Ne ... jamais = Never (negation)

Look at these two sentences:

Je ne vais jamais à la gym.
I never go to the gym.

Je n'écoute jamais le prof.
I never listen to the teacher.

Notice that to say "never", you use ne.. jamais around the verb.

Note: ne becomes n' when in front of a vowel or mute h.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je ne vais jamais à l'école à pied.
I never walk to school



Il ne conduit jamais sa voiture.
He never drives his car


Nous n'allons jamais faire ça.
We're never going to do that.


Je n'écoute jamais le prof.
I never listen to the teacher.


Je ne vais jamais à la gym.
I never go to the gym.


Q&A Forum 12 questions, 21 answers

NancyA2Kwiziq community member

Cecile, I believe, 'Alice never listens to you.' would be: Alice ne t'ecoute jamais. Sorry, I don't know how to put accents with my keyboard

Cecile, 

I believe, 'Alice never listens to you.' would be:

Alice ne t'ecoute jamais.        Sorry, I don't know how to put accents with my keyboard

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Thank you, Nancy, found the typo...Disgraceful of me!

Please try and post on the same question as I had a job finding it ...

Thanks 

Cecile, I believe, 'Alice never listens to you.' would be: Alice ne t'ecoute jamais. Sorry, I don't know how to put accents with my keyboard

Cecile, 

I believe, 'Alice never listens to you.' would be:

Alice ne t'ecoute jamais.        Sorry, I don't know how to put accents with my keyboard

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NawrasA1Kwiziq community member

écouter

hello, 

i know the verb écouter takes a direct object and in the example above (Je n'écoute jamais le prof) it's rather obvious. in another lesson however, there's an example like (tu n'écoutes jamais Alice).. my question is: how can i tell the meaning of the sentence, i mean when i read the example i thought someone is saying to Alice that she never listens, not the actual meaning of someone is saying to another that he\she never listens to Alice!

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Nawras, 

If I have undertood your question correctly -

Tu n'écoutes jamais Alice You never listen to Alice

Alice ne t'écoute jamais = Alice never listens to you

Alice, tu n'écoutes jamais!Alice, you never listen!

Hope this helps!

écouter

hello, 

i know the verb écouter takes a direct object and in the example above (Je n'écoute jamais le prof) it's rather obvious. in another lesson however, there's an example like (tu n'écoutes jamais Alice).. my question is: how can i tell the meaning of the sentence, i mean when i read the example i thought someone is saying to Alice that she never listens, not the actual meaning of someone is saying to another that he\she never listens to Alice!

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RebeccaA2Kwiziq community member

Salut!

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Rebecca,

You could say -

Je n'ai jamais de temps = I never have any time

Je n'ai jamais d'argent I never have any money

Elle n'a plus d'enfants à la maison She has no children left at home

etc.

and your excellent examples too...

RebeccaA2Kwiziq community member

Sorry, hit the wrong key. Why is the syntax not <> It seems from the examples that you still use the regular articles, whereas other forms use <> I don't see an example that offers a direct comparison, so maybe I've missed something?

Merci!

RebeccaA2Kwiziq community member

Sorry, my computer is doing strange things?

Why is the syntax not "Je ne mange jamais DE tomates?" Other negative forms use "Elles n'ont plus DE sucre."

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AmitgeraA1Kwiziq community member

explain all the articles in detail.

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Have you read the corresponding lessons?

explain all the articles in detail.

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UmadeviA1Kwiziq community member

need explanations from the grammar part cod

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi umadevi,

I am not entirely clear what your question is. If you are asking "what is a COD" then here is the answer:

COD stands for Complément d'Objet Direct, i.e., a direct object to the verb. It is usually something that the verb's action is directed toward. The concept of COD exists also in English. But don't be mislead: there are instances where a certain verb takes a COD in one language but not in the other. Here are a few examples of COD, with the COD highlighted:

Je mange une pomme. -- I eat an apple.
Les voisins ont acheté une nouvelle voiture. -- The neighbors bought a new car.

Here an example where the French takes a COD but the English does not.

Tu m'attends? -- Are you waiting for me?

By the way, it might be a good idea to goolge the term.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Umadevi,

Not sure about your question, could you explain?

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Ah, and here one which isn't a COD in French but it is a COD in English:

Il a téléphoné à son copain hier. -- He phoned his friend yesterday.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

need explanations from the grammar part cod

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TamaniA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

In micro quiz no. 1, the answers all begin 'Frodon' rather than Frodo.

Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Tamani, in the orginal French translation, his name was Frodon.

See: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frodon_Sacquet 

 

RantA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Came here to report the same. Maybe add note about this so people know?
GruffKwiziq team member
I've amended the hint to add that. Thanks for the suggestion.
Tamani asked:View original

In micro quiz no. 1, the answers all begin 'Frodon' rather than Frodo.

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KelleA1Kwiziq community member

idioms

We (in english) have the idiomatic expression: "Never say never..." Do you have one similar? "Ne jamais dire jamais?" Or something else?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

In French there is this idiom which comes close:

Il ne faut jamais dire : fontaine je ne boirai pas de ton eau

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

idioms

We (in english) have the idiomatic expression: "Never say never..." Do you have one similar? "Ne jamais dire jamais?" Or something else?

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KelleA1Kwiziq community member

idioms?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It is difficult to divine your question from only a single word ;)) 

-- Chris. 

idioms?

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StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

In the examples above, why isn't it: - Je n'écoute jamais AU prof'

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Stewart !

It's because the verb écouter takes a direct object in French, unlike in English:

écouter [quelqu'un] = to listen to [someone]
J'écoute ma mère.
I listen to my mother.
Bonne journée !
StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci

In the examples above, why isn't it: - Je n'écoute jamais AU prof'

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DianaB1Kwiziq community member

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?
Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
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).
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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)
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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.

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?

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TaejahA1Kwiziq community member

Why does jamais come afetr the verb?

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Taejah, That is a fixed form that is used in negation. Similarly there are other fixed forms in French negation such as ne. . . pas, ne. . .plus, etc. Please see the following link which goes into greater detail. https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/glossary/24 To that end, in compound verb tenses and moods, «ne precedes the auxiliary verb with «jamais», for example, following it, «jamais» is then followed by the past participle. Example: Je n'ai jamais voulu manger encore de pomme. Bonne chance et bonne continuation.

Why does jamais come afetr the verb?

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SusanA1Kwiziq community member

what does jamais mean ?

if we use ne ... jamais to say never then when do we use ne pas?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Susan,

Ne ... jamais
= "never."

Je ne vais jamais à la plage - I never go to the beach.

Ne ... pas = "not."

Je ne vais pas à la plage aujourd'hui - I'm not going to the beach today.

what does jamais mean ?

if we use ne ... jamais to say never then when do we use ne pas?

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