posted by Anonymous .
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.
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
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?
vous pouvez ne pas nous donner une pomme is correct too but
True, but he probably didn't mean that, true?
Merci beaucoup Mme SraJMcGin et mk-tintin