What are litotes?
Litotes are a form of understatement in which a negative sentence is used to make a positive point. It often follows the patterns ‘it’s not + negative’ (a double negative) or ‘it’s not + superlative’.
Litotes can be used in many different situations. However, in speaking they are often for joking, being modest, and being cruel.
|Hmm, that’s not bad||That is pretty good|
|There’s not a lot||There is almost none|
|He’s not wrong||He is right|
|It wasn’t the best use of my time||I thought it was a waste of my time|
|This is not unlike the time I went to Rome||This is very similar to the time I went to Rome|
|She’s not the smartest girl in the class||She is a bit stupid|
|He isn’t the thinnest||He is quite fat|
|They aren’t the fastest||They are slow|