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Semantically & Structurally Negatives. Vijay Gupta ITLA Country Winner State Awardee 9463498598. Semantically Negatives.

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semantically structurally negatives

Semantically & Structurally Negatives.

Vijay Gupta

ITLA Country Winner

State Awardee


semantically negatives
Semantically Negatives
  • A sentence that conveys a negative meaning irrespective of its form is a semantically negative sentence which means that a positive structure can convey a negative meaning. For example :


  • This sentence is positive at the level of sentence structure but is semantically negative since it has a negative meaning.
structurally negatives
Structurally Negatives
  • A structurally negative sentence is one which has a negative form, and generally, it has a negative meaning too. But it is possible to encode a positive meaning in a structurally negative sentence. Perhaps, it all sounds a bit confusing but it is fairly simple if you look at the following examples:-
  • SHE IS NOT HAPPY. This sentence is both structurally and semantically negative.
  • IT’S NOT THAT SHE IS UNHAPPY. This sentence has a negative form but conveys a positive meaning.
types of negative sentences
Types of Negative Sentences
  • Explicit Negation
  • Affixal Negation
  • Implicit Negation
  • Non-Verbal Negation
1 explicit negation
1. Explicit Negation
  • This is the most common and an obvious type of negation where we indicate our NO by putting a NOT after the operative or the auxiliary verb e.g.
    • She is not happy.
    • A child does not tell a lie.
    • Keshav did not eat a mango.
    • Do not waste your precious time.
neither nor either
  • Note that neither/nor/either are often used to combine two negative sentences. The following two sentences.
  • Bhupinder isn’t happy.
  • Jagdev isn’t happy.

Can be combined thus:

  • Bhupinder isn’t happy and neither is Jagdev.
  • Bhupinder isn’t happy and nor is Jagdev.
  • Bhupinder isn’t happy and Jagdev isn’t either.
neither nor either1
  • Interestingly, look what happens when we decide to use neither/nor together:
  • Neither Bhupinder nor Jagdev is happy.
  • This is a very apt example of a semantically negative but structurally positive sentence i.e. it conveys a negative meaning without the use of not.
2 affixal negation
2. Affixal Negation
  • In this type of negation, the form is generally positive but the negative meaning is carried by the prefixes like ‘im-, in-, un-, non-, dis-‘ etc. Look at the following sentences:
  • He is very insensitive to her needs.
  • Jaskaran and Gurpreet are non-cooperative.
  • This officer is dishonest.
3 implicit negation
3. Implicit Negation
  • This type of negation too has a connection with the use of individual words since negation is encoded in the words themselves even though, the structure of the sentence may be positive e.g.
  • Archanarejected the offer.
  • They opposed the motion.

We may also call this lexical negation.

4 non verbal negation
4. Non-verbal Negation
  • As the term suggests, this type of negation has to do with words other than verbs. The negative element in this case is carried in words like nothing, no one, none, nobody, never, nowhere, few, seldom, little and few etc. Here are some examples:-
  • No one knew the meaning of this word.
  • I can find her nowhere.
  • I have little money.
  • Sentence Type : Form and Function
  • Dr. S. K. Sareen, JNU