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May 22, 2013 - Word of the Day: nothing


The word "nothing" is a pronoun that can be used to describe the absence of something. It's the opposite of "something" and it has the same meaning as "not anything." Because this word is negative, it's not used with other negative words. To do so would create a double negative, which should be avoided in English:

  • They have nothing to eat. ("They don't have nothing to eat," creates a double negative. This would be incorrect.)
  • There's nothing in the box. It's empty.
  • (There isn't anything in the box.)
  • There's nothing on this paper. It's blank.
  • The students said they learned nothing in school today.
  • John knows nothing about the situation in the office.
  • Sarah eats nothing for breakfast because she's too busy in the morning.
  • This car has been nothing but trouble.
  • There's nothing I'd like more right now than a big piece of pizza.
  • She has nothing to say.
  • Nothing hurts more than a toothache.
  • Nothing you can say will change my mind.
  • Nothing was left after the tornado swept through the town.

Many Americans pronounce this word without the "g" at the end of it: nothin'.

There's nothin' to eat.

I don't recommend you do that, but it's something you should know.


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