"I want nothing to drink."
Translation:Je ne veux rien à boire.
No, it translate as "to drink", don't confuse the infinitive form with how boire is constructed in an actual sentence.
Me too. It all just seems so arbitrary. Like sometimes it can just be "pas" then other times just "ne" then both. WTF!
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)
Note that ne... pas cannot be used with aucun , jamais , or personne .
il n'a aucun ami.- he has no friends.
Elle n'a aucun frère. - she does not have any brothers.
Je ne veux jamais grandir. - I never want to grow up.
Je n'ai vu personne. - I didn't see anyone.
How do you know which article to use before an infinitive or indeed if to use any article? I.e. I went for rien DE boire rather than rien À boire because I just didn't know which one.
Je veux boire de l'eau - I want to drink some water doesn't require a preposition between the two verbs
However, in the sentence je ne veux rien à boire, rien acts as a noun.
when rien is followed by a passive infinitive (a passive infinitive is where the subject receives the action) the structure is:
rien + à + passive infinitive
and generally when rien is followed by an adjective, the structure is:
rien + de + adjective
rien de pareil / rien de tel - nothing like it
Rien de neuf - nothing new
Rien d’intéressant - nothing interesting.
Rien de bon - nothing good
Il n’y avait rien d’intéressant dans le magasin. - There was nothing interesting in the store.
je ne cherche rien de précis - I am not looking for anything specific
il n’a rien dit de nouveau - he didn’t say anything new.
Presque rien d’autre - almost nothing else.
n'avoir rien à se mettre - to have nothing to wear
je n‘ai rien à fair - have nothing to do
Je n'ai rien à ajouter. - I do not have anything to add.
Je n'ai rien à cacher. - I have nothing to hide
il n’y a rien à voir ici. - There is nothing to see here
il n'ya rien à acheter - there is nothing to buy.
rien à declarer - nothing to declare.
rien à dire - nothing to say.
rien à manger - nothing to eat je ne veux rien à boire - I don't want anything to drink
In general when you have the structures:
adjective + preposition + passive infinitive.
noun + preposition + passive infinitive.
then the preposition is à
Je ne peux rien lui refuser - I cannot refuse him anything
the reason is because of the following: construct for using the verb refuser is:
refuser queleque chose à quelqu’un - to refuse someone something
when you have a modal verb + acting verb the pronouns go before the verb that they refer to. For example.
Je veux lui donner un cadeau. - I want to give him a present.
Je ne veux pas lui donner un cadeau - I don't want to give him a present
Je ne veux rien lui donner pour sa anniversaire - I don't want to give him anything for his birthday.
I typed answer je ne veux boire rien. It was marked wrong. Suggested answer was je ne veux rien boire!
Help...isn't rien 'nothing'. How is this not a double negative? I don't want nothing to drink...Therefore, I want something to drink? Help.
Only English seems to take a mathematical approach to negation (2 neg = pos). In French, like other languages, more neg =ust means neg. Intensity rules.