To Drink or Not to Drink

今夜、いっしょにのみに行きませんか。
Would you like to go out for drinks with me tonight?
(Context sentence for 今夜)

Why yes that would be nice but doesn’t ません indicate a negative?
(To my underdeveloped grammar brain in any case)

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“Won’t you go out for drinks with me tonight?” is another way to say it in English even, with negative included. But to my ears, the English negative sentence sounds a bit whimsical or old-fashioned, while the Japanese negative sentence is just how people normally invite people. So they chose an English translation that sounds more like what a normal person would say.

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What Leebo said is right - in this case, it’s a polite invitation.

In less formal speech, negation is often tacked onto sentences that aren’t negative (and formed into a question). In very casual speech じゃん as a suffix is very common. I view it like an alternative ね.

(Disclaimer that I am not very good at Japanese)

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I think going from, say, 行きませんか to 行かない? is enough to change up the level of politeness, but the negation is still a common thing for invitations.

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Oh true, I should have mentioned invitations can also be casual

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I had wondered at this way of interpreting the sentence before I posted as there is a negative involved. Certainly does conjure up memories of old fashioned movie language!

I shall listen out for it now!
Thanks to both for your explanations and guidance!! :pray: