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Hello, I have a question about answering negative questions using correct grammar.

If someone is to ask a question like, "Who doesn't live in Spain?"

And you do not live in Spain, would you answer, "I do," or "I don't"?

If someone could explain how this is supposed to be answered, instead of how it is usually answered I would greatly appreciate it. I would like to understand what is grammatically correct, not what is correct only to avoid confusion.

Thanks.
New Member01
Hello, Velfarre, welcome to the English Forums!

This is how I'd answer the question: "I don't"
Veteran Member7,461
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The answer should correspond with the question: positive with positive; negative with negative.

'Did you eat your breakfast this morning?'

'no' = (I didn't eat it)

'yes' = (I did eat it)



Didn't you eat your breakfast this morning?'

'no' = (I did eat it) (often taken to mean the opposite)

'yes' = (I didn't eat it) (often taken to mean the opposite)

With such negative questions it is best to clarify your answer eg, 'yes/no I did/didn't'.
Full Member144
Maybe it would be easier to say: "Me!" Emotion: smile

I know that answering "no, I don't" means "I know I do not [not live] in X" > I do live in X.

But simply "I don't" (stressed I) might mean "I do not (live in X)"

Anyway it's not very clear...
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Welcome to English Forums!

I don't see any conflict between "supposed to" and "usually" here.

Who doesn't live in Spain?
I don't.

CJ
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There are two methods.

Q: Who doesn't live in Spain?

A: I = I don't live in Spain

Q: Who doesn't live in Spain?

A: I don't = I don't live in Spain
New Member36
Anonymous:
Unfortunately, the second half of Jussive's message is wrong. It should be:

Didn't you eat your breakfast this morning?
No = No, I didn't eat it.
Yes = Yes, I did eat it.
Just remember that "No" simply confirms the negative fact that "I didn't eat it."
Also remember, as Jussive correctly said, that positive goes with positive, and negative with negative,
but this refers to whole of the answer. "Yes" accompanies the rest of the positive answer: i.e., that "I did eat it."

Because of this confusion, I totally agree with Jussive that it's best to clarify your yes/no answer with "I did" / "I didn't".

Here's the explanation for this confusion: We use negative questions in English for 3 reasons:
1) We're surprised. Wow, I'm surprised to see your breakfast still sitting there. ~ (Why) didn't you eat it? (We're expecting some sort of explanation.)
2) We're excited about something and we're making an exclamation. Gee, doesn't that dress look nice! ~ Yes, it sure does! OR No, I don't think so. It's totally out of date.
3) We expect somebody to agree with us. Who doesn't live in Spain? = No-one. Nobody lives anywhere else; it's not cool to live anywhere else. Everybody lives in Spain.

In the case of Velfarre's original question, the first word, "Who" (instead of the negative verb) would be stressed. The questioner wants to know who the person is who doesn't live in Spain. Who doesn't live in Spain? This case carries no surprise, excitement or expected agreement. I would answer "I don't." or "I'm the one who doesn't live in Spain." or "We're the ones who don't live in Spain." To figure out your answer, think of the complete sentence. "Most English people don't. (live in Spain)."
(I'm an English-As-A-Second-Language teacher in Canada.)
Anonymous:
let me state the scenario first: When you ER (end record) the Passenger Name Record, the Miles with automatically Locked.

Question: Miles will not be locked if you ER the record. Yes or No

My answer was NO, but our trainer marked it incorrect because she said the correct answer is YES. So how would I explain to her that the correct answer should be No? Emotion: sad

PS. She said she will be discussing the answers on monday since it was already time to go home. Hope to have an answer by sunday night. I am pretty confident with the positive and negative rule in grammar but I just need to get more opinion from the experts here with regards to her question.

THANKS!
-d-
When you ER (end record) the Passenger Name Record, the Miles with??? automatically Locked.
It's unclear what this means. I'll assume it's basically this:

If you ER the PNR, miles will automatically be locked.

This is equivalent, reversing the order of clauses, to:

Miles will automatically be locked if you ER the PNR.

So if the question is the "True or False" type (Yes or No):

Is it true that miles will not be (automatically) locked if you ER the PNR?

the answer is "no".

But if you are not being asked a "True or False" type of question, but this one:

Won't the miles be automatically locked if you ER the PNR?
(=Isn't is true that the miles will be automatically locked if you ER the PNR?)

the answer expects a "yes", thus:

Yes, they will (be automatically locked).

CJ
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