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

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.


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


Q&A

nawras

Kwiziq community member

6 March 2019

1 reply

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!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

8 March 2019

8/03/19

Hi Nawras, 

If I have undertood your question correctly -

Tu n'écoutes jamais Alice You never listen to Alice

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

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

Hope this helps!

Rebecca

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2019

2 replies

Salut!

Rebecca

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2019

4/02/19

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!

Rebecca

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2019

4/02/19

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."

Amitgera

Kwiziq community member

12 September 2018

1 reply

explain all the articles in detail.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

14/09/18

Have you read the corresponding lessons?

umadevi

Kwiziq community member

29 June 2018

3 replies

need explanations from the grammar part cod

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

30 June 2018

30/06/18

Hi Umadevi,

Not sure about your question, could you explain?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 July 2018

2/07/18

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).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 July 2018

2/07/18

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).

Tamani

Kwiziq community member

17 March 2018

3 replies

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

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

14 April 2018

14/04/18

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

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

 

Rant

Kwiziq community member

5 September 2018

5/09/18

Came here to report the same. Maybe add note about this so people know?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

6 September 2018

6/09/18

I've amended the hint to add that. Thanks for the suggestion.

Kelle

Kwiziq community member

24 February 2018

1 reply

idioms

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

25 February 2018

25/02/18

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). 

Kelle

Kwiziq community member

24 February 2018

1 reply

idioms?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

25 February 2018

25/02/18

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

-- Chris. 

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

27 November 2017

2 replies

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

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

27 November 2017

27/11/17

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 !

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

29 November 2017

29/11/17

Merci

Diana

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

3 replies

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?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

2/11/17

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)

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

2/11/17

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).

Ron

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

2/11/17

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.

Mohsin

Kwiziq community member

22 October 2017

2 replies

Bonjour,je parle pas bien français Y'a quelle qu un peux me aider S'il vous plaît

Bonjour,je parle pas bien français Y'a quelle qu un peux me aider S'il vous plaît

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 October 2017

23/10/17

Bonjour Mohsin. Je voudrais t'aider mais je ne vois pas de question dans ton mail. -- Chris.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

24 October 2017

24/10/17

Bonsoir Mohsin, Je serais très ravi de vous aider aussi. Avez-vous une petite question?
Let me take a look at that...