Please could someone kindly explain what's going on in this sentence?

« Je n'ai voyagé qu'une seule fois en première classe. »

Shouldn't it be...

« J'ai voyagé qu'une seule fois en première classe. »

Have a missed something when learning negations? Why is the 'n' used to signal a negation without a corresponding adverb?

October 6, 2017


ne que is a way of saying only, though you can also say seulement.

There is also ne plus which means anymore, ne rien which means nothing, and ne aucun which means none.

As above, but in colloquial French it is possible to hear it without the 'ne', but this is casual and should not be done in written or more formal French. If I'm speaking to my boyfriend for example, I would say 'J'ai pas faim' and not 'Je n'ai pas faim', but if i were writing it in a more formal context I would not drop the 'ne'. Hope that makes sense! I know it's not exactly what you asked but I thought you might find it interesting :)

I also notice in some songs they use contractions even if the next word isn't beginning with a vowel. For example j'vais or j'veux. Obviously, you don't use this in formal French. Thanks for the note.

I'd somehow not encountered ne que before. Thanks!

I shall try to explain with my poor English. To my understanding, it's the same as say in English: "I have not traveled but once in first class". Thus, you are using negation in order to negate that you have traveled more than once in first class.

It`s the same in Spanish "Yo no he viajado más que una sola vez en primera clase".

Best regards.

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