Writing Better:  Double Negatives?  Horrors!   

When students write, “No one doesn’t like computers!” for emphasis, bells and whistles sound:

“DOUBLE NEGATIVE ALERT!”

Alarm BellIn English, we cannot use a double negative: No one (-) doesn’t (-)  

Instead, we must change either the noun or the verb (or both) to a positive (+).

We have to say: “Everyone likes computers!” or “No one hates computers!

 

Here’s another example:

Man drinking and driving

No one shouldn’t drive sober!” must change to:

Everyone should drive sober!”  or “No one should drive drunk!

 

How would you change the following double negatives?  (Answers below)

  1. Nothing in this world doesn’t cost money.
  2. No one doesn’t tell lies sometimes.
  3. No place doesn’t have problems.
  4. Nobody doesn’t need friends.
  5. Nobody never makes a mistake.
  6. No hobby doesn’t become boring sometimes.

 


Answers:   

  1. Everything costs money. /Nothing is free.
  1. Everyone tells lies sometimes. / No one tells the truth all the time!
  1. Every place has problems. / No place is perfect.
  1. Everyone needs friends. /No one can live without friends.
  1. Everyone makes mistakes. / No one is perfect.
  1. Every hobby becomes boring sometimes. / No hobby stays interesting all the time.

 

 

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