1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. Ne...Personne



If I want to say "nobody knows me here," I'd say "Personne ne me connaît ici." That makes sense, as I've already learned about how "ne" can take other words besides "pas." In this case, "personne" seems to be that word.

What I don't understand, is if "personne" is considered the subject. In order to have a sentence, there must always be a subject. If "personne" is paired with "ne," than we could restructure it to say "Ne me connaît personne ici," which is not a full sentence.

Therefore, when "personne" comes before "ne" does "personne" automatically become a subject?

Is it still considered partnered with "ne?" Or, is it now its own separate thing/subject, and we have one of those rare times when "ne" doesn't have a partner?

Merci d'avance!

March 27, 2018


  • 1132

"Personne" is indeed the subject and also part of the negative sentence structure. The only way to restructure the sentence while keeping the same meaning as far as I can tell would be "on ne me connaît pas ici" or "je ne suis connu(e) de/par personne ici" but that latter one is awkward IMO. "Ne me connaît personne ici" is completely nonsensical.

"Rien" works similarly, e.g. "rien ne me plaît" (nothing pleases me), "rien n'est arrivé" (nothing happened) etc...


You can look at it another way: "(ne) personne" is a pronoun, and pronouns can be an object of a verb or the subject of a sentence.

In "Je ne connais personne ici," "personne" is the object of the verb "connais." In "Personne ne me connaît ici," it is the subject of the sentence.


"Je connais", without circumflex, but I had to check here to see exactly when it is needed!



Sorry to everyone for the late thank you, but I fell off Duolingo for a while - All your answers are very helpful, and they are much appreciated! :)

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