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"Pas" pour rien au monde ?

Adrian B.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"Pas" pour rien au monde ?

Why is it not "je ne changerais *pas* ma vie pour rien au monde"? Is "pour rien" a varient of the "ne... rien" negation?

Asked 1 year ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Adrian,

In this expression, "ne changer [quelque chose] pour rien au monde", "pas" disappears otherwise you have a double negation with "pour rien au monde".

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I agree with you: there's a missing pas. Pour rien au monde is just an idiomatic addition to emphasize the negation ("for nothing in the world").

Scout E.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Adrian, l don't think 'pas' is warranted here  but l am not sure how to clearly explain why lol. I read this as, there is "nothing in the world" so, 'there is no condition (conditional) which would lead her to change her life' There is no negative meaning (which would require 'pas') on the contrary; it sounds to me like an emphasis of the negative aspect of what came before ( e.g., feedings in the night) like the ne explétif. If it is the ne explétif, l did not know that it can be constructed with the conditional. Thanks for the great question. 

Alan G.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The ne goes with the rien. Including pas would be a double negative: "I wouldn't change my life for nothing in the world.", which is clearly wrong.

You do find this double negative in expressions like "ce n'est pas pour rien ..." = "it's not for nothing...".

Scout E.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

This evening, l went searching for information on double negatives in French. I learned that double or more negations are correct grammar in French, in some combinations; but not, as both Alan and Céline have stated, with 'ne ... pas' and 'rien'.  

See, 'Combining two or more negations (French negations). Fun! 

Adrian B.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks all for the explanations. These all seem like double negatives to my English ears lol.

"Pas" pour rien au monde ?

Why is it not "je ne changerais *pas* ma vie pour rien au monde"? Is "pour rien" a varient of the "ne... rien" negation?

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