English Negation

    Beginner English - Level A1


    Learn how to create negative sentences and statements


    daily activities and skills , work activities

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    English A1


    English has several ways to express negation or make a statement negative. Using words like "no" and "not" before a word can negate it. Here are some basic examples of positive statements and their negative counterparts:

    I am tall.  /  I am not tall.
    She has time.  /  She has no time.
    We like pizza.  /  We do not like pizza.
    They will study.  /  They will not study.

    In each of the negative sentences above, the only words added were "no" or "not." In the example about pizza, the negative form of the verb "like" includes the helping verb "do" - it would be awkward and incorrect to say, "We not like pizza."
    "No" is used before nouns and "not" is used before adverbs, adjectives and verbs. In the case of modals and other auxiliary verbs, "not" immediately follows them. However, "not" can precede nouns so long as a determiner is present before the noun. For example,

    He is the best basketball player.  /  He is not the best basketball player.
    I'm a great writer.  /  I'm not a great writer.

    When using contractions with "not," an apostrophe is used in place of the "o":

    are not = aren't
    do not = don't
    does not = doesn't
    did not = didn't
    has not = hasn't
    have not = haven't
    should not = shouldn't
    will not = won't*

    Note that the contraction for "will not" is irregular. 

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