GRAMMAR NOTES: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS
It appears the "negations" topic rates higher than the "verb" one,
considering visitors' preferences at Corollary Theorems. Consequently,
we need to detail this page a little bit.
Now, in Morphology we have "negative words"--nouns ("disorder",
"inaction", "unemployment"), adjectives ("no", "neither",
"negative", "improper"), pronouns
("none", "neither"), verbs ("disable", "misguide", "unblock"),
("not", "but")--and they are used to transmit a "negative meaning".
Those words are grouped in:
1. negative words per-se ("none",
2. negative words built with negative prefixes ("unfit",
3. negative words built with negative suffixes ("aimless",
Adequate (and sufficient) details about forming negative (derivate)
meanings, for each
morphologic element affected, are nicely presented in "Logically Structured English Grammar 4". On the other
hand, note that negative meanings are also built globally, at sentence
level, as it is presented in LSEG4, in Syntax part.
Considering its syntactic form (corroborated with its meaning and
functionality), the “default sentence” (also named “natural”, or
“reference”) is the “declarative/affirmative” one: “interrogations” and
“negations” are considered modified forms of the default affirmative
sentences. In the other side, the interesting aspect is the fact that
not all verbs form interrogations and negations the same. Note that
specific forms of interrogations--interrogations only, not
negations--may also be formed using interrogative pronouns/adjectives/adverbs.
interesting aspect is the fact that not all verbs form interrogations
and negations the same. There are two main groups of predicate-verbs
which form interrogations and negations in specific ways:
1. the group of principal&auxiliary verbs “to be” and “to have”, plus
2. the group of “all other verbs”.
“Modal defective verbs” form interrogations by reversing the
subject-predicate order in affirmative sentences.
“Confirmative question” is a complex structure having two parts:
1. the first part is a declaration (positive or negative);
2. the second part is a short question asking the interlocutor to
validate the declaration (this is, the confirmative question per se).
“Rhetorical question” is a particular form of interrogation used to
express increased amount of surprise, disappointment, anger, etc.
“double negation” is a mistake in English. However, double negation may
be achieved semantically, using the meaning of the words, and in that
instance double negation becomes a valid construction. On the other
hand, despite the fact that negating a negation is equivalent to an
affirmation (the positive form), there are instances when only a double
negation could satisfy the meaning.
“Short answer” is a fair compromise between the complete and the laconic
forms of the answer. Even more, short answer is used a lot, not only as
the answer to an interrogation, but also in dialogs, in reply to a
A complete grammatical reference, very easy to learn: Logically Structured English Grammar 4—as theory plus exercises!