Using ne ... pas with simple tenses (negation)

Look at these negative sentences:

Je ne suis pas grande.
I am not tall.


Je n'ai pas de frère.
I have no brother.

Notice that to make a negative sentence in French is slightly more complicated than in English as there are two negative words involved.

Notice that to negate a verb in a simple sentence, you wrap ne… pas around the verb (here suis / ai).

Note: if the verb begins with a vowel, use n' instead of ne.

Tu n'écoutes pas Alice.
You don't listen to Alice.

ATTENTION: c'est becomes ce n'est pas.

C'est bleu ? Non, ce n'est pas bleu !
Is it blue? No, that's not blue!

Ce n'est pas très gentil de sa part.
It's not very nice of him.

 

See also more advanced lessons Position of negation with two verbs (conjugated + infinitive) 
and Using 'ne ... pas' with compound tenses (negation) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tu n'écoutes pas Alice.
You don't listen to Alice.


Nous n'allons pas au cinéma.
We're not going to the cinema.


Je n'ai pas de frère.
I have no brother.


Je n'aime pas Paul.
I don't like Paul.


Je ne suis pas grande.
I am not tall.



Ce n'est pas très gentil de sa part.
It's not very nice of him.


Elle ne regarde pas la télé.
She is not watching telly.


C'est bleu ? Non, ce n'est pas bleu !
Is it blue? No, that's not blue!


Je ne mange pas
I'm not eating


Q&A

Helen

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2018

1 reply

I was trying to say 'you don't like them' (ie dogs) so I said 'tu les n'aime pas. Is the wrong?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 July 2018

2/07/18

It's almost correct, Helen. The word order is a bit different and the verb needs to be in second person singular, because of the "tu":


Tu ne les aimes pas.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Catherine

Kwiziq community member

1 June 2018

1 reply

If I wanted to say "I don't need" would I say je n'ai pas besoin or je n'ai besoin pas? I'm not sure I'm finding this phrase difficult!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 June 2018

4/06/18

Hi Catherine,


ne..pas always brackets the first conjugated verb. Any potential object to the verb comes after it. Therefore it is:


Je n'ai pas besoin de cela. -- I don't need that.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Trupti

Kwiziq community member

7 March 2018

4 replies

While doing negation with 'de' ,

Hi Laura, I have a query negation with 'de'. I know that with être it stays the same and in case of IL y a and avoir un,une, des changes to de. What about other verbs than the ones mentioned. Does it apply in all cases ?I'd like to know please.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

7 March 2018

7/03/18

Bonjour Trupti !


The être exception applies to all so-called "verbes d'état" (state verbs) in French, which are verbs that describe a state the subject of the sentence is in.


Here is the complete list of "verbes d'état", which I've now added to the lesson :)


https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/theme/1512981


I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

Trupti

Kwiziq community member

7 March 2018

7/03/18

Thank you Laura .

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

23 March 2018

23/03/18

De rien Trupti, mais je m'appelle Aurélie ;)

Trupti

Kwiziq community member

24 March 2018

24/03/18

Pardon, Aurélie..

helen

Kwiziq community member

12 January 2018

2 replies

Elle ne regarde pas la télé.

Wouldn't this be: elle ne regarde pas de télé ...using "de" after pas?

Debora

Kwiziq community member

12 January 2018

12/01/18

using 'de' after the negation is when you negate the thing after the verb. In this case, the negation is about not watching so it is a simple negation of the verb 'regarder'.
'Je n'ai pas de frère' is about no brothers. The 'de' in this case is like 'any' in English. 'J'ai des frères.' I have brothers. 'Je n'ai pas de frères.' I don't have any brothers.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

5 September 2018

5/09/18

Hi Helen, 


We always say:


Elle ne regarde pas la télé = She doesn't watch tv


Ils n'écoutent pas la radio = They don't listen to radio


Nous ne parlons pas le français We don't speak French


Ses enfants n'aiment pas le chocolat = Her children don't like chocolate


It has nothing to do with the pas here.


If you say:


"Il n'a pas de télé" ( téléviseur), it means, 


"He has not got a tv"


Hope this helps!

Advika

Kwiziq community member

11 December 2016

1 reply

Je ne suis pas indienne

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

12 December 2016

12/12/16

Bonjour Advika !

Bravo ! Tu n'es pas indienne, donc d'où viens-tu ?

Hoyt

Kwiziq community member

17 July 2016

2 replies

Severe 'hum' on audio of filmclip. Voice is very soft and weak. Needs correction.

Check ground connection on mike!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 July 2016

18/07/16

Bonjour Hoyt !

I agree that the sound on this video could be better, but we're just hosting the link to a third party's video, so we can't do anything to it specifically.
However, we'll be looking for a better quality video, and we of course welcome any suggestions !

À bientôt !

Damien

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2017

14/01/17

The video does have a lot of good information though. Thanks.

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