ne...rien vs. ne...pas du tout

JinnB2Kwiziq community member

ne...rien vs. ne...pas du tout

For the question, Je sens quelque chose, et toi ? - Non, je  ..., can I also say 'No, je ne sens pas du tout? ' What are differences between ne...rien and pas du tout? Thanks.

Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Du tout is a way to strengthen the negation. Kind of like the English "at all" would.

Je ne sens rien. -- I feel/smell nothing.

Je ne sens rien du tout. -- I feel/smell nothing at all.

Je ne sens pas du tout. -- I don't feel/smell at all.

JinnB2Kwiziq community member

Got it. Thank you. 

JamesonC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Chris' answer is as usual topnotch. So pardon this nagging feeling!  Could a strict teacher justifiably mark me wrong  if I answered Jinn's question "Je sens quelque chose, et toi ?" with" Je ne sens pas du tout...  because it may show I am mixing up my adverbial  (mea culpa here) 'ne VERB  pas du tout' with the negative pronoun ne rien  (to stand in for quelque chose).

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Jameson,

Grammatically, your answer is correct. It just doesn‘t really fit with the question very well. 

ne...rien vs. ne...pas du tout

For the question, Je sens quelque chose, et toi ? - Non, je  ..., can I also say 'No, je ne sens pas du tout? ' What are differences between ne...rien and pas du tout? Thanks.

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