Double negation Hi everybody :), I love the song "All summer long" from Kid Rock. But there is one sentence in the second verse, i am not sure what it means, he sings: "We didn´t have no internet,.." I am from austria, - so i speak german-, in german language this is an double negation. Because of this, the german meaning of this sentence is that he had internet. So, my question is, is the song text correct, or is there a mistake in it, or is double negation in english the same meaning as one netation and finally: Did he have internet or not ?
Sep 28, 2008 10:17 AM
Answers · 2
Hey answer your question, No, he didnt have internet. He's talking about a time where they didnt have certain things that we have today Some background. In English, generally, double negatives make a positive. However, depending on the stress that you place on particular words and the construction of the sentence, a double negative can make either a positive or a negative DOUBLE NEGATIVE MAKES NEGATIVE: For example, take the phrase "I dont want nothing!". In standard english this would mean "I dont want anything!" DOUBLE NEGATIVE MAKES POSITIVE: However, if you place extra stress on the word "dont" or "nothing", that would express that you woud rather have something than nothing at all. So in this case you DO want something In our example with the lyrics "we didnt have no internet". This would be expressed as "we didnt have any internet" You can see this because it is clear that the lyrics are intended to express a certain nostalgia of things that we didnt used to have There are many other examples but generally to work out what the writer is trying to say you have to be aware of the context and the actual construction of the sentence itself. At first try not to look too closely at the order of the words and apply strict rules but look at the surrounding text, that will give you an idea of the writer is trying to convey. With experience you will be able to spot whether its a positive or a negative If you need a hand give me a shout :) Oz
September 28, 2008
generally speaking, we can consider double negation as affirmation in formal speaking , and emphatic negation and euphemistic one in oral english, which depends on the context. i've never heard the song you mentioned, but i guess, they do
September 28, 2008
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