Posted by Anonymous on Friday, April 25, 2008 at 12:35pm.
I just want to make absolutely sure that I now properly understand this:
I know how to use negation in a simple sentence. No problem.
I still am a bit shaky on sentences with two verbs; if I understood you correctly, then when a negative sentence has two verbs, both parts of the negative go before the verb that is in the infinitive.
Thus, if I wanted to say: "you cannot give us an apple", I would say:
"vous pouvez ne pas nous donner une pomme" IS THAT CORRECT???
(earlier I would have put it this way "vous ne pouvez pas nous donner une pomme" which, according to what I think you said, would be incorrect.)
Thank you once again for your help and clarification.
French-Mme SraJMcGin - mk-tintin, Friday, April 25, 2008 at 1:01pm
negative form : ne + verbe conjugué + pas/plus....
ne + pas/plus ... + verbe à l'infinitif
so in your first sentence, the negative form refers to the verb "donner" = not to give
in your second sentence, the negative form refers to the verb "pouvoir" = cannot
French-Mme SraJMcGin - SraJMcGin, Friday, April 25, 2008 at 3:25pm
Let's hope it's clear now to you. You must determine if it is the "object" of the infinitive, as in the first example or of the main/conjugated verb. Therefore:
vous ne pouvez pas nous donner une pomme. = you CAN'T (can not) is the more likely choice.
Which sounds better to you: You are able not to give us OR You are not able to give us. Hopefully it's now easy to tell?
French-Mme SraJMcGin - mk-tintin, Friday, April 25, 2008 at 3:38pm
vous pouvez ne pas nous donner une pomme is correct too but
French-Mme SraJMcGin - mk-tintin, Friday, April 25, 2008 at 3:43pm
French-Mme SraJMcGin - Anonymous, Friday, April 25, 2008 at 4:47pm
Merci beaucoup Mme SraJMcGin et mk-tintin
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