I can't get no peace of mind.

Sognino

Member
Thai
I was listening to the song "Consideration" of Rihanna ft. SZA and got confused with the verse "When I look outside my window,
I can't get no peace of mind".

This is a double negative? and this double negative makes the verse positive?

What does it really mean? or it just simply says "I can't get any peace of mind"?

Thank you in advance
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I was listening to the song "Consideration" of Rihanna ft. SZA and got confused with the verse "When I look outside my window,
    I can't get no peace of mind".

    This is a double negative? and this double negative makes the verse positive?
    In standard English, this would be a positive. Standard English is the version used in examinations and in formal writing. It is also used for international English. I speak Standard English and so, in general do people who are middle-class.
    What does it really mean? or it just simply says "I can't get any peace of mind"?

    Thank you in advance

    However there are many English dialects in which a double negative remains negative. This is one such dialect. In this case it means "I can't get any peace of mind".

    This dialect is used in a majority of popular music - influenced by American Black performers, so you will hear a lot of double negatives in such music.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The double negative is a mathematical concept and it does not apply to English. There are many instances were using two negatives does not change the meaning at all.

    And where would the Rolling Stones be without a double negative?

    I can't get no satisfaction
    I can't get no satisfaction
    'Cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try
    I can't get no, I can't get no […]
     
    Last edited:

    pachanga7

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you ever hear/read “I can’t get no…” it’s almost definitely an instance of nonstandard usage where a simple negative is meant. Same with “I don’t have no…”, “We don’t want no…” etc. There are subcultures for which I imagine the word “any” would sound stuck-up.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    "When I look outside my window, I can't get no peace of mind".

    This is a double negative? and this double negative makes the verse positive?
    Double negatives are standard (correct) in the "black English" dialect of American English, which Rihanna speaks.

    This dialect is used in a majority of popular music - influenced by American Black performers, so you will hear a lot of double negatives in such music.

    "I can't get no peace of mind" means "I can't get any peace of mind".
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Double negatives also cohabitate with satandard English.

    “I’m not being inconsiderate” does not mean exactly “I am being considerate.”

    “I am not a nobody—I count for something.”

    I have no problem with “I am not a nobody.” And I would not replace it with “I am somebody”.


    Pressing the math concept into service as a language precept is wrong. Math is math and language is language and forcing math concepts into language is a hoax perpetrated on students for so long that they accept it as a universal law.

    Thing “language” when you are teaching language. Think “math” when you are teaching math.
     
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