6.1.1 Simple negation ne ... pas

The French negation is always a compound construction with the negative particle ne and an a supplement. This construction will be a stable one, even though at the beginning it might feel a bit strange.

  declarative sentence negative sentence
Je veux. Je ne veux pas.
  I want. I do not want.
Je sais. Je ne sais pas.
  I know. I do not know.
Je vais. Je ne vais pas.
  I go. I do not go.

We see the simple French negation of a declarative clause is formed with ne...pas, with the verb in the middle of ne and pas. When thinking about the verbs, we remember that there may be several verbs in a clause, some conjugated or just the infinitive. The basic rule where to put the ne and pas is simple: it is always the first conjugated verb that is enclosed by ne and pas.There are only few exceptions, which we discuss later.

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