etc), occasionally leading to ambiguity in the meaning, but necessary in some foreign languages.

Freebase

  1. Double negative

    A double negative occurs when two forms of negation are used in the same sentence. Multiple negation is the more general term referring to the occurrence of more than one negative in a clause. In most logics and some languages, double negatives cancel one another and produce an affirmative sense; in other languages, doubled negatives intensify the negation. Languages where multiple negatives intensify each other are said to have negative concord. Portuguese, French, Persian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Spanish are examples of negative-concord languages, while Latin and German do not have negative concord. Standard English lacks negative concord, but it was normal in Old English and Middle English, and some modern dialects do have it, although its usage in English is often stigmatized. Languages without negative concord typically have negative polarity items that are used in place of additional negatives when another negating word already occurs. Examples are "ever", "anything" and "anyone" in the sentence "I haven't ever owed anything to anyone". Note that negative polarity can be triggered not only by direct negatives such as "not" or "never", but by words such as "doubt" or "hardly".


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