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Il n'y a personne


Kwiziq community member

9 October 2017

2 replies

Il n'y a personne

Hi - in the Kwik kwiz one of the answers includes the construction Il n'y a personne. Why is it Il n'y a personne and not Il y n'a personne? The lesson doesn't explain it. Thank you.

This relates to:
Ne ... personne = No one, nobody (negation) -


Kwiziq community member

10 October 2017


Bonsoir Michael,
Il y a is a fixed expression. The placement of negation ne . . .personne is covered in another lesson:
There are two important patterns to notice in these sentences that are different to English.
1) the two pronouns both go before the verb:
Tu attends Patricia à la banque -> Tu l'y attends.
You're waiting for Patricia at the bank -> You're waiting for her there
2) The order is ALWAYS:
me/te/le/la/l'/nous/vous/les (before) y
In negation formation, the ne or n'. . . always goes before the pronoun y.
Bonne chance,


Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017


Hi Michael, French has a very strict word order. In a negation, you will always find this order:

1) Start the negation with "ne"
2) Then come: me, te, se, nous, vous (reflexive pronouns)
3) Followed by: le, la, les (direct object pronouns)
4) Followed by: lui, leur (indirect object pronouns, 3rd person)
5) The pronoun "y"
6) The pronouns "en"
7) The verb to be negated
8) And finally the other half of the negation: pas, rien, personne, plus, etc.

Example: Il n'y a personne :
Il = subject
n' (ne) = start of negation
y = pronoun
a = verb
personne = the concluding part of the negation.

That is the standard order. Normally, not all elements in the list above actually occur in one sentence, so you just skip them. The order remains nonetheless the same.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

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