The nothing person in English sentences

Hi there. One thing that I notice with my students, is that sometimes they use the negative person the opposite way around. What do I mean? Have a look at this.

I see sentences similar to this quite often:

  • ......someone didn't come.......

This tells me that one person did not come. One person didnt do the action.

Now, there are times that it can be correct, but to us native speakers, the majority of times, we would say:

  • ......nobody came......

This tells us that not one person came. Not even one person did the action.

As you can see we use the negative on the person and not on the action and please bear in mind that we can only use the negative one time during the clause. If two negatives are used in the clause then this actually makes it a positive!

Also note that nobody and no one actually mean the same thing so we can use either and it will mean the same thing.