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I just saw the following sentence in my notes, but I am convinced it is wrong : 'Tu ne te promènes souvent.'

I know some works can be used instead of pas like plus, but I am betting souvent is not one of them.

I found a list of such possible words in an article: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/negative-adverbs/ and it feels complete (using many words I never saw before). Is it?


The list, for reference:

ne … pas du tout

ne … pas encore

ne … pas non plus

ne … pas toujours

ne … aucunement

ne … guère

ne … jamais

ne … nullement

ne … nulle part

ne … plus

ne … point

ne … que

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  • It should be: Tu ne te promènes pas souvent. So, you are right, it was wrong in your notebook.
    – Lambie
    Dec 29, 2021 at 18:41

1 Answer 1

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All the words that can be used as the second part of a negation have a negative meaning on their own. So indeed souvent cannot be one.

I can't think of another common negative adverb. There are also negative words that aren't adverbs, in particular pronouns like rien, personne, aucun(e)(s), and the indefinite adjective aucun(e)(s).

Je n'ai lu aucun livre de Hugo.   (I haven't read any book by Hugo.)
Cela ne me gène d'aucune manière.   (This does not bother me in any way. — a somewhat old-fashioned way to say it, “Cela ne me gène pas du tout” is more idiomatic in modern French.)

Don't bother learning compounds like “pas encore”, “jamais plus”, etc. The adverb “encore” is not part of the negation at all so it doesn't make sense to list “pas encore” separately from “pas”. And you can use multiple adverbs if needed, e.g. “nejamais plus” = “no longer” (lit. “not ever any more”).

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  • The page in question is on negative adverbs. Rien is a negative pronoun, so it's on another page (along with personne): lawlessfrench.com/grammar/negative-pronouns
    – lkl
    Mar 22, 2022 at 14:18
  • @lkl Ah, yes, good point, the question was about negative words in general and I hadn't noticed that the list cited by the question was deliberately limited to adverbs. Mar 22, 2022 at 14:58

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