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GRAMMAR NOTES: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS

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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"), adverbs ("not", "but")--and they are used to transmit a "negative meaning". Those words are grouped in:

1. negative words per-se ("none", "no", "not");
2. negative words built with negative prefixes ("unfit", "abnormal", "deactivate");
3. negative words built with negative suffixes ("aimless", "merciless").

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.

LSEG: interrogations and negations








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.


LSEG4: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONSThe 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 modal defectives;
2. the group of “all other verbs”.

LSEG4: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS





Modal defective verbs” form interrogations by reversing the subject-predicate order in affirmative sentences.
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LSEG4: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS


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).


LSEG4: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS




Rhetorical question” is a particular form of interrogation used to express increased amount of surprise, disappointment, anger, etc.

LSEG4: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS

Formally, “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.
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LSEG4: INTERROGATIONS AND NEGATIONS



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 declaration.


LSEG 4TH EDITION
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A complete grammatical reference, very easy to learn: Logically Structured English Grammar 4—as theory plus exercises!

 
 
 
 
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