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Difference between anything and nothing



 
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Difference between anything and nothing #1 (permalink) Tue Jan 17, 2006 18:59 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #76 "Anything/nothing/something/everything", question 3

I know ......... about it!

(a) anything
(b) nothing
(c) someone
(d) any

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #76 "Anything/nothing/something/everything", answer 3

I know nothing about it!

Correct answer: (b) nothing
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difference between anything and nothing
Leo De Gonsa
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Difference between anything and nothing #2 (permalink) Tue Jan 17, 2006 19:34 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

Hi,

Anything is usually with questions or negative statements.

Alan
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Difference between anything and nothing #3 (permalink) Tue Jul 21, 2009 18:21 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

i agree with Alan,
we use ANYTHING with question and negative statement.
we use NOTHING in affirmative, it is known as negative meaning.
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Tranthihung
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Difference between anything and nothing #4 (permalink) Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:47 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

Dear Alan,
If it was in this structure’ I don't know’ we can use ‘anything’ but in this sentence we must use nothing, however it is of a negative meaning. Is it correct?
With regard
Mitra
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Difference between anything and nothing #5 (permalink) Tue Jul 13, 2010 20:07 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

I don't know anything.
I know nothing.

'I don't know nothing' means you must know something, so unless that is what you mean (in which case why not just say 'I know something') this sentence is grammatically incorrect (despite the fact that native English speakers frequently use it!)
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Difference between anything and nothing #6 (permalink) Tue Jul 13, 2010 20:24 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

Hi Mitra,

'Nothing' already expresses the negative idea and so it's not necessary to repeat the negative idea in the verb as well but simoly say: I know nothing.

Alan
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Difference between anything and nothing #7 (permalink) Thu Jun 09, 2011 16:07 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

Hi, all.
Actually it's the first time I'm posting on this forum so I would like to take the occasion and thank all coaches for your great work. Always remember that you're doing really important thing and all your help is greatly appreciated. ;)

Now back to the topic itself. I know that both of the following forms:
"I don't know anything" and "I know nothing" are considered to be grammatically correct. So my question is, do they sound equally natural to you and which one would personally you use in your speech? I'm asking because I had a conversation about this with an American girl who came for the vacation to Armenia and she told me that "I know nothing" sounds a bit weird for her, and that one would easily reveal you not being native speaker in case you use it. Is that right?
TwOnex
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Difference between anything and nothing #8 (permalink) Thu Jun 09, 2011 18:04 pm   Difference between anything and nothing
 

Hello TwOnex, and welcome.

'I don't know anything' is by far the most common of the two expressions. In my opinion (as a British English speaker) using 'I know nothing' would not be so strange as to reveal you to be a non-native English speaker, though in many cases it would seem to be a little unexpected.
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Difference between anything and nothing #9 (permalink) Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:09 am   Difference between anything and nothing
 

Thanks for your quick reply, Beeesneees, that's exactly what I wanted to know. So it turns out that what I was told is in fact not so far from being true. All right, will keep it in mind. Thanks again :).
TwOnex
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