Your writing, at its best.

Be the best writer in your office


There are a few rules to keep in mind when making a sentence say “No.”

1. Double negatives are nonstandard. Avoid two negative words in the same clause.

Incorrect: I don’t want no seconds.
(Both don’t and no are negatives.)
Correct: I don’t want any seconds.

Correct: I want no seconds.

This rule does not include negative interjections at the beginning of a sentence or clause, since those are grammatically separate.
Correct: No, I don’t want any seconds.
2. Do not use but in a negative sense with another negative.

Incorrect: He didn’t want but one good manuscript.
Correct: He wanted but one good manuscript.

Correct: He wanted only one good manuscript.

3. Words like barely, hardly, and scarcely have a negative sense and should not be used with another negative. In effect, this creates a double negative.

Incorrect: He couldn’t hardly speak.
Correct: He could hardly speak.

Incorrect: We were not barely able to see the stage.

Correct: We were barely able to see the stage.

Bonus tip:  Want to make sure your writing always looks great? editorr can save you from misspellings, grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and other writing issues on all your favorite websites. 

Get More Writing Tips Here!

We have compiled hundreds of writing tips. Check them out!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Want more writing tips?