"I didn't see nothing!"
Hi all, have you guys found an interesting English expression-"I didn't see nothing!"? was it wrong or was it English logic? I thought it supposed to be "I didn't see anythig!". Can any English native speaker tell me why is that? Thanks!
"I didn't see anything" is the correct way to say it. In some parts of the US "I didn't ___ nothing" is slang for "I didn't ___ anything", but it isn't correct in standard English. You should also say "I didn't ___ anything".
Logically, "I didn't see nothing" means "I saw something" if you interpret it literally, but it's hard to imagine a situation where you'd say it like that.
I noticed this sentence in an episode of English drama named Downton Abbey. I was thinking maybe it is a slang?
Slang is important in the United States. It tells a lot about where a person is from, the memories they try to keep alive, the company they keep and the people they are NOT trying to impress. There are some Americans who even prefer to use the word nothing because of their fondness for Sgt. Schultz in the old television show, Hogans Heros. The world takes all kinds.
"memories they try to keep alive", I think the same way,when you use slang,even if it´s no more in use,you want to keep alive your memories of that time.
I don´t care if very young people find this olfashioned...
Quadruple negative (that's not slang!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAjFgVM0y5o
Thank you for all your answers. They are very helpful!
Its slang, and actually said very commonly including among well educated people in informal settings... I and my friends use it when joking about something they did indeed see "pretending" they havent (when all parties involved know its a joke).
I disagree with people who think slang isn't "proper" language. Yes you dont want to write professional emails or conduct business meetings with it, just like you dont want to curse or talk about certain subjects in polite company, but if you want to fit in with locals, colloquialisms slang and set phrases, all of which could be quite wrong when it comes to "Propah Ehnglish" (<<Proper English>> with me making fun of linguist elitists) are very important.
Its all about context and setting. There are also many things I learned as proper grammer in school that simply arent followed in every day speaking including double negatives and especially ending sentences with prepositions
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