1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I never understand why."

"I never understand why."

Translation:Je ne comprends jamais pourquoi.

March 3, 2018



I no understand never why?? Where is the "pas" that accompanies the "ne"?


In this case the negation is "ne...jamais" instead of "ne...pas". "Ne...jamais" means "never".

Je ne comprends pas pourquoi. = I do not understand why.
Je ne comprends jamais pourquoi. = I never understand why.


all negatives work with two words

ne … pas.
ne … plus.
ne … jamais.
ne … rien.
ne … personne.
ne … aucune.

Double negation

In French two negatives usually make a stronger negative. Double negation is very common in French, particularly informal French. However, there are some rules and regulations when using double negatives in French.

Double negation with ne... pas

When ne... pas is used in a double negative with rien , it negates rien so that the meaning is "not nothing":


Ce n'est pas rien - It's not nothing (It's something)

However, note that ne... pas cannot be used with aucun , jamais , or personne .

Wrong: Je n'ai pas aucun ami.
Right: Je n'ai aucun ami. - I have no friends.

Wrong: Je ne veux pas jamais grandir.
Right: Je ne veux jamais grandir. - I never want to grow up.


Thanks a ton for such a helpful answer ! :)

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.