French Negation in 3 Tenses


Common Ways to use French Negation

When you want to make an affirmative statement or question negative, you need to do a little more than the way we do it in English.  In this lesson, you will learn some of the most commonly used forms of negation in the present, passé composé, and futur proche tenses.


👉 This written lesson accompanies my video tutorial at the bottom of this post 👈

French negation has two parts:  NE goes before the verb, and PAS or another form of negation goes after the verb (see the chart and examples below).

*In informal spoken French, NE is very commonly left out.  For example, someone might say Je sais pas (I don’t know) instead of Je ne sais pas.  

* When there’s an indefinite article like UN – UNE or a partitive article like  DU – DE LA – DES being used to mean SOME after a negative, the article changes to DE or D’.  We do the same  sort of thing in English when the word SOME changes to ANYDo you have some money?  No, I don’t have any money.  Tu as de l’argent? Non, je n’ai pas d’argent. 

EXAMPLES

NE (VERB) PASSIMPLY NEGATES THE VERB

PRESENT: 
Je ne vois pas mes amis.
I do not see my friends.

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Je n’ai pas vu mes amis.
I did not see my friends.

FUTUR PROCHE:   Je ne vais pas voir mes amis.
I am not going to see my friends.
NE (VERB) JAMAISNEVER

PRESENT:  
Je ne vois jamais mes amis.
I never see my friends. 

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Je n’ai jamais vu mes amis.
I never saw my friends.

FUTUR PROCHE:  
Je ne vais jamais voir mes amis.
I am never going to see my friends.
NE (VERB) RIENNOTHING / ANYTHING

PRESENT:  
Je ne vois rien. 
I do not see anything. I see nothing. 

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Je n’ai rien vu.
I did not see anything.I saw nothing.

FUTUR PROCHE:  
Je ne vais rien voir.
I am not going to see anything.
NE (VERB) PERSONNEANYONE / NOBODY

PRESENT:  
Je ne vois personne.
I do not see anyone.I see nobody.

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ: 
Je n’ai vu personne.
I did not see anyone.I saw nobody. 

FUTUR PROCHE:  
Je ne vais voir personne.
I am not going to see anyone.
NE (VERB) QUEONLY

PRESENT: 
Je ne vois que mes amis.
I only see my friends.

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Je n’ai vu que mes amis.
I only saw my friends.

FUTUR PROCHE: 
Je ne vais voir que mes amis.
I am only going to see my friends.
NE (VERB) PLUSANYMORE

PRESENT:  
Je ne vois plus mes amis. 
I do not see my friends anymore.

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Je n’ai plus vu mes amis.
I didn’t see my friends anymore.

FUTUR PROCHE:  
Je ne vais plus voir mes amis.
I am not going to see my friends anymore.
NE (VERB) PAS ENCORENOT YET

PRESENT:  
Je ne vois pas encore mes amis. 
I do not see my friends yet. 

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Je n’ai pas encore vu mes amis.
I have not yet seen my friends.

*The futur proche is not possible using pas encore
PERSONNE NE (VERB)

*Personne can take the place of a
subject and ne follows it. 
NOBODY

PRESENT:  
Personne ne voit mes amis.
Nobody sees my friends. 

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Personne n’a vu mes amis.
Nobody saw my friends.

FUTUR PROCHE:  
Personne ne va voir mes amis.
Nobody is going to see my friends.
RIEN NE (VERB)

*Rien can take the place of a subject
and ne follows it. 
NOTHING

PRESENT:  
Rien n’est perdu.
Nothing is lost. 

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ:  
Rien n’a été perdu.
Nothing was lost.

FUTUR PROCHE:  
Rien ne va être perdu.
Nothing is going to be lost.

Level A2 – French Negation in 3 Tenses – Full Course

In this course I will teach you to reply to affirmative statements and questions using 9 different common types of negation. I’ll show you how to use them in the present, passé composé, and futur proche tenses, and you’ll have loads of resources to help you practice and master your new skill!

STEP 1: Download your «COURS» and have it ready to take notes, write rules, and write examples during the lesson. This is an outline of the study guide in STEP 2, but this way you can put pen to paper and enrich your learning experience.

STEP 2: Download your 8 page study guide that includes everything from the video lesson in written form.

STEP 3: Watch my 30 minute video tutorial and take notes.

STEP 4: Complete three worksheets in three tenses. Check your work with the answer keys. These exercises will prepare you for the following steps.

STEP 5: Complete a fill in the blank exercise in which all three tenses are included. Check your work with the answer key.

STEP 6: This is a scrambled sentences activity that will require you to put ALL of the words provided in order to for correct sentences using negation. Be sure to use all of the words, and pay close attention to grammar while doing it. An answer key is provided.

STEP 7: Challenge your knowledge of simple negation NE…PAS with this set of 50 numbered practice cards to master your new skill in three tenses. Check your work with the numbered answer key. I encourage you to SPEAK your answers. One set has one card per page for easy online use with no printing. The second set has four cards per page if you prefer to print, cut out, and laminate for an easy to use activity that you can pull out at any time. I recommend punching holes and hooking them together with a ring!

STEP 8: Audio: Practice your listening comprehension with this recording using simple negation. The sentences you will hear are the same 50 you practiced with your set of cards in STEP 7. I will ask each question twice, you’ll have some time to speak your answer using negation, then I will speak the answer.

STEP 9: Challenge your knowledge of ALL NINE WAYS to use negation with this set of 50 numbered practice cards to master your new skill in three tenses. Check your work with the numbered answer key. Again, I encourage you to SPEAK your answers.

STEP 10: Audio: Practice your listening comprehension with this recording with ALL NINE WAYS to use negation. The sentences you will hear are the same 50 you practiced with your set of cards in STEP 9. I will ask each question twice, you’ll have some time to speak your answer using negation, then I will speak the answer.



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