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Negation in French


yurithebest1
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If you want to use negation in French you just use the form 'Ne...Pas', 'Ne' is usually put after the subject and 'Pas' after the verb, here is an example:

He doesn't want to go - Il ne veut pas aller

In the example above 'Il' is the subject so we put 'Ne' directly after it, and we put 'Pas' after 'Veut' which is from the verb 'Vouloir' that is conjugated in the present tense.

If someone of you guys want to add more rules about negation in French or particularities, you still can post in this thread so that everybody can benefit from that course.

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There is also the negation with "personne" which means either "a person" in the phrase "une personne" or "no one" as in "je ne connais personne"or "I don't know anyone" or "i know no one".

There is "rien" or "nothing" which works in the same way. "Je ne sais rien" or '"I don't know anything" or "I know nothing".

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here are a couple more negation possibilities...

1. "Ne ... jamais" basically means never

Ex. Je ne travaille jamais ce jour  =  I never work this day.

2. "Ne ... plus" basically means no more and not anymore

Ex. Je ne travaille plus ce jour  =  I do not work this day any more or I no longer work this day.

Please correct me if I made any mistakes. I'm still learning myself.

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  • 1 month later...

Ah, so that was what I was doing wrong. I kept trying to put the adjective in between "ne... pas"

Er wait but wait.... "is" isn't the subject.

"she is not eating" Elle n'est pas manger.

Oh wait you said after the subject. So that makes perfect sense. Everything makes so much more sense now! And I feel like an idiot for not realizing it was placed after the subject.

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There is also the negation with "personne" which means either "a person" in the phrase "une personne" or "no one" as in "je ne connais personne"or "I don't know anyone" or "i know no one".

There is "rien" or "nothing" which works in the same way. "Je ne sais rien" or '"I don't know anything" or "I know nothing".

Right... and "Personne" can also be placed in the beginning but as in English when you place "Personne" "Nobody" in the beginning, you don't put negation after just like the following example:

Personne peut savoir.

Nobody can know.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Woah, a real eye-opener. I used to have so much difficulty with ne .. personne and ne .. plus earlier. Thanks for clarifying that.

I will add to this, saying if you want to say neither this nor that, you use ni ceci ni cela.

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Ah, so that was what I was doing wrong. I kept trying to put the adjective in between "ne... pas"

Er wait but wait.... "is" isn't the subject.

"she is not eating" Elle n'est pas manger.

Oh wait you said after the subject. So that makes perfect sense. Everything makes so much more sense now! And I feel like an xxx for not realizing it was placed after the subject.

"Elle n'est pas manger" is completely wrong. You would have to say "Elle ne mange pas OR "Elle n'est pas en train de manger".

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In written French, "personne" must be followed by "ne" so it's: "Personne ne peut savoir". It is also a mark of formal spoken French but is usually dropped in casual speech. "Personne peut savoir".

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