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Addison
" I didn't do nothing." ? " I didn't do nothing." I've heard it several times in some American reality shows when somebody tried to distance himself/herself from some troubles or something else. Is it a slang? If I learned the double negation correctly, it should be said like " I didn't do anything." right? And also I heard other similar oral expressions like " I didn't know nothing." and " He wasn't doing nothing." Uh....these make me confused. And what I thought is I should avoid using these oral expressions. Anybody could help me and offer some suggestions ?
Jun 26, 2015 12:52 PM
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Answers · 6
It's bad English. It's common also in England. You shouldn't imitate it but just note that the overall meaning is negative when you see it. When native speakers use double negatives like this, they signal that they belong (or want to belong) to a specific sub-culture. When non-natives do the same, they signal they they don't speak English properly! It may not be fair, but that's life. As a rule, using negative words is grammatically wrong if the intended meaning is negative (two negatives = one positive)
June 26, 2015
You're correct that those sentences are wrong. Oftentimes, Americans like to use English improperly :D
June 26, 2015
The proper way is 'anything' The other response explains the rest well
June 26, 2015
Addison
Language Skills
Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Russian
Learning Language
English, French, German, Russian