21 votes
Accepted

Can the negators "jamais, rien, personne, plus, ni, aucun" be used in a single sentence?

Using all six of them, you can say, for instance: Rien ni personne ne pourrait plus jamais me faire croire en aucune de ses belles paroles. À partir de maintenant, je vais m'efforcer de ne plus ...
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15 votes

Expressing the negation of a statement that uses quantifiers

A structure in which you quantify "all" members of a set and then use a negated verb is also confusing in languages other than French. The problem is where the negation applies. Would you ...
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  • 17.1k
14 votes

Omission of “ne” in “ne … personne”

Indeed, "ne" can always be omitted in spoken French ("ne ... que", "ne ... jamais", ...). If you are trying to speak or write in a formal way however, I would recommend never to omit it in an ...
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  • 4,445
14 votes
Accepted

Does jamais mean always or never in this context?

Using "... ne ... jamais que X", in conversation you can say something like: Tout ce qui sort de sa bouche, ce ne sont jamais que des excuses pour se la couler douce. Grammar-wise (...
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13 votes
Accepted

Why is the "pas" here left out?

Until the 17th century ne on its own used to be enough to negate a verb and pas was optional. The use of ne isolated (without the negative adverb) can still found in Classical French (Voltaire, La ...
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  • 56.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Non, pas, non pas

Les trois possibilités sont correctes, chacune dans leur contexte propre. Les deux premières possibilités diffèrent par leur registre de langue : la première est commune, fréquente à l'oral, la ...
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11 votes
Accepted

How does "plus" makes the sentence negative?

The grammatically correct sentence is : alors tu ne te bouches plus les oreilles ne is often omitted in the spoken language when using the negation form. ne plus literally means not anymore / ...
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  • 1,008
11 votes
Accepted

When/why is "ne" used by itself in dependent clauses?

Right after posting the question, I discovered that this is the ne explétif (Expletive ne), which is "used without being needed for the meaning or syntax of a sentence." according to Le Petit Robert ...
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10 votes
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Using ne + plus que vs. ne + que

Using "plus" in this case indicates that at some other time you were also missing other things. For example: "Il ne manquait que X et Y et maintenant il ne manque plus que X."
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  • 1,342
10 votes
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"Il n'est" without "pas": ne littéraire?

I'm going to give my perception as an “ordinary” native (of France). Specialists of French language, French language history and French teaching may have a different point of view. I've never heard ...
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9 votes
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Construct with "personne" and "pas"

The correct translation is indeed Personne n'est arrivé And as you correctly deducted, "personne" already has a negative meaning so you shouldn't combine it with "pas" (but keeping the ne or in ...
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  • 5,157
9 votes
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Why don't “des”, “de la”, “du” always become “de” in negative sentences?

"Je ne bois pas de vin" is a generic statement : I don't drink wine, I don't like the taste. It's often said alone, you don't really need to add what you drink instead (and you probably don't always ...
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8 votes
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La tournure « Pas tout le monde (ne) peut… » est-elle correcte ?

Une piste qui semblerait probante est l'utilisation de « pas ». Wiktionary en donne trois définitions : Négation d'un verbe : Tu ne manges pas. Je ne veux pas travailler. Tu n'as pas idée. ...
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  • 4,445
8 votes
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Est-il acceptable d'omettre « pas » ou « point » après un verbe à la forme négative sans complément ?

L'article wiktionnaire sur pas indique : Étymologie (Nom) Du latin passus (« pas, enjambée, marche » ou « trace de pas »). (Adverbe) De l’usage en ancien français d’ajouter un ...
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  • 3,863
8 votes
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Placement of ne and pas to mean “What have you not done?”

“Qu'as fait tu ?” is not correct. According to francaisfacile.com (emphasis mine), in questions: On conjugue un verbe impérativement en plaçant le pronom sujet a) après le verbe aux temps ...
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8 votes

Differentiating "I must not" and "I don't have to" ?

Native French speaker here. I can understand why you're confused: when I learned English, I was surprised at how clear the distinctions were... and still they were hard for me to remember. "Il ne ...
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  • 263
8 votes
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Quelle différence entre « ce n'est pas » et « c'est pas » ?

Ce n'est pas ... est la forme correcte. C'est pas ... est une forme du langage courant qu'il ne faut surtout pas utiliser à l'écrit (dans un cadre professionnel ou scolaire). En revanche, à l'...
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  • 3,705
8 votes

« Aucune nouvelle » ou « aucune nouvelles » ?

La deuxième phrase doit s'écrire: Je n'ai reçu aucunes nouvelles d'elle. Il n'y a pas de différence de signification, mais dans le deuxième cas, on considère que nouvelles est toujours au pluriel ...
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  • 132k
8 votes

"Plus" vs "un peu plus"?

There is rarely an ambiguity in writing because a negative sentence contains the particle ne, whereas a positive sentence doesn't. Je veux plus [plys] de soupe.   (I want more soup, s is sounded.) ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Pourquoi peut-on avoir deux « ne » dans la même phrase ?

C'est en fait une faute: la forme correcte est il n'en est rien. C'est une faute courante, parce qu'à l'oral, on fait la liaison entre "en" et "est", ce qui induit à penser qu'il doit y avoir un "ne" ...
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  • 17k
8 votes

Differences between “pas vrai ?”, “c’est ça ?”, “hein ?”, and “n’est-ce pas ?”

The translation for each would be pas vrai - no way (when being astonished, not very formal) or right (common) c'est ça - is that it (common) n'est-il pas - isn't it (formal) "Hein" doesn't really ...
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  • 600
8 votes
Accepted

Why "c'est plus pareil" translates to "It's not the same" ?

The first part of split negatives (ne) tend to disappear in French, so c'est plus pareil is simply the spoken French version of ce n'est plus pareil ("it's no longer the same"). Here plus is ...
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  • 132k
7 votes
Accepted

French styles for negative statements

La négation ne ... pas encadre le verbe : Ce n' est pas encore huit heures. Il n' est pas content. En langage familier, surtout à l'oral, il arrive qu'on omette le ne. Il est conseillé de ne pas ...
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  • 56.9k
7 votes
Accepted

What does a sentence starting with "pas" mean?

Pas can be taken here as the second term of a split negative where the first part is not expressed but just implicit. You might interpret the sentence as: [Il n'y a] pas d'arrivée après 22h. or ...
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  • 132k
7 votes
Accepted

Distinguishing between “ne... que” vs. “ne (littéraire)... que”

Your understanding is correct, and Nico Mezeret's rule of thumb is actually the correct answer. Litterary form This is the dated/litterary form of "ne" (actually "ne … pas" with &...
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  • 4,445
7 votes
Accepted

Can "ne... pas que" mean "Not only"?

Yes you can. "Not only" means literally "pas seulement" in french. Je ne mange pas seulement des pommes Is correct. But if you don't use the "mais" (meaning "but&...
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  • 283
7 votes
Accepted

Négation avec « point »

Point n'est plus vraiment utilisé aujourd'hui en France, en dehors d'usages régionaux ou littéraires. C'est une variante de pas, comme goutte, mie et autres (voir Why does French use a "split ...
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  • 132k
7 votes
Accepted

“Je vais pas” vs “je ne vais pas”

The "subject + ne + verb + pas" is the correct way to say it, but the "subject + verb + pas" is the informal way to say it. Example : I am not a boy Will be translated in a formal way by Je ...
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7 votes

Differences between “pas vrai ?”, “c’est ça ?”, “hein ?”, and “n’est-ce pas ?”

"hein?" is a very informal sound-word. It is used a bit like the Canadian "eh?" at the end of sentences. It can also be used like the English "what?" to mark surprise, disbelief. -On se voit à ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Ne littéraire or something else

The second clause “n'empêche” is indeed negative. (And the third clause “ne soit” isn't, this one is a ne explétif.) There is no particular set of verbs with which the “ne littéraire” can be used. ...
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