Negation in Passé Composé

May 16, 2011 § 4 Comments

There are a bunch of negation terms in French. 

The original for negation is here (  Review it for terms.  This post is how to use them in the passé composé.  The main thing is just where to put the ‘ne … pas’ – the order of the words within the sentence.   All of the negation terms follow the same word order except for a few exceptions (listed below)


 the word order for negation in passé composé

        subject      ne     (avoir or être)     pas       past participle    …   rest of sentence

       Je n’ai pas vendu mon camion – I didn’t sell my car

       Elle n’a rien dit – She didn’t say anything

      Ils ne sont pas encore arrivées – They haven’t arrived yet

     Je n’ai guère fini mes devoirs avant le commencement de la classe – I barely finished my homework before the start of class

       Tu n’as jamais entendu cette chanson – You’ve never heard this song



     word order with personne, que, aucun,nulle part, non plus, and plus (de stuff)

      Tu n’as vu personne – You didn’t see anyone, you saw no one

     Personne n’a parlé – No one spoke

      Je n’ai parlé à personne – I didn’t speak to anyone, I spoke to no one

     Ils n’ont mangé que le gâteau – They only ate the cake

     La robe n’a coûté que $20 – The dress only cost $20

Ils n’ont visité aucun musée – They didn’t visit a single museum

Elle ne l’a vu nulle part –  She didn’t see him anywhere

Il n’a plus eu d’argent – He didn’t get any more money


For double negatives

Just plug in the negation terms where they go.

Je n’ai rien dit à personne. – I didn’t say anything to anyone.  OR I said nothing to no one.

Personne ne l’a vu nulle part.  – No one saw him/her/it anywhere

Je n’ai plus rien demandé à personne. – I didn’t ask anything more of anyone.


For personne and rien as subjects

the word order is personne/rien ne verb rest of sentence

Personne n’a aimé le film – No one liked the movie

Personne n’a rien dit – No one said anything.

Rien d’intéressant n’est arrivé – Nothing interesting happened.



“Je n’ai jamais eu le temps de lire, mais rien, jamais, n’a pu m’empêcher de finir un roman que j’aimais”.

§ 4 Responses to Negation in Passé Composé

Leave a Reply to gOaT Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Negation in Passé Composé at French Notes.


%d bloggers like this: