Personne ne ..., rien ne ... = No one, nothing (negation)

Look at these examples:

Rien ne me dérange.
Nothing bothers me.

Personne n'est encore arrivé.  
No one has arrived yet.

Personne ne mange.
No one is eating.

Rien n'est arrivé.
Nothing arrived.
Nothing happened.

Rien ne s'est passé.
Nothing happened.

Note that the negative expressions ne... personne (e.g. I see no one) and ne ... rien (e.g. I see nothing) can be reversed into personne ne ... (e.g. No one/Nobody sees) and rien ne ... (e.g. Nothing comes).

Note that you still need to use the negative ne with personne or rien.
You cannot say "Personne vient" or "Rien est bien". 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Rien ne s'est passé.
Nothing happened.


Personne ne veut embrasser quelqu'un qui a mauvaise haleine. Beurk!
Nobody wants to kiss someone with bad breath! Yuk!


Rien n'est arrivé.
Nothing arrived.
Nothing happened.


Personne n'aime attendre dans le froid, et on est en février!
No one likes to wait in the cold, and it's February!


Personne n'est encore arrivé.  
No one has arrived yet.


Rien ne me dérange.
Nothing bothers me.


Personne ne mange.
No one is eating.


Q&A

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2017

1 reply

Rien n'arrive

Why is rien n'arrive considered incorrect for ' nothing happened' while the lesson gives the same phrase as an example

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 January 2017

9/01/17

Bonjour Meghna !

"Rien n'arrive" is in the present tense, so would be "Nothing happens/is happening", but not the past tense "Nothing happened" :)

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Melody

Kwiziq community member

5 January 2017

1 reply

Question about some translations in this lesson

I am confused as to when to use the present tense vs. the passe compose. For example: Rien n'est arrivé. Nothing has arrived.Nothing has happened. It is to do with the use of "has". For Rien n'est arrivé. Nothing has arrived.Nothing has happened. Why not Nothing arrived.Nothing happened. Or, why not say Rien n' arrive

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

6 January 2017

6/01/17

Bonjour Melody !

Actually in this case, I agree that "Nothing happened/arrived" would be a more common translation. However, you could also use "Nothing has happened", as Le Passé Composé overlaps both Present Perfect and Simple Past.
If you said "Rien n'arrive", it would mean either "Nothing happens/arrives" or "Nothing is happening/arriving".

You can also have a look at this lesson:
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/how-you-use-depuis-since-for-with-le-present-and-not-le-passe-compose-prepositions-of-time

I hope that's helpful !
Bonne Année !

Melody

Kwiziq community member

27 July 2016

1 reply

personne vs. aucun(e) redux

i just got a quiz question: (B1 quiz) Ont-ils répondu ? - Oui. ___ n'est intéressé. (Have they answered ? - Yes. None (of them) are interested.) The choices were: Aucune Aucune d'entre elles Aucun Aucun d'entre eux Personne The correct answers were: Aucun Aucun d'entre eux This seems to contradict Laura's answer to a previous question; Personne means "no one" in French while aucun means "none" - the latter is used for things, not people. So, according to this, the correct answer should be "personne". I remain confused about aucun (ne) vs. personne (ne). Halp!

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

3 August 2016

3/08/16

Bonjour Melody,

Thanks for pointing out this inconsistency. Aurélie and I will talk about it and get back to you. :-)

Melissa

Kwiziq community member

4 July 2016

2 replies

Why don't we change arrivé to be female form for passe composé with personne which is feminine?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

4 July 2016

4/07/16

Bonjour Melissa,

This one is tricky: "une personne" meaning "one person" is indeed a feminine word, BUT "personne" meaning "no one/nobody" is actually a masculine indefinite pronoun.

I know, right!
I hope that's helpful ;)

Melissa

Kwiziq community member

5 July 2016

5/07/16

Thanks so much

Rux

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2015

1 reply

Personne vs. Aucun(e) - please explain

What is the difference between Aucun(e) and Personne. For example, in the test, why do you translate "Nobody spoke" with "Personne n'a parle" but consider incorrect "Aucun n'a parle"?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

1 December 2015

1/12/15

Bonjour Rux,

Personne means "no one" in French while aucun means "none" - the latter is used for things, not people.

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