Double negatives are so wrong and stupid. Don't say ''I don't have no money'' or ''I don't want nothing'' unless you're actually saying ''I do have some money'' and ''I do want nothing''.
I don't have no money.
I don't want nothing.
I don't have a house no more.
I don't have any money
I don't want anything
I don't have a house anymore
no theyre not that stupid. some languages use them as a rule.
English, I agree with you when you say that those sentences are wrong. However, you should not say "I do want nothing" because the addition of the verb "to do" in that kind of sentence is due to an over-emphasis of an affirmative sentence, not a negative.
pobre_diablo, the English language does not have any rule (as far as I remember) that supports that kind of sentence structure.
Tell it to Shakespear and Chaucer.
There's nothing wrong with double negatives. They were common in Old English, Middle English and Early Modern English, and can be found, as Jim suggests, in the works of great English authors such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. They are also common in modern languages such as French and Spanish, and are used by the vast majority of English speakers today. So, unless you are prepared to say that Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, Chaucer, Shakespeare, French, Spanish and (non-standard) Modern Englishes are all 'wrong' and 'stupid', you can't really say that double negatives are 'wrong' and 'stupid'.
It's true, double negatives do pop up in the works of Shakespeare and Chaucer. They also frequently occur in songs...songs are often more "folksy" and use dialectal slang etc. It's incorrect to label them as "stupid."
However, like it or not, there are social prejudices against double negatives when they're used in formal situations. When Mick Jagger says "he can't get no satisfaction," it's perceived as a cool and catchy song. If an author incorporates them into a dialogue, he's just painting a picture of everday society and its speech patterns. If, however, I were to speak this way at the workplace, in an academic environment, on a job interview etc., it'd be considered uneducated. It's for this reason that I wouldn't advise those who are learning English to exercise caution when using double negatives.
As to the issue of their use in Romance languages: This is true and it negates the argument that double negatives are inherently wrong, but it doesn't take away the fact that they're often considered uneducated in English. The norms of one language aren't automatically applicable to another.
*CORRECTION: "It's for this reason that I WOULD advise those who are learning English to exercise caution when using double negatives."
(a little editing mistake there)
It's also a fallacy that double negatives do not occur in standard British English. "It's not unusual" and "It's not impossible", for example, both contain double negatives, but both are permissable in standard British English syntax. Nobody thinks that they are 'wrong' or 'stupid' either. The only thing that is 'wrong' about negative concord is people's attitudes towards it.
To sum up: the non-native speaker just has to be aware that some speakers of English use double negatives. But other than that, forget them. English already seems to be a headache for a lot of you.
Yes, except that in "not impossible" the end result is that the two negatives equal a positive. Whereas I ain't got no roses is two negatives still equalling a negative.
Try not to think of English the way you might think of maths or science (i.e. following a strict set of logical rules). Just because two odds make and even or two of the same poles on a magnet repel each other doesn’t mean that two negatives in a sentence should instantly make a positive, or be wrong.
After all, if you want to start being terribly logical and you want to follow that line of thought through to its conclusion then you have an awful lot of things to start clearing up straight away, like:
Why "tough" is not pronounced the same as "dough" or "though"?
Why is it that mice (singular) and mice (plural) doesn't follow that rule about -'s endings? (Mice and mices? Mouse and mouses? Dog and dogs? Cat and cats?)
And why is it that the verb "to be" does not follow the same pattern as all the other verbs? (I am, you are, he is, she is, etc, compared with a standard verb like... jump: I jump, you jump, he jumps, she jumps...)
When you start trying to tie something as messy and sprawly as the English language up in neat little bows, you're going to get yourself into a *real* pickle.
Chili, ''mice'' is never a singular. It is always a plural. I'm English not Spanish or French or anything like that but ''English''. In my language double negatives are wrong.
Double negatives are not wrong in your language, English, they are wrong in your head. You have been trained to think that there is something wrong with them (and those who use them), but the simple truth is that there is nothing wrong with double negatives at all. You should do a linguistics course, or read a decent linguistics textbook such as David Crystal's 'Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language'. You'll soon see what the rest of us mean.
This is absolutely right, Chilli: "Try not to think of English the way you might think of maths or science." Simon, for example, appears to be thinking of language in terms of - + - = +: "Yes, except that in "not impossible" the end result is that the two negatives equal a positive. Whereas I ain't got no roses is two negatives still equalling a negative." English, perhaps more so than any other language, is not logical, so it is pointless thinking of it in that way.
Chili and Harbinger, you are talking about double negatives being okay in other languages such as Spanish and French, But I'm English. Once again, I'm English. And double negatives are wrong in my language.