In this tutorial you will learn how to make a negative sentence, or negation in French. This is called a “ne pas sandwich” and what you have to do is say the subject first, then say “ne”, insert your verb and add “pas” at the end. We call this a sandwich because “ne” and “pas” are wrapped around the verb.
Making a negative sentence is a little bit complicated in French and require some attention. The word order is the following:
subject + ne + verb + pas
An example phrase is “Je ne sais pas”, which means I don’t know. In this example “je” is the subject and “sais” and is the verb and means to know in the first person. The “ne + pas” is wrapped around the verb “sais”. Another example is “Je ne mange pas” or I do not eat.
Now that’s a little bit harder. This sentence has two verbs or two verbs which make up one action word such as want to eat then the ne and pas go around the first of verb and not around the second. N. example of this would be”je ne veux pas manger”. Notice the ne and pas go around veux, the first verb.
There is another situation where this can get a little bit complicated. If a sentence has a second negative word in it then delete the “pas” at the end of the sentence. For example, “je n’ai rien à faire” means I have nothing to do. In this sentence “je” is the subject “ai” is the first verb meaning to have and “rien” is the second negative word meaning nothing. The words “à faire” mean to do. Here you delete the “pas” after “n’ai” because “rien” is a negative word.
Finally, if there is no verb in the phrase then omit the “pas”. Two examples here are “pas mal” meaning not bad and “pas encore” meaning not yet.