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I some cases, we use the "ne" of negation but it doesn't refer to the negative meaning itself.

For instance, we say "je vais faire cela avant qu'il ne le fasse "

Why we use it and in which cases do we have to ?!

marked as duplicate by Stéphane Gimenez Jun 21 at 12:44

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This is called a ne explétif.

Using it is common in written French and non colloquial spoken French, but quite rare ortherwise.

It is only used in some cases of proposition subordonnée introduced by a conjunction using que.

Its origin is not clear but the most probable reason is that French followed the already existing usage in Latin.

The ne explétif is never mandatory and can be removed without affecting the meaning of the sentence.


"Ne" can be use as non-négative in sustained langage.

Ne explétif

Ne explétif, Expletive ne


Ne explétif

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