Personne ne ..., rien ne ... = No one, nothing (negation)

Look at these examples:

Rien ne me dérange.
Nothing bothers me.

Personne n'est encore arrivé.  
No one has arrived yet.

Personne ne mange.
No one is eating.

Rien n'est arrivé.
Nothing arrived.
Nothing happened.

Rien ne s'est passé.
Nothing happened.

Note that the negative expressions ne... personne (e.g. I see no one) and ne ... rien (e.g. I see nothing) can be reversed into personne ne ... (e.g. No one/Nobody sees) and rien ne ... (e.g. Nothing comes).

Note that you still need to use the negative ne with personne or rien.
You cannot say "Personne vient" or "Rien est bien". 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Personne n'est encore arrivé.  
No one has arrived yet.


Rien ne me dérange.
Nothing bothers me.


Personne ne mange.
No one is eating.


Rien ne s'est passé.
Nothing happened.


Personne ne veut embrasser quelqu'un qui a mauvaise haleine. Beurk!
Nobody wants to kiss someone with bad breath! Yuk!


Rien n'est arrivé.
Nothing arrived.
Nothing happened.


Personne n'aime attendre dans le froid, et on est en février!
No one likes to wait in the cold, and it's February!


Q&A Forum 8 questions, 14 answers

A typo in the lesson. Personne n’est encore arrivé. Shouldn’t it be arrivée with an ‘accorded’ “e” as personne is feminine ? Merci !

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

HI#i Varsha,

Personne means no one in this context and is invariable ....

May not be as it becomes masculine ?

Merci Madame Cécile ! The tip you gave cleared my query. 

Bonne journée ! À bientôt !

A typo in the lesson. Personne n’est encore arrivé. Shouldn’t it be arrivée with an ‘accorded’ “e” as personne is feminine ? Merci !

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Whoops my question got cut off... personne ne soit capable de se passer de son portable. Why use subjunctive?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Yes Victoria, as I suspected to indicate the doubt.

Il semblerait que ...= it would seem that...

Hope this helps!

CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Victoria, 

What is the verb that precedes ...personne... as it is probably the reason why the subjunctive is used?

"Il semberait que, personne ne soit capable de se passer de son portable"

So, it's the il semblerait que that makes the following verb subjunctive, yes? Thank you!

Whoops my question got cut off... personne ne soit capable de se passer de son portable. Why use subjunctive?

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Use of subjunctive after personne ne in this phrase from writing challenge:

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super star
already answered.
Merci Cécile :)

Use of subjunctive after personne ne in this phrase from writing challenge:

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Rien n'arrive

Why is rien n'arrive considered incorrect for ' nothing happened' while the lesson gives the same phrase as an example
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Meghna ! "Rien n'arrive" is in the present tense, so would be "Nothing happens/is happening", but not the past tense "Nothing happened" :) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Rien n'arrive

Why is rien n'arrive considered incorrect for ' nothing happened' while the lesson gives the same phrase as an example

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Question about some translations in this lesson

I am confused as to when to use the present tense vs. the passe compose. For example: Rien n'est arrivé. Nothing has arrived.Nothing has happened. It is to do with the use of "has". For Rien n'est arrivé. Nothing has arrived.Nothing has happened. Why not Nothing arrived.Nothing happened. Or, why not say Rien n' arrive
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Melody ! Actually in this case, I agree that "Nothing happened/arrived" would be a more common translation. However, you could also use "Nothing has happened", as Le Passé Composé overlaps both Present Perfect and Simple Past. If you said "Rien n'arrive", it would mean either "Nothing happens/arrives" or "Nothing is happening/arriving". You can also have a look at this lesson: Using 'depuis' (since / for) with Le Présent and NOT Le Passé Composé (prepositions of time) I hope that's helpful ! Bonne Année !

Question about some translations in this lesson

I am confused as to when to use the present tense vs. the passe compose. For example: Rien n'est arrivé. Nothing has arrived.Nothing has happened. It is to do with the use of "has". For Rien n'est arrivé. Nothing has arrived.Nothing has happened. Why not Nothing arrived.Nothing happened. Or, why not say Rien n' arrive

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personne vs. aucun(e) redux

i just got a quiz question: (B1 quiz) Ont-ils répondu ? - Oui. ___ n'est intéressé. (Have they answered ? - Yes. None (of them) are interested.) The choices were: Aucune Aucune d'entre elles Aucun Aucun d'entre eux Personne The correct answers were: Aucun Aucun d'entre eux This seems to contradict Laura's answer to a previous question; Personne means "no one" in French while aucun means "none" - the latter is used for things, not people. So, according to this, the correct answer should be "personne". I remain confused about aucun (ne) vs. personne (ne). Halp!
Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Melody, Thanks for pointing out this inconsistency. Aurélie and I will talk about it and get back to you. :-)

personne vs. aucun(e) redux

i just got a quiz question: (B1 quiz) Ont-ils répondu ? - Oui. ___ n'est intéressé. (Have they answered ? - Yes. None (of them) are interested.) The choices were: Aucune Aucune d'entre elles Aucun Aucun d'entre eux Personne The correct answers were: Aucun Aucun d'entre eux This seems to contradict Laura's answer to a previous question; Personne means "no one" in French while aucun means "none" - the latter is used for things, not people. So, according to this, the correct answer should be "personne". I remain confused about aucun (ne) vs. personne (ne). Halp!

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Why don't we change arrivé to be female form for passe composé with personne which is feminine?

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Melissa, This one is tricky: "une personne" meaning "one person" is indeed a feminine word, BUT "personne" meaning "no one/nobody" is actually a masculine indefinite pronoun. I know, right! I hope that's helpful ;)
Thanks so much

Why don't we change arrivé to be female form for passe composé with personne which is feminine?

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RuxC1

Personne vs. Aucun(e) - please explain

What is the difference between Aucun(e) and Personne. For example, in the test, why do you translate "Nobody spoke" with "Personne n'a parle" but consider incorrect "Aucun n'a parle"?
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Rux, Personne means "no one" in French while aucun means "none" - the latter is used for things, not people.

Personne vs. Aucun(e) - please explain

What is the difference between Aucun(e) and Personne. For example, in the test, why do you translate "Nobody spoke" with "Personne n'a parle" but consider incorrect "Aucun n'a parle"?

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