The negative form - Free english lesson
Chapter Word order in simple sentences


The negative sentence expresses non existence, it allows denial of an action or fact.
It is formed in the following way : subject + auxiliary do + not + verb + object
I do not like fish.
(I → subject ; do → auxiliary ; not ; like → verb ; fish → object)
They did not know what happened.
(They → subject ; did → auxiliary do in the past tense form ; not ; know → verb, what happened → object)

Not indicates the negation.
The auxiliary do and the negation not can be contracted :
I / You do not → I / You don't
He / She / It does not → He / She / It doesn't
We / You / They do not → We / You / They don't
The contracted forms are informal forms. We use them in dialogues or in familiar letters written to friends. They are very frequent in speaking.
The non contracted forms are used in more formal contexts (letter of motivation, novel). They are very frequent in writing.

A negative sentence has only a negation that is why in a sentence having already a negation, we use « any » instead of « no » and « ever » instead of « never ».
Don't ever touch the fire.
I don't have any information.


We follow the same rule after the adverbs hardly, barely, scarcely that are considered negative terms.
There was hardly anybody on the beach.

In all the cases (except for the special case of « to be ») the negative form has by all means an auxiliary.


Progress in english with the story of the Lacoste family.
1 episode, 10 questions, 1 correction :