Many English learners, and even a lot of native speakers, often make the big mistake of using a double negative in speech. Even though some native speakers make this mistake, it shows poor use of the language and can sound quite ugly.

So, what is a DOUBLE NEGATIVE?

Double negatives are when you use 2 negative words in the same clause (part of the phrase) in reference to just 1 negative idea. The most common example would be, “I DIDN’T do NOTHING.”

Using the auxiliary verb (didn’t) in the negative followed by the word nothing, makes this phrase a double negative. The proper way to say this would be, “I DIDN’T do ANYTHING.”

To help you understand how this can be confusing, take a look at this funny English comic series created for us by Kaplan International English. Make sure you check out their blog which is filled with amazing articles and fun alternative ways to study English

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  • Tamara Baña

  • Kris Martin says:

    Double negatives are very common in certain English dialects. It may be a little harsh to say that native speakers are making a "mistake" when they are, in fact, making correct use of their own dialect.