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In the lesson Mexicon Food,

Brian:  Do you not like Mexican Food?

Kellie:  No, I love Mexican food.

I’m confused with why Kellie said NO and then she said she loves Mexican food. Wouldn’t it make more sense if she said “Yes, I love Mexican food” instead?

If somebody asks you “Don’t you know who I am?” should I say “Yes, I do.” Or would it be also OK to say “No, I do know who you are.” This just doesn’t sound right to me.

Maybe Kellie has made a grammar mistake? 

04:01 AM Jun 21 2015 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States


What a great question! I can understand why this is confusing.

Kellie didn’t make a grammatical mistake, but she did speak conversational English in a way that must seem strange. If Brian had asked, “Do you like Mexican food?”, then yes, Kellie should have said “Yes, I love Mexican food.” However, Brian said, “Do you not like Mexican food?” Kellie does like Mexican food, and she doesn’t want Brian to think that she doesn’t. For emphasis, she begins her reply with, “No, I love Mexican food.”

Let me put it in another way. Brian could ask Kellie the same question like this: “You don’t like Mexican food?” Since Kellie does like Mexican food, she begins her reply with “No…” She’s replying to his negative (“not”) with a negative (“no”), because she has positive feelings for Mexican food. Of course, it would be much simpler if she had just said, “I love Mexican food!”

If somebody asked me, “Don’t you know who I am?”, I would answer with “Yes, I do.” But if they said, “You don’t know who I am?”, I might answer with “No, I do know who you are.” I would be saying that no, this person is wrong in thinking that I don’t know who they are.

I’m not sure if I helped or made it worse. Let me know if I can try to explain further!



12:11 AM Jun 22 2015 |




Yeah, thank you Amy for your detailed explanation.

It’s interesting that the English language can sometimes be so ambiguous. So I suppose if someone says “No” in response to “You don’t like this thing?”, the “No” could either mean “No, I don’t like it.” or “No, I don’t agree with you, because I do like it.” Then how do I know if he likes it or not if he simply says “No” without any further explanation?

A few months ago my friend and I got into a discussion with an Irish guy, where my friend, who is a beautiful Asian girl, said “White guys won’t like me if I go to Ireland, because I look Asian.” Then I responded with a big “No” meaning “I don’t agree with you, because white guys do like Asian girls”, and at the same time the Irish guy responded with a big “Yes” meaning “Yes, they will like you”. It felt kind of awkard at that moment because I thought I might have made an English mistake. I should have said “Yes” to avoid the possible confusion. It sounded like I was arguing with the Irish guy but in actual fact we had the same opinion. 

So, in situations like that, it’s just hard to decide whether I should say “Yes” or “No”. What do you think, Amy?

05:41 AM Jun 23 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

You’re totally right. Saying “no” to “You don’t like this thing?” could mean either “No, I don’t like it,” or, “No, I don’t agree with you, because I do like it.” Most of the time you will know by the speaker’s tone of voice, or from what they say after the word “no.” English is complicated sometimes!

As for the conversation with your friend and the Irish guy, I personally would have responded the exact same way that you did. Your friend said, “White guys won’t like me if I go to Ireland…” You were responding to her negative with a negative to say that, yes, they will like her. The Irish guy’s response is confusing to me because it sounds like he’s agreeing with your friend.

I think your intuition with English is excellent, CharmYou!



12:18 AM Jun 24 2015 |