French Negative Sentences

Beginner French - Level A1

Overview

What is a negative?
A negative question or statement is one which contains a word such as not, no, never or nothing and is used to say that something is not happening, is not true or is absent. At its most basic level you just have to add the word “ne” before your verb and “pas” after your verb. There are a few variations of this and that’s exactly what we’ll explore below.

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French Negative Sentences

The verb of a sentence says what action is taking place. The French verbs we’ve discussed so far are “être” and “avoir.” Take a look at these sample sentences that show the difference between a sentence in the affirmative (positive) and the negative.

Affirmative: Je suis nerveux pour le match.             I am nervous about the game.

Negative: Je ne suis pas nerveux pour le match.       I am not nervous about the game.

 

Affirmative: J’ai faim ce matin.                                I am hungry this morning.

Negative: Je n’ai pas faim ce matin.                          I am not hungry this morning.

To make a sentence negative, “ne” and “pas” must sandwich the verb. This means that the verb goes in between the “ne” and the “pas.

Note:

  • If you are making a sentence negative and the “ne” precedes a verb that begins with a vowel, connect the two with an apostrophe (n’...) as shown in the second example above.
  • Similarly, if the “pas” precedes a word in the rest of the sentence that begins with a vowel, connect the -s, or /z/ sound with the pronunciation of the following word.
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How to form negative sentences in French negation, interrogative and affirmative form. Phrases négatives en français. Frases negativas y la negación en francés.
-credit: You Learn French

Directions: Change each of the following affirmative sentences to become negative.

  1. Tu es amusant. __________________________________
  2. Caroline a peur des insectes. _______________________________
  3. Nous sommes prêts pour les vacances ! ____________________________
  4. Ils ont raison. _______________________________
  5. Pierre et Juliette sont amis. ________________________________

Answers and Translations:

  1. Tu n’es pas amusant. You are not funny.
  2. Caroline (Elle) n’a pas peur des insectes. Caroline (She) is not scared of insects.
  3. Nous ne sommes pas prêts pour les vacances ! We are not ready for vacation !
  4. Ils n’ont pas raison. They’re not right.
  5. Pierre et Juliette (Ils) ne sont pas amis. Pierre and Juliette (They) are not friends.

Reminder: Remember that in avoir expressions (see vocabulary), the conjugation of avoir must align with its subject or subject pronoun of the sentence.

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