anyone/nobody

ELPYLULU

Member
ITALIAN
Hello guys,

please can you help me to clear a doubt?

A friend of mine is writing a leaflet on emotional deprivation and to ask if you have someone (a friend/relative) to speak to, he has written "Do you have nobody to speak to?". I know that you use nobody in affirmative sentences to say that someone/something is not present (There was nobody at the pary yesterday), and that anyone is used in negatives and questions (Have you seen anyone/anybody at the party?). So, would it be correct to say: "Do you have anyone to speak to? or Don't you have anyone to speak to?"...

Thanks
 
  • ELPYLULU

    Member
    ITALIAN
    Thanks Rover..

    Reading through the links above, I think I am right when I say that "Do you have nobody to speak to?" sounds incorrect. I would say: Don't you have anybody to speak to? or do you have anybody to speak to?

    If anyone doesn't agree, please let me know!! thanks
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The question "Do you have nobody to speak to?" sounds to me as though the speaker is already assuming that the listener has nobody to speak to. I think it might be one of those questions that don't really seek an answer. It's almost like an invitation to talk.

    But "Don't you have anyone to speak to?" may even sound rude in some situations (depending on context), for example:

    Don't you have anyone to speak to? Well, go find someone then, I certainly won't help.

    And finally "Do you have anyone to speak to?" is just a regular, neutral question that expects a simple answer along the lines of "yes" or "no".

    Or maybe I'm just imagining this. :D
     
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