diciembre 2018
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♣  Negation (like asking) is one of the most difficult areas of English ↓

•→http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/negation  ⇔  Double Negatives⇐  
∇   Transferred Negation

When we express negative ideas with verbs like think, believe…  we prefer to make the first verb negative instead of the second. We shift or transfer the negative from the second verb to the first. Take, for example, the following statement:

* I think John isn’t coming to the party.

Although grammatically ‘correct’, this sentence sounds strange to native speakers. We prefer to move (shift or transfer) the negative to the preceding verb:

I don’t think John is coming to the party.

Verbs used like this include believe, expect, seem, suppose, think, and want.

Study the following examples:

We usually say: We do NOT usually say:
I don’t think he’s coming. I think he’s not coming.
I don’t believe he’s coming. I believe he’s not coming.
I don’t suppose he’s coming. I suppose he’s not coming.
I don’t want him to come. I want him not to come.
I don’t expect him to come. I expect him not to come.
He doesn’t seem to like it. He seems not to like it.

¤  Exceptions to negative raising

· Surprise is often expressed without shifting the negative:
I thought you’d never get here on time!

· Negative raising is not used with hope:

I hope he doesn’t come.

· Negative raising is preferred in informal style with verbs that are followed by an infinitive:

He doesn’t seem to understand.
I don’t expect to be back before Monday.
I don’t want to miss the concert tonight.


• Expressions with ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘any’, ‘none’  ⇒ QUIZ

• More Expressions with “no”  ⇒QUIZ

‘no’, ‘none’ … ‘nobody’/’no-one’, ‘nothing’, ‘nowhere’

⊗→ Negative expressions with ‘It’s…’ & “There’s…”⇐[quiz]

• It’s no use… / It’s no good…
There’s nothing you can do about the situation, so it’s no use worrying about it.
It’s no good trying to persuade me. You won’t succeed.

• There’s no point in…
There’s no point in having a car if you never use it.
There was no point in waiting any longer, so we went.

• There’s no harm in…
There’s no harm in asking.

• It’s (not) worth…
I live only a short walk from here, so it’s not worth taking a taxi.
Our flight was very early in the morning, so it wasn’t worth going to bed.

All those expressions are followed by -ing forms. 

Φ  There are other “no” phrases which are followed by to-infinitive:nope

There’s no need to pay in advance.
There’s no reason to worry.

Φ  And others are followed by a that-clause:

It’s no wonder that we didn’t get a rise.
There’s no doubt  that the world is getting warmer.
There’s no denying that sharks have an image problem. 


Φ  The expression No matter… is actually a conjunction (i.e.: joins two clauses together) frequently followed by wh- words:

No matter where you go, you’ll find Coca-Cola.
Phone me when you get home, no matter how late it is.
No matter when you come, you’ll be welcome.

⇑ Click for some examples of use of negative questions

We tend to avoid using such questions in the past as they may often sound rather aggressive, much the same as a reproach (=“You should have known better...”):

“Why didn’t you tell me?”   (=”You might have told me!”)

“Didn’t you realise it was dangerous?”    (=”You could have realised…”)

∞   Negative Agreement  ↓  ‘either’ – ‘neither’

♦ Turning down a request, an invitation, an offer… ⇓

⇑  How to Say ‘NO’ in sticky situations

Argumentative Strategy:   Negation
Negation is a common strategy in argumentation. In arguing a point of view, it is often necessary to negate an opposing viewpoint, to refute an argument, and to remove misunderstanding through the use of negation. For example:
  1. ‘By freedom, I do not mean the liberty to do whatever we like, but the exercising of a choice for which we take full responsibility.’ (Definition)
  2. ‘Studying abroad is not as rewarding as studying in a local university.’ (Comparison & Contrast)
  3. ‘Smoking may provide temporary stimulation of the brain, but it is not the answer to chronic lack of sleep.’ (Concession & Rebuttal)
 Types of Negative Markers
In English, negative markers can be divided into three groups: Not-negator, N-negator (or No-negator) and negative affix, as shown in the table below.
Negative affix
Not, n’t
(Modified from Tottie’s (1991) table on classification of the intra-sentential negative expressions in English.)
‘Not’ is a commonly used negative marker. Despite its wide use, ‘not’ cannot be placed anywhere in a sentence.
As a modifier of an adjective, adverb, or a prepositional phrase, ‘not’ can be placed next to the word or phrase it modifies. For example:
It is not worthwhile to spend time on something you do not really like or not in your expertise.’
 However, it is ungrammatical to have ‘not’ before or after a finite verb:
*’He not came back.’
*’She saw not him yesterday.’
To remove the grammatical error, the auxiliary verb ‘do’ in the correct tense should be used in front of ‘not’, followed by the bare verb form (without any tense markings)
 *’He not came back.’ –>‘He did not come back.’
*’She saw not him yesterday’ –>‘She did not see him yesterday.’
In the above cases, it can be seen that ‘not’ comes before the non-finite verbs (verbs without any tenses) but after the finite auxiliary verbs (auxiliary verbs with tenses)
Not’ also comes before non-finite verbs in other sentence constructions:
‘I am sorry about not having told you his story.’ (‘having’ is a non-finite verb or a verb without a tense)
‘They asked me not to tell you this.’ (‘tell’ is a non-finite verb or a verb without a tense)
In the case of modal auxiliary verbs (shall/should, will/would, can/would, may/might, must), because the modal auxiliaries have tenses, ‘not’ comes after the modal auxiliary finite verb and before the non-finite verb. For example:
‘You should not smoke in the train.’ (‘should’ has a tense, ‘smoke’ does not have a tense)
‘They could not be the same.’ (‘could’ has a tense, ‘be’ does not have a tense)
Apart from the use of ‘not’ to represent a negation, there are other negative markers, like ‘never’, ‘no’ or ‘nothing’, which can negate a statement.
This was not a surprise.’ <—> ‘This was no surprise.’
‘He does not sing’. <—> ‘He never sings.’
‘We did not come to school.’ <—> ‘None of us came to school.’
‘The students did not pass the exam.’ <—> ‘No student passed the exam.’
Negative affixes
The use of negative affixes is straight-forward. By adding a suitable affix, the meaning of the word is reversed. Nonetheless, selecting the correct affix is the most problematic part of using negative affixes. Some words use ‘in-’ as the prefix to produce the antonyms (words opposite in meanings); others use ‘un-’ or ‘dis-’. For example:
Possible – Impossible
Normal – Abnormal
Logical – Illogical
Relevant – Irrelevant
Inhabitable – Uninhabitable
Governmental organizations – Non-governmental organizations
It is interesting to note that for the words beginning with an ‘m’ or ‘p’, the prefix ‘im’ tends to be used as a negative affix, whereas for words beginning with ‘re’, the prefix ‘ir’ is often used.

No-me-digas♣  If you follow the link below, which is actually a Spanish lesson on negation for foreigners, you will realise that English speakers do not find it easy either.  Lots of easy things take a long time to acquire . . .


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