Position of negation with two verbs (conjugated + infinitive)

Look at these negative complex sentences:

Tu ne veux pas venir ce soir ?
Don't you want to come tonight?

Je ne vais plus faire ton travail pour toi.
I'm not going to do your work for you anymore.

Tu ne dois pas crier.
You mustn't shout.

Nous n'aimons pas cuisiner.
We don't like cooking.

In sentences with both a conjugated verb AND an infinitive, the negations ne...pas / ne...jamais / ne...plus etc are placed on each side of the conjugated verb.

ATTENTION:

You cannot say: Tu ne veux venir pas ce soir. 
BUT 
You can say: Tu peux ne pas venir.
However, in that case, it means: You can not come /  You're allowed not to come.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je ne vais plus faire ton travail pour toi.
I'm not going to do your work for you anymore.


Je ne sais pas jouer du piano.
I don't know how to play piano.


Tu ne dois pas crier.
You mustn't shout.


Ils ne doivent jamais mentir.
They must never lie.  


Nous n'aimons pas cuisiner.
We don't like cooking.


Il ne va jamais arrêter.
He's never going to stop.


Tu ne veux pas venir ce soir ?
Don't you want to come tonight?


Elle ne peut pas chanter à cause de sa toux.
She can't sing because of her cough.


Q&A Forum 12 questions, 26 answers

TiênA1Kwiziq community member

i dont know when we use " pas" or when we use "plus" ~ Can you help me with this

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Tien,

Ne pas is just plain ‘not’ and ‘ne....plus’ is no longer/no more.

The Kwiziq lesson for ne...plus is the following -

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/how-to-say-no-more-no-longer-ne-plus

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

ne..pas = not: Il n'y a pas de lait dans le frigo. -- There is no milk in the fridge.
ne..plus = not (any)more: Il n'y a plus de lait dans le frigo. -- There is no more milk in the fridge.

i dont know when we use " pas" or when we use "plus" ~ Can you help me with this

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SaraB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

‘ne pas + infinitif’

Could someone kindly elaborate on the grammatical structure behind instances when ‘ne’ and ‘pas’ occur side-by-side, like ‘Tu peux ne pas venir’ and ‘Prière de ne pas déranger’ please?

Asked 3 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

If ne..pas are used to negate a conjugated verb, they bracket the verb. If they negate an infinitive, the are both in front of the infinitive: ne pas + infinitive.

‘ne pas + infinitif’

Could someone kindly elaborate on the grammatical structure behind instances when ‘ne’ and ‘pas’ occur side-by-side, like ‘Tu peux ne pas venir’ and ‘Prière de ne pas déranger’ please?

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ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Bonjour Madame ! I suppose ‘ne....nullepart’ and ‘ne........aucun(e)’ are pretty much exceptions to this rule ? Can this be highlighted further? Merci

Asked 7 months ago
ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Including ne....personne too. Merci encore!

ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Il ne veut dire quelquechose.

Il ne veut rien dire. / Il ne veut dire rien.

So I think ne.....rien too.

Please confirm, Madame. Bonne journée !

ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Aidez- moi s’il vous plaît Merci

Bonjour Madame ! I suppose ‘ne....nullepart’ and ‘ne........aucun(e)’ are pretty much exceptions to this rule ? Can this be highlighted further? Merci

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AaronKwiziq community member

What are some examples with COD/COI + La negation + Conj Verb, Infi. Verb?

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Aaron, 

I am not clear about what you are asking ... can you elaborate?

What are some examples with COD/COI + La negation + Conj Verb, Infi. Verb?

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BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Asking negative vs positive questions

Am i understanding the lesson correctly by following the below example for the following translation?

English: How can I not go?  Here, i'm intending to mean the sense that I don't want to go, am searching for a reason to not go, but i need to go or am required to go, etc.

Would that be: comment puis-je ne pas aller ?

Merci!

Asked 9 months ago
UberA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I’m interested to know the answer to this as well.

Cécile and Aurélie - please advise?

Asking negative vs positive questions

Am i understanding the lesson correctly by following the below example for the following translation?

English: How can I not go?  Here, i'm intending to mean the sense that I don't want to go, am searching for a reason to not go, but i need to go or am required to go, etc.

Would that be: comment puis-je ne pas aller ?

Merci!

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JerinA1Kwiziq community member

Bojour, Why is "Nous ne savions pas lire avant" translated as "We couldn't read before" !! Whereas it ought to be "We did not know how to read before.

Asked 10 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

To me, either version is OK in English because "can" carries both meanings (to be able to something -- savoir,  and to have the opportunity to do somtehing -- pouvoir).

"I can read" thus can both mean that I have learned to read in school and also that I am in a position to read (as in "I can read the text if you want.")

For the sake of clarity, however, and to be absolutely clear, the translation "We didn't know how to read" would be better.

JerinA1Kwiziq community member
Thank you for the reply Chris. I appreciate it.
AurélieKwiziq team member

I completely agree with Chris's comprehensive answer :)

I've now changed the English accordingly.

Bonne journée !

Jerin asked:View original

Bojour, Why is "Nous ne savions pas lire avant" translated as "We couldn't read before" !! Whereas it ought to be "We did not know how to read before.

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BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Various verb tenses

Hello, i'm probably getting ahead of myself (only been studying French for 2 months) but wanted to see if anyone would be willing to let me know if I'm correct or not on below conjugations.

I ate = j'ai mangé

I was eating / used to eat = je mangaisI should eat = je devrais mangerI will eat = je mangeraiI should not eat = je ne devrais pas mangerI will have eaten = j'aurai mangéI will not have eaten yet = je n'aurai pas mangé encoreI had eaten = j'avais mangéI had not eaten yet = je n'avais mangé encoreI have to eat = je doit mangerI can't eat right now = je ne peux pas manger maintenant/tout de suite?I should have eaten = j'aurais pas dû mangerIt seems in general that "should" future uses conditional present and "should" future uses conditional past.I apologize in advance if this is too much for a single post :(
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I had not eaten yet -- Je n'avais pas encore mangé
I have to eat -- Je dois manger
I should have eaten -- J'aurais dû manger

 

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

oops, correction.

I should have eaten = J'aurai dû mangé ?

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci beaucoup!  I realized I had a couple stupid errors in my original post (je doit, par exemple eek) & the "pas" in my translation of I should have eaten - oops! 

I understand my error in reposting "Je aurai dû..." should have been "aurais", (because doubt, certainty, wish, etc. requires conditional?) i think that was a typo the 2nd time around.  I guess i had that correct initially (minus the "pas"), and shouldn't have changed the verb form for manger.

I need to read up more on the placement of adverbs such as "encore" around the pas, that is a little confusing to me.  To me, the "encore" sounds better after pas, but that obviously doesn't mean anything.

Oh also to say "right now" in that context is it better to say maintenant or tout de suite?

Thanks so much!  This site is awesome, i'm learning a lot from it.

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

oh and i had a spelling error.  I used to eat s/b Je mangeais.

thanks again.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
For "right now", either maintenant or tout de suite is fine.  For my feeling, tout de suite carries a bit more urgency, but I might be wrong.

Various verb tenses

Hello, i'm probably getting ahead of myself (only been studying French for 2 months) but wanted to see if anyone would be willing to let me know if I'm correct or not on below conjugations.

I ate = j'ai mangé

I was eating / used to eat = je mangaisI should eat = je devrais mangerI will eat = je mangeraiI should not eat = je ne devrais pas mangerI will have eaten = j'aurai mangéI will not have eaten yet = je n'aurai pas mangé encoreI had eaten = j'avais mangéI had not eaten yet = je n'avais mangé encoreI have to eat = je doit mangerI can't eat right now = je ne peux pas manger maintenant/tout de suite?I should have eaten = j'aurais pas dû mangerIt seems in general that "should" future uses conditional present and "should" future uses conditional past.I apologize in advance if this is too much for a single post :(

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BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Trying to say..

I shouldn't have eaten so much...

Je n'ai devrais pas trop mangé 

I know this is incorrect, but would like some guidance on how to correctly state this.

Thank you

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Bill,

Actually the correct translation of 'I shouldn't have eaten so much' would be :

Je n'aurais pas dû autant manger 

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Je n'aurais pas dû trop manger. 

You need the conditionel passé because the action is already in the past. 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Je ne devrais pas trop manger. -- I should not eat too much. 
BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci!

Trying to say..

I shouldn't have eaten so much...

Je n'ai devrais pas trop mangé 

I know this is incorrect, but would like some guidance on how to correctly state this.

Thank you

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LewisC1Kwiziq community member

Correction of conjugated verb

The test question: My mates are not going to celebrate the new year.

HINT: Use Le Futur Proche

I wrote: Mes potes n'iront pas célébrer la nouvelle année.

Correct answer: Mes potes ne vont pas célébrer la nouvelle année.

If 'vont' is Le Présent and 'iront' is Le Futur, then why would my answer be incorrect?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Lewis,

The futur proche is constructed by the conjuaged form of "aller" + infinitive:

Je vais célébrer. -- I am going to celebrate.
Ils vont célébrer. -- They are going to celebrate.

-- Chris.

LewisC1Kwiziq community member
Ok, I see the problem now. I used 'iront' which is futur presént, and completely forgot about the three A1 lessons on futur proche. Thanks.

Correction of conjugated verb

The test question: My mates are not going to celebrate the new year.

HINT: Use Le Futur Proche

I wrote: Mes potes n'iront pas célébrer la nouvelle année.

Correct answer: Mes potes ne vont pas célébrer la nouvelle année.

If 'vont' is Le Présent and 'iront' is Le Futur, then why would my answer be incorrect?

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SueC1Kwiziq community member

Why is it ‘ne devrions fumer plus’ when there is a conjugated and an infinitive?

Asked 1 year ago
AliciaA0Kwiziq community member

Hi Sue,

What is your question exactely ? Is it about the verbal forms?

The correct way to say it is 'Nous ne devrions plus fumer' (Nous ne devrions plus + inf)
Do we say 'She shouldn't smokes anymore'
Je te laisse réfléchir à tout ça (I let you think!)

Why is it ‘ne devrions fumer plus’ when there is a conjugated and an infinitive?

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SueC1Kwiziq community member

Why is the future tense suggested and then not used in the given answer.?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Which sentence are you referring to?

-- Chris. 

Why is the future tense suggested and then not used in the given answer.?

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DingdongA1Kwiziq community member

'Nous ne savions pas lire avant' why we use indicatif imparfait of 'savoir' in here ?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

The imperfect tense is used because it refers to a longer lasting state as kind of a background description.
Another example:

Nous avions froid et faim à cette époque-là.
We were cold and hungry those days. 

Hier nous avons eu faim donc on est rentrés. 
Yesterday we were hungry, so we returned.

In the first example the description is about a longer lasting state and describes sets the scene for maybe a further statement whatever might have happened then.
In the second example it is about getting hungry and then returning, i.e., two occurences which both describe what HAPPENED (i.e., an action) and not what WAS (i.e., a state of being).

I hope that helps,
-- Chris (not a native speaker).

'Nous ne savions pas lire avant' why we use indicatif imparfait of 'savoir' in here ?

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