Pas de problème.

Means: No problem. Here we are using pas do describe not.

Roksana a seize ans et elle ne va plus au lycée depuis deux semaines.

Means: Roksana is 16 years old and she not going more to the high school since two weeks. Here we are using ne do describe not.

Est-ce que c’est difficile de ne pas sortir ?

Means: Is it difficult to not go out? Here we are using ne pas to describe not.

Je ne veux pas

Means: I don't want Here we are using ne before the verb veux and pas after the verb veux do describe don't.


Does ne and pas have a different meaning? Can I say that ne = not and pas = no and ne <verb> pas = don't?

  • I would say that 'pas' in "pas de probleme" could be replaced by "aucun" (no). But when in "je ne veux pas", you cannot separate it from the "ne" and the verbe as the purpose here is to negate the statement "je veux".
    – OznOg
    Mar 20, 2021 at 20:02
  • @OznOg So all verbs need to habe ne and pas? But when isin't a verb, then I can use 'ne'?
    – euraad
    Mar 20, 2021 at 21:15
  • Actually, ne and pas should almost always be used together. Using pas alone to negate a verb is not grammatically correct (but very often used in casual conversations). You can say "Je ne vais y aller", this is correct and even quite "very formal". Do you have an example where you would like to use ne alone without verb?
    – OznOg
    Mar 20, 2021 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


There is no much point trying to find a specific meaning or direct match with an English word for these adverbs.

Ne and pas are used in negative statements, either alone or combined.

You translation of elle ne va plus au lycée depuis... by "she not going more to the high school" is weird. I'd rather expect: "she hasn't gone to the high school for..."

Anyway, formal French generally uses a split negative ne + another adverb like pas while spoken/casual French often drops the ne : elle va plus au lycée depuis...

See also:


What is the construction used in negating with "ne pas" (but not ne..pas)?

Ne pas, ne point, ne goutte

Why does French use a "split negative"?

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