ne pas

In the book I'm reading theres this line:

Harry fut supris de ne pas voir de marbre.

Is there a difference with that, than with this:

Harry fuit supris de ne voir pas de marbre.

...if its even correct to say? Overall I'm curious why voir is not inside ne pas?

September 23, 2017


Only the first way is correct. It happens whenever the verb you are negating is in the infinitive form.

"Le prof m'a dit de ne pas courir." (Teacher told me not to run)

"Harry fut surpris de ne pas le voir." (Harry was surprised not to see it)

"C'est facile de ne rien faire." (It's easy to do nothing)

"Harry fut surpris de ne voir pas de marbre" sounds like an old-fashion sentence from a few centuries ago. In modern French for sure you would use the first version.

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