The use of double negative in Chinese

double negative in Chinese

Many times double negative is used in Chinese sentences to make an affirmative effect.

Double Negative 双重否定

The affirmative effect in a double negative sentence is much stronger than in a single affirmative sentence. A double negative is adopted to strengthen or emphasize the affirmative tone.

There are three forms for double negation:

1. Two negative adverbs used in a sentence.

我得去那里。→ 我去那里。

2. One negative adverb and one negative verb used in a sentence.

在中国出生的人都会说中文。→ 在中国出生的人当中没有一个会说中文的。

3. A negative adverb or a negative verb in a rhetorical question.


The following words are generally used in a double-negation structure: 不会不、不得不 、 不能不、不是不、不可能不 、 难道…不… 、 怎会不…、怎能不…、怎么会…不、 etc.

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