Using 'ne ... pas' with compound tenses (negation)

Look at these examples:

- Vous êtes allés au cinéma ? Non, nous ne sommes pas allés au cinéma.- Did you go to the cinema? - No, we didn't go to the cinema.

- Tu as fini à temps ? - Non, je n'ai pas fini à temps.- Did you finish on time? - No, I didn't finish on time.

- Elle est venue hier? - Non, elle n'est pas venue hier.- Did she come yesterday? - No, she didn't come yesterday.

In compound tenses like Passé composé, where there is an auxiliary verb (être / avoir), the sentence is negated by placing the two parts of the negation (ne / pas) on each side of the auxiliary verb.

Remember that ne becomes n' in front of a vowel.


Here are more examples of negative sentences in Passé composé:

Vous n'avez pas répondu assez vite.You didn't answer fast enough.

Il n'a pas eu froid avec son manteau.He wasn't cold with his coat on.

Je ne suis pas parti avant 20h.I didn't leave until 8pm.

On n'a pas élevé les cochons ensemble !(Literally) "We didn’t raise pigs together!"

-> used to put someone over-familiar back in their place :)

See also how ne ... pas behaves with simple tenses: Using ne ... pas with simple tenses (negation) 

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Examples and resources

- Elle est venue hier? - Non, elle n'est pas venue hier.- Did she come yesterday? - No, she didn't come yesterday.
Je ne suis pas parti avant 20h.I didn't leave until 8pm.
- Vous êtes allés au cinéma ? Non, nous ne sommes pas allés au cinéma.- Did you go to the cinema? - No, we didn't go to the cinema.
Il n'a pas eu froid avec son manteau.He wasn't cold with his coat on.
- Tu as fini à temps ? - Non, je n'ai pas fini à temps.- Did you finish on time? - No, I didn't finish on time.
Vous n'avez pas répondu assez vite.You didn't answer fast enough.
On n'a pas élevé les cochons ensemble !(Literally) "We didn’t raise pigs together!"
- Ils ont joué au foot ce weekend? - Non, ils n'ont pas joué au foot ce weekend.- Did they play football this weekend ? - No, they didn't play football this weekend.
Thinking...