I understand that "Il ne mange rien" is the correct order of words...

Diana

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

3 replies

I understand that "Il ne mange rien" is the correct order of words...

But does the order change if the verb tense changes? Can I say " Il n'a rien mangé?

This relates to:
Ne ... jamais = Never (negation) -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

2/11/17

I have heard the sentence "Il ne m'a dit rien du tout" said by a native French speaker. It set off bells in my head because, just as yourself, I learned to say "Il ne m'a rien dit". Apparently "Il ne m'a rien dit" emphasises that he really told nothing at all. Emphasis by inversion? Apprently it is possible.

-- Chris (not a native speaker)

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

2/11/17

I talked to a native speaker and cleared this up. "Il n'a rien mangé" is the only correct form. Similarly "Il ne m'a rien dit" is correct, whereas "il ne m'a dit rien" is infact incorrect and sometimes heard being used by small children. I hope that clears this up.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Ron

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

2/11/17

Bonjour Diana,
One point of emphasis is that there is a very large gap between written French and spoken French. I learned that the negation using le passé composé is in the form:
noun + ne + auxiliary verb + negation, i.e. pas, rien, etc. + past participle. While le passé composé is the conversational past preferred, I do believe the correct syntax is like noted above.

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