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Double Negatives!. By Emily Ray. 3 Commonly asked questions about double negatives… What is a negative word? What is a double negative? What is wrong with using a double negative ? *Answer these questions for the pre-teaching activity. Question 1: What is a negative word?

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Double Negatives!

By Emily Ray


3 Commonly asked questions about double negatives…

What is a negative word?

What is a double negative?

What is wrong with using a double negative?

*Answer these questions for the pre-teaching activity


  • Question 1: What is a negative word?

  • A word that contradicts the statement or the word it describes

  • -negative words: no, not, none, nothing, nowhere, neither, nor, nobody, no one, hardly, scarcely, barely

  • -Examples: don’t have, won’t go, not buying, barely ate

  • -The negative word don’t is contradicting, making opposite, the word have. Having something and not having something are complete opposites of each other.


Question 2:What is a double negative?

-A construction that employs two negatives, especially to express a single negotiation.

-A double negative is usually produced by combining the negative form of verb (e.g., cannot, did not, have not) with a negative pronoun (e.g., nothing, nobody), a negative adverb (e.g., never, hardly) or a negative conjunction (e.g., neither/nor)

-Examples: don’t need none, ain’t heard nothing, never tell nobody, neither of us don’t


Question 3: What is wrong with using a double negative?

-Often double negatives mean the opposite of what you are trying to say.

-cancel each other out and make a positive

- For example if you said, “I don’t need no education,” you would technically be saying that no education is something you don’t need. In other words, you need an education.


  • How to fix a double negative in a sentence

  • -many times you can just take out one of the negative words

  • For example: “I don’t have no money” you could change to “I’ve got no money” or “I don’t have money.”

  • You can also replace some words with the positive form of it

  • For example: “I don’t need none,” you could change to, “I don’t need any.”


Rule 1
Rule 1:

  • Negative + negative = positive

    word word phrase

    Jenny didn’t do nothing today.= positive


Rule 2
Rule 2:

  • Negative + positive = negative

    word word phrase

    She doesn’t have an eraser I can borrow.= negative



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