Negating infinitives

MichaelC1Kwiziq community member

Negating infinitives

Why “Il ne faut pas confondre” as opposed to “Il faut ne pas confondre”?

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Michael,

Although there's no overall difference in the meaning of both sentences, Chris is correct in saying that it negates slightly different things.

The important thing is that both are correct and would translate -

You must not mistake...

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Both look like good sentences to me, just that each negates a different thing:

Il faut le dire. -- One must say it.

Il ne faut pas le dire. -- One (not must) say it, i.e., one doesn't have to say it.

Il faut ne pas le dire. -- One must (not say) it., i.e., it is mandatory not to say it.

It would be nice if a native speaker commented on that, too, because sometimes French minds seem to work differently. ;)

Negating infinitives

Why “Il ne faut pas confondre” as opposed to “Il faut ne pas confondre”?

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