Academic English: Double Negatives!

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,296 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2017 in General
I heard two people talking yesterday.  Here's how the conversation went:

Person 1: "Beautiful day today, mate."

Person 2: "You're not wrong."

You're not wrong?  What does that mean?  Well, it actually means 'You're right'!

If you write in double negatives it can be difficult to understand the intended meaning.  I recently read an IELTS essay that stated: "His opinion is not unlike that of the other doctors."

This is another example of a double negative.  What does it mean?

A. his opinion is not like the other doctors
B. his opinion is the same as other doctors
C. he has no opinion

Click below to reveal the answer...

'not unlike' other doctors means B, his opinion is the same as other doctors.

Here are some more.  What do they mean?

1. She is not unkind.

It means she is kind.

2. I can't disagree with you.

I agree with you.

3. I couldn't disagree with you more.

I completely disagree with you.

4. We shouldn't exclude her.

We should include her.

Click here for even further practice - it's not wrong!

Can you think of any more?  Please write them in the boxes below B).

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