Cinq Nord | A French Language Sandbox



Negative statements in French have two specific words, "no" and "not." In correct French, these two words will bracket verbs and compound verb forms. When the verb begins with a vowel sound, the ne is contracted:

Some examples:

Je ne peu pas parle Francais.— "I, no, can not speak French."

Often, this is abbreviated by French speakers as "Je peu pas parle Français," but this is not considered to be grammatically correct French.

This includes other negative words, such as rein (nothing) and jamais (never):

Je ne sais rein.— "I, no, know nothing."
Je ne peu jamais aller la ba.— "I, no, am never able to go over there."

Negation and indefinite articles

Note: In negative statements (particularly with avoir), indefinite articles following a negation will tranform to de/d’. Definite articles do not change with negative statements.

This may be similar in English when the plural indefinite article "some" is replaced by "any" in negative statements. When negated, "I have some money" becomes "I don't have any money." (Although in English this is limited to the plural indefinite article.)

J'ai une voiture.— "I have a car."
J n'ai pas de voiture.— "I, no, have not a car."
Vous avez le cles?— "Do you have the key?"
Vous n'avez pas de cles?— "You, no, have not the key?"

The de/d' transformation not used with être:

C'est une voiture blanc.— "This is a white car."
Ce n'est pas une voiture blanc.— "This isn't a white car."

Cinq Nord | A French Language Sandbox