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Examples of Double Negatives

Double negatives are two negative words used in the same sentence. Using two negatives turns the thought or sentence into a positive one. Double negatives are not encouraged in English because they are poor grammar and they can be confusing; but, they are sometimes used in song lyrics and informal speech.

Double Negative Examples

  • That won’t do you no good.
  • I ain’t got no time for supper.
  • Nobody with any sense isn’t going.
  • I can’t find my keys nowhere.
  • She never goes with nobody.
  • John says he has not seen neither Alice or Susan all day.
  • You can’t see no one in this crowd.
  • There aren’t no presents left to open.
  • The secret cave did not have none of the treasures they wanted.
  • All the witnesses claimed that didn’t see nothing.
  • The pilot can’t find no place to land.
  • He did not mention neither the deposit nor the rate.
  • There is no way you can do nothing about this.
  • He doesn’t have nothing but the clothes on his back.
  • We haven’t never seen a tornado that big.
  • It ain’t right to not paint the house.
  • You shouldn’t do nothing to the house.
  • The hospital won’t allow no more visitors.
  • I don’t have nobody to mow my lawn.
  • That attitude won’t get you nowhere.
  • After the nose job, she didn’t want no one to see her.
  • The star couldn’t sing no more after the matinee performance.

Double Negatives Using Prefixes

Sometimes a negative can be formed by attaching the prefixes ir-, in-, non- and un-. Here are some examples:

  • The evidence is certainly not irrefutable.
  • This gem is not uncommon.
  • The results are not inconclusive.
  • His rebuttal was clearly not nonsensical.
  • The price of the car is not insignificant.
  • It is not unnecessary to tell the truth all the time.
  • The new disease wasn’t non-infectious.
  • He wasn’t irresponsible about his duties.

Double Negatives with Negative Words

You can create a double negative by using a negative word with a word that acts like a negative. Here are some examples:

  • Barely – I can’t barely see where I am going in this fog.
  • Barely – She did not barely understand the instructions.
  • Hardly – I hardly have no money.
  • Hardly – It wasn’t hardly midnight when we saw the meteor shower.
  • Rarely – He is not rarely a visitor at the park.
  • Rarely – Tom wasn’t rarely present at openings.
  • Scarcely – The news of the company’s bankruptcy made scarcely no impact.
  • Scarcely – The Southeast had scarcely no rain last year.
  • Seldom – We don’t watch movies seldom.
  • Seldom – Tom doesn’t go there seldom since his bad experience.

Double Negatives in Song Lyrics

  • I can’t get no satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  • I wasn’t looking for nobody when you looked my way – Rihanna
  • We don’t need no education – Pink Floyd
  • I can’t get no sleep – Faithless
  • Got nothing to hide no more – Backstreet Boys
  • There ain’t no rest for the wicked – Cage the Elephant
  • And there ain’t nothin’ in this world for free – Cage the Elephant
  • My forbidden lover, I don’t want no other – Chic
  • Ain’t no mountain high enough – Marvin Gaye
  • Never wanted nothing more – Kenny Chesney

To see more double negatives, check out Double Negative Trouble.

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