Negation

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

In English, negation (not, never, not yet, not any more) is treated like an adverb. It goes with the verb.

Ex – We are not happy > the “not” joins up with the “are”, not the “happy” > We aren’t happy.
He is not here > the “not” joins up with the “is”, not the “here” > He isn’t here.

The same thing happens in French. To make a phrase negative, one puts
“ne pas” around the verb.

We are happy – Nous sommes contents. ”Sommes” is the verb.
We aren’t happy – Nous ne sommes pas contents.

The clouds are gray – Les nuages sont gris. “Sont” is the verb.
The clouds aren’t gray. Les nuages ne sont pas gris.

I’m young. Je suis jeune. “Suis” is the verb.
I’m not young. Je ne suis pas jeune.

You are nice. Tu es sympathique. “Es” is the verb.
You aren’t nice. Tu n’es pas sympathique.

The boy has the books. Le garçon a les livres. “a” is the verb.
The boy doesn’t have the books. Le garçon n’a pas les livres. In this case, the “ne verb pas” becomes “doesn’t verb”.

I have the flu. J’ai la grippe. “ai” is the verb.
I don’t have the flu. Je n’ai pas la grippe. “ai” (have) changes to “n’ai pas” (don’t have)

You have 3 dogs. Tu as trois chiens. “as” is the verb
You don’t have 3 dogs. Tu n’as pas trois chiens.

Other examples …
Il fait froid – It makes cold – “fait” is the verb
Il ne fait pas froid – It doesn’t make cold.

Il fait chaud- it makes hot – “fait” is the verb
Il ne fait pas chaud – It doesn’t make hot.

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