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Old 01-25-2016, 09:32 PM   #1
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American English

First I'm sorry to disturb, but I am a writer in my language and in need of a native American-English Speaker, so I thought it's good to register here.
It's about the following conversation:

Bryan: But they are not the same then.
Cathy: No they arenīt.

The "no" confuses me. So I ask myself what Cathy want's to say with her answer:
a) That's wrong. In my opinion they are the same.
b) I agree, They are not the same.

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Old 01-25-2016, 09:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Bryan: But they are not the same then.
Cathy: No they arenīt.
She is agreeing with Bryan.
b.
She has abbreviated her answer, and if she were to be more specific and finish her thought, she would say, "No they aren't the same".
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:47 PM   #3
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Also it is confusing because it is almost like a double negative -- the "no" and then the "aren't". So it's almost like saying "I don't have no plans for dinner tonight" which is a double negative and not grammatically correct.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:59 PM   #4
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Yes it is confusing and yes it is like a double negative.

It might have been more clear if she had said, "No" and then said nothing else.
OR
It might have been more clear if she had said, "They aren't." or finished the thought with, "They aren't the same."
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:34 AM   #5
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In this context the No means Yes, as in she agrees with him. In English that is not right, but that doesn't make it wrong.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:38 AM   #6
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So you also think she means it like b) I agree, they are not the same?
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:46 AM   #7
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Yes. All replies (so far) vote it is B.

If it were A) I think indicates they are not in agreement. Then there should be further dialogue while one or the other or both of them defend their statement and the conversation would/ should become more clear to the reader.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickydixtor View Post
So you also think she means it like b) I agree, they are not the same?
Yes. That's the only way to interpret it. Its very common to reply in agreement in this manner in the US.

Bryan's "But" may also be confusing
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:26 PM   #9
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Thx :)
Just to make sure I understand the opening statement of Bryan correct:
The words "but" and "then" in his sentence "but they are not the same then" don't change the meaning so:
"but they are not the same then." = "they are not the same.", correct?
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:51 PM   #10
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Yes. And she's essentially saying "No, they are not the same."

It might be more clear to you if you included the part of the conversation before the snippet you provided.
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