Confusing usage words part eight

Confusing usage words part eight

In mathematics, a negative number times a negative number yields a positive number.

Similarly, in grammar, when two negative words are used (where only one is needed), the
negatives cancel each other out, making the idea positive and not negative as intended. In
the sentence, ‘‘I cannot get no respect from them,’’ the two negative words, cannot and no,
cancel each other out. Thus, the sentence is really saying, ‘‘I can get respect from them,’’
a far different thought from what seems to be the sentence’s original intention. Had the
sentence read, ‘‘I cannot get respect from them,’’ or ‘‘I can get no respect from them,’’
the meaning is quite different from that when both negative words are included in the
sentence.
Here is another example of this double negative situation. Notice the different meanings
when the negative words are included or deleted.
Two negative words in the sentence: We didn’t have no disappointments.
One negative word in the sentence:We didn’t have disappointments.
One negative word in the sentence:We had no disappointments.

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  • Confusing usage words part eight
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  • At is used to talk about position at a point.
      It's very hot at the centre of the earth.
      Turn right at the next traffic-lights.
    Sometimes we use at with a larger place, if we just think of it as a point: a point on a journey, a meeting place, or the place where something happens.
      You have to change trains at Didcot.
      The plane stops for an hour at Frankfurt.
      Let's meet at the station.
      There's a good film at the cinema in Market Street.
  • On is used to talk about position on a line. ON
      His house is on the way from Aberdeen to Dundee.
      Stratford is on the River Avon.
    On is also used for position on a surface.
      Come on — supper's on the table!
      Id prefer that picture on the other wall.
      There's a big spider on the ceiling.
  • In is used for position in a three-dimensional space (when something is surrounded on all sides).
      I don't think he's in his office.
      Let's go for a walk in the woods.
      I last saw her in the car park.
  • We say on (and off) for buses, planes and trains.
      He's arriving on the 3.15 train.
      There's no room on the bus; let's get off again.
  • In addresses, we use at if we give the house number.
      She lives at 73 Albert Street.
    We use in if we just give the name of the street.
      She lives in Albert Street.
    We use on for the number of the floor.
      She lives in a flat on the third floor.
  • Learn these expressions:
      in a picture in the sky on a page
      in bed/hospital/prison/church
      at home/school/work/university/college.
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