Not always required in written French, actually.

Answered! Jump to accepted answer.


Kwiziq community member

1 May 2018

3 replies

Not always required in written French, actually.

" Notice that although ne is always required in written French. "

In games like Pokemon they can omit the " ne, " rather than having all the characters speak more formally all the time. So it's not always required, is it? Not in character dialogue.

This question relates to:
French lesson "Informal negation: omitting ne"


Kwiziq language super star

18 May 2018


Hi CrystalMaiden,

The rules are probably slacker in the world of games but in any dialogue form the speech would be written as spoken.

Hope this helps!



Kwiziq community member

3 November 2018


I'd think dialogue would work similary to the way it does in English, where it ranges from some people being in the "Don't ever make characters say words like gonna and wanna even though we speak like this in real life" on one end of the spectrum and say, Twain's Huck Finn where dialogue is rendered almost phonetically, on the other. I have definitely encountered dropped ne's in dialogue.

I noticed that, in lyrics of French songs, nes the singer doesn't say are still written out most of the time, whereas that is pretty much never the case when the Il in Il y a or Il y avait is dropped. That gets written as 'Y a/'Y avait. Maybe in a way it's like how we in English are more likely to write out if someone says 'cause rather than because but still write, say, working even if the singer pronounced it workin'. However, when I was playing The Walking Dead, ne's that weren't uttered weren't shown either but Il y a was spelled out though they did say 'Y a. Things seem to vary from medium to medium. 


Kwiziq community member

4 November 2018


Oh, subtitles with French are the worst! Whether it's Despicable Me 2 or Seinfeld, why do they think it's okay to have the French subtitles not at all match the French speech? Don't they write the subtitles based on the speech as it's being spoken? That doesn't make it easier to learn the spoken language when I'm hearing the subtitles being just paraphrased. Is that all the time or just bad luck?

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
Getting that for you now.