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“Il ne fait pas de tout” vs “ il ne fait rien”. The second is “correct.” Why is the first incorrect?

T. G.A2Kwiziq community member

“Il ne fait pas de tout” vs “ il ne fait rien”. The second is “correct.” Why is the first incorrect?

Asked 2 years ago
Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Il ne fait pas du tout. -- (lit.) He doesn't do at all. This doesn't sound right. You are negating the verb "faire" without an object, so we don't know what he isn't doing.

Il ne fait rien. -- He doesn't do anything. "Rien" is the part of the negation and also functions as the direct object ("nothing"). This is what you're looking for.

If you want to be even more emphatic, you could say:
Il ne fait rien du tout. -- He doesn't do anything at all. But, in any case, you need "rien".

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Tracy,

It is the difference between "tout" in the sense of "entirety/totality"

and "rien" in the sense of "nothing"

"Il ne fait pas de tout" --> He hasn't done anything (activity).

"Il ne fait rien"  --> He has done nothing.

They look similar but are not quite the same meaning.

Hope this helps.

Jim

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

@ Chris,

Tracy queried 

Il ne fait pas de tout

Il ne fait pas du tout. -- (lit.) That is what you have answered.

Is this the same thing?

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I consider "pas de tout" to be a typo.

T. G. asked:View original

“Il ne fait pas de tout” vs “ il ne fait rien”. The second is “correct.” Why is the first incorrect?

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