Position of negation with two verbs (conjugated + infinitive)

Look at these negative complex sentences:

Tu ne veux pas venir ce soir ?
Don't you want to come tonight?

Je ne vais plus faire ton travail pour toi.
I'm not going to do your work for you anymore.

Elle ne viendra jamais voir sa pièce.
She will never come to see his play.

Nous ne savions pas lire avant.
We couldn't read before.

 

Note that in sentences with both a conjugated verb AND an infinitive, the negations ne...pas / ne...jamais / ne...plus etc are placed on each side of the conjugated verb.

You CANNOT say : Tu ne veux venir pas ce soir. 

 

ATTENTION: You can say : Tu peux ne pas venir. but in that case, it means ''You can NOT come, you're allowed not to come.''

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elle ne viendra jamais voir sa pièce.
She will never come to see his play.


Je ne vais plus faire ton travail pour toi.
I'm not going to do your work for you anymore.


Tu ne veux pas venir ce soir ?
Don't you want to come tonight?


Nous ne savions pas lire avant.
We couldn't read before.


Elle ne peut pas chanter.
She can't sing.


Je ne veux pas jouer.
I don't want to play.


Q&A

Lewis

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

2 replies

Correction of conjugated verb

The test question: My mates are not going to celebrate the new year.

HINT: Use Le Futur Proche

I wrote: Mes potes n'iront pas célébrer la nouvelle année.

Correct answer: Mes potes ne vont pas célébrer la nouvelle année.

If 'vont' is Le Présent and 'iront' is Le Futur, then why would my answer be incorrect?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

1 August 2018

1/08/18

Hi Lewis,


The futur proche is constructed by the conjuaged form of "aller" + infinitive:


Je vais célébrer. -- I am going to celebrate.
Ils vont célébrer. -- They are going to celebrate.


-- Chris.

Lewis

Kwiziq community member

1 August 2018

1/08/18

Ok, I see the problem now. I used 'iront' which is futur presént, and completely forgot about the three A1 lessons on futur proche. Thanks.

Sue

Kwiziq community member

17 April 2018

1 reply

Why is it ‘ne devrions fumer plus’ when there is a conjugated and an infinitive?

Alicia

Kwiziq community member

17 April 2018

17/04/18

Hi Sue,


What is your question exactely ? Is it about the verbal forms?


The correct way to say it is 'Nous ne devrions plus fumer' (Nous ne devrions plus + inf)
Do we say 'She shouldn't smokes anymore'
Je te laisse réfléchir à tout ça (I let you think!)

Sue

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

1 reply

Why is the future tense suggested and then not used in the given answer.?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

12/02/18

Which sentence are you referring to?


-- Chris. 

Dingdong

Kwiziq community member

9 January 2018

2 replies

'Nous ne savions pas lire avant' why we use indicatif imparfait of 'savoir' in here ?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2018

10/01/18

The imperfect tense is used because it refers to a longer lasting state as kind of a background description.
Another example:


Nous avions froid et faim à cette époque-là.
We were cold and hungry those days. 

Hier nous avons eu faim donc on est rentrés. 
Yesterday we were hungry, so we returned.

In the first example the description is about a longer lasting state and describes sets the scene for maybe a further statement whatever might have happened then.
In the second example it is about getting hungry and then returning, i.e., two occurences which both describe what HAPPENED (i.e., an action) and not what WAS (i.e., a state of being).

I hope that helps,
-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 January 2018

10/01/18

Let me take a look at that...