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“I don’t got no pets”, or even, “I don’t have no pets”, is really saying that you do have pets. Look at the wording carefully and you will see what is being said. The word “any”, which means; even one thing or a little of something, should take the place of the word, “no”, in both of these sentences. In the first sentence, the word have, should replace the word, got.The sentence would be, “I don’t have any pets”. The word “any” is needed to show what you don’t have. I don’t have any shoes. I don’t have any candles. I don’t have any coffee. If you said, “I don’t have no coffee”, you are really saying that you do. The sentence is also incorrect because you are not supposed to have two words that indicate a negative in one sentence. You need to have a word that puts something there and another word that takes it away. She doesn’t have any sugar. “Doesn’t”, takes it away, “any”, puts it there.

Show what you don’t have by including the word, any.

The following quote is on the cover of my book, soon to be reissued with more chapters and illustrations, both as an iPad app and paper version.

“A man cannot utter two or three sentences without disclosing to intelligent ears precisely where he stands in life and thought”.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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3 Comments

  1. Alas!Where’s WALDO?,,,when we need him most.

  2. Sage advice to those who use double negatives—something that I hear on an almost constant basis. I think your explaination: “doesn’t,” takes it away, “any,” puts it there, is clear and helpful in understanding the correct grammatical way in which to communicate one is without something. I love your end quote!!! And hey, congratulations on the republishing of your book!

    • Thank you Mary Rose! When I see your name I think of Belle, the Beauty of the early French Black and White movie, Beauty and the Beast.


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