In Grammar By Victoria

Negation in English

Any suggestions in English — declarative, interrogative, imperative — can be either affirmative or negative (for more details on the types of proposals described in the article «Types of sentences in the English language»). But if the statement is more or less clear that the denial of the English language should be clarified. It is necessary to remember by what means is expressed in denial, the use of any means of structures and how different from the same dimension in the Russian language.


How to express negation in English?

Negative suggestions in the English language are formed by means of certain linguistic elements. The most important element of negation in English is a particle not. To put it follows the auxiliary or modal verb. If more auxiliaries, after the first one.

He will not go to the party. — He will not go to the party.

We have not discussed this question yet. — We have not discussed this issue.

In addition to the particle for expressing negation in English in a simple present and past tense (Present Simple and Past Simple), use the auxiliary verb do / does / did accordingly.

She does not want us to join her. — She does not want us to join.

I did not expect you to come so early. — I do not expect you to come so early.

If as a predicate in a sentence The used verb be, the auxiliary verb is required. The same applies to the verb have, unless it is modal in this case, or does not form stable combinations. However, in American English, the verb to have to express negation also made ​​use of the auxiliary verb do.

You are not a man of my life. — You’re not the man of my life.

You have no friends in this city. — You do not have any friends in this city. — You have no friends in this town. (both variants are correct)

Also note that the particle can not apply to non-personal form of the verb.

Not feeling well, she decided to stay at home. — She decided to stay home, because felt bad.

To express negation in English, apart from the main element — particles not — you can use other words. These include: negative pronouns (no, nodody, nothing, nowhere, none); Union neither … nor; adverbs hardly, scarcely, never; excuse without.

At this stage, I do not cite examples of these words for one reason — to properly use them, one needs to know the most important feature of negation in English. This feature concerns multiple denial, a phenomenon that is very common in Russian. Take the Russian proposal, «She’s never not tell him anything.»

It is normally offer a free being in Russian. This, for example, your promise to another person not to open his secret. The proposal co-exist without problems three negation: adverbs, pronouns and particles. If we translate it in English, we get something incredible. We try? She will never not tell him nothing.

Of course, the same sentence can be said in another way, but I was offered a tracing to show that the grammatical structure of the English language is fundamentally wrong. No matter how many denials were not in the Russian version in English will be only one. And you can choose what it is «negative» you’re using, but only one. Here is the same sentence:

  • She will never tell him anything.
  • She will not tell him anything then.
  • She will tell him nothing.

As you can see, all the other «negative» elements of the proposal in addition to the main expressed by pronouns on any.

All these examples of negation in English is fully spelled out, without the presence of the reduced form. And they are, and they should know:

  • do / does / did + not = do not / does not / did not
  • am / is / are + not = is not / is not / are not
  • was / were + not = was not / were not
  • have / has / had + not = have not / has not / had not
  • shall / will + not = shall not / will not
  • should / would + not = should not / would not
  • can / could + not = can not / could not

 

Grammar

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