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yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:09 pm
by Quoc
Hi,


A: Don't you have the ticket?
B: Yes

A: Don't you have the ticket?
B: No

Does Yes here mean I don't have the ticket or I have the ticket ? (yes = I don't have the ticket or yes = I have the ticket ?)

Does No here mean I don't have the ticket or I have the ticket ? (no = I don't have the ticket or no = I have the ticket ?)

Thanks
Quoc

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:00 pm
by dalehileman
I have the ticket and I don't, respectively. In Japan, however, they're more literal

In a Japanese electronics shop when I asked the clerk, "Do you have transformers?" he replied, "No." When I responded in surprise, "You don't have transformers?" his answer was "Yess."

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:44 pm
by russcable
Generally, one would just say "Do you have it?", but "Don't _you_ have it?" is often said with an emphasis on the word "you" to imply that "You were supposed to have it", that is, either I know you definately had it at one point and I can't believe you have lost it, or you were assigned to bring it, don't tell me you forgot it, or I didn't bring one because I was sure you had one and I'm surprised that you don't have one.

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:37 pm
by gdwdwrkr
The understandings of the meanings of the questions and answers depend on the vocal inflections and the grammatical sophistication of the conversants.
Good job russ, in explaining one possible meaning!

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:41 pm
by LoisMartin
I hate this construction. Technically, the first answer means, "I do not have the ticket." But because of the possibility of the question being misunderstood or the inflection changing it's meaning, you're always safest to give a complete answer instead of a simply "yes" or "no." If you say "Yes, I do not have the ticket," or "Yes, I do have the ticket," then the person you're talking to won't have any excuse for misunderstanding your answer.

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:47 pm
by dalehileman
Quoc: English is complicated, no? But stick with it

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:10 pm
by Phil White
As Dale says, in the vast majority of cases, a "yes" in response to this construction will mean "yes, I do have the ticket" and a "no" will mean the "no I don't have the ticket". Reversing the meanings is usually ironic.

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:38 pm
by Meirav Micklem
I can't imagine anyone (other than a very annoying smart-alec or someone severely autistic) replying just "yes" to such a question. If you don't have the ticket you would say, "No, I don't have it" or you'd say, "That's right", or something like that; and if you do have the ticket you'd say, "Yes, I do" or "Of course I do" or something like that. Most people would give more than a "yes" or a "no" as an answer, because, as has been pointed out, a "yes" or a "no" would seem ambiguous.

yes and no

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:06 am
by gdwdwrkr
See "Yes, We Have No Bananas".

yes and no

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:37 pm
by Spear
I agree the above can be confusing, however, the perplexity intensifies exponentially when the double negative is used, as is in my native tongue.

From Wikipedia: “The double negative construction has been fully grammaticalized in standard Afrikaans…”

yes and no

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:51 pm
by Edwin Ashworth
You can't have your baanaanaas and eat them.

yes and no

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:12 am
by gdwdwrkr
Yes, you can't.

yes and no

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:08 pm
by daverba
Quoc,

Please forgive our rhetorical speech patterns. English can be very irregular. I look at this thought and speech pattern like this:

"Do you have the keys?" = "I do not know who has the keys; (therefore, my question is) do you have them?"

Some answers:
"Yes" = I have them.
"No" = I do not have them.
also
"Bob has them" = Bob has them.
"Ask Bob" = Maybe Bob has them, or maybe Bob knows who has them (because, by me directing you to Bob, I obviously do not have them).

"Don't you have the keys?" = "I think you have the keys; (therefore, my [rhetorical] question is) do you not have them?"

Some answers:
"Yes" = You are correct, I have them (in agreement with your thoughts).
"No" = You are mistaken, I do not have them (in disagreement with your thoughts).
also
"Bob has them" = Bob has them.
"Ask Bob" = Maybe Bob has them, or maybe Bob knows who has them (because, by me directing you to Bob, I obviously do not have them).

Thus, with questions in the negative like this, you are really answering the unspoken statement that is the basis of the rhetorical question.