Negations in French

In this lesson we are going to talk about negations in French. In other words, how to make a sentence negative.

Examples of negations in English are:

  • I don’t speak French.
  • We don’t go to the cinema.
  • Laura doesn’t eat very well.

To make a sentence negative in French, we place “ne” in front of the conjugated verb and “pas” just after it.

I often compare it to a sandwich, ne…pas being the two slices of bread and the conjugated verb being the filling.

So, let’s translate the English sentences above.

  • I don’t  speak French = Je ne parle pas Français.
  • We don’t go to the cinema = On ne va pas au cinema.
  • Laura doesn’t eat very well = Laura ne mange pas très bien

If you want to alter the negative meaning of a sentence, you’ll just need to change “pas” into the one you want below.

  • Ne….jamais= Never   

Je ne parle jamais la bouche pleine / I never speak with a full mouth

  • Ne….rien= not….anything

Je ne fais rien / I don’t do anything

  • Ne…personne = not….anyone

Je ne rencontre personne /  I don’t meet anyone

  • Ne….aucun= Not…any/none

Je ne prends aucun document / I don’t take any document

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