Where do we put the "ne ... pas" in a negative passive sentence?

For example, for

Le chat attrape la souris.

the passive would be

La souris est attrapée par le chat.

What if I want to say “Le chat n'attrape pas la souris”. How to make the passive voice?

And what about other tenses (especially compound ones)?

  • You should write one question per topic, one about the negative, and the other about reflexive verbs, even if the passive is concerned in both questions, it is not sufficient to merge questions & answers.
    – None
    Dec 13, 2015 at 8:04
  • Jouer du piano. See. The fact that it is a passive voice has no influence on the negative, you still have to place the negation on each side of the auxiliary (here être). See.
    – None
    Dec 13, 2015 at 8:32
  • Not all verbs can be in the passive voice, which is the case for se souvenir (if my memory does not fail me).
    – None
    Dec 13, 2015 at 8:39
  • Please ask about passive voice for pronominal verbs in a separate question. Dec 13, 2015 at 9:18
  • 2
    @StéphaneGimenez but jouer du piano can be in used in the passive voice - it's just a matter of no agent being given. lorsque le piano est joué, le piano est joué quotidiennement, etc.
    – None
    Dec 13, 2015 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


The negative form of a passive sentence obeys the same rule as when the verb is not in its infinitif form and is composé which thing means the negation ne ... pas must wrap the auxiliaire.

  • Le chat attrape la souris ⇒ La souris n'est pas attrapée par le chat
  • Le chat attrapait la souris ⇒ La souris n'était pas attrapée par le chat
  • Le chat attrapera la souris ⇒ La souris ne sera pas attrapée par le chat

In all two-verb forms(1) ne precedes the first verb and pas follows it.

La souris n'est pas attrapée

Je ne suis pas monté

Elle n'aura pas terminé

(1) Including both helping verb + past participle (passive voice, passé composé, and all compound tenses/moods) as well as semi-auxiliary verb + infinitive (je ne veux pas aller, il n'aime pas danser, etc)

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