https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli

Double negation - negative items

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Hello! :)

It caught my attention there can sometimes exist three negative items in a negative French sentence; for example: 'Ce n'est pas rien. ' My first question is: do you know more of these negative items like 'rien', which can co-occur with 'ne' and 'pas'? My second question is: can 'jamais' ever be used in this construcion with both 'ne' and 'pas', considering it can mean both 'ever' and 'never'?

Thanks a lot!

October 16, 2014

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SussexSoleil

You will find the answer to your question about "jamais" here:

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/negation_double.htm

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli
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I did check this one out first; however, I do have my doubts this explanation is too descriptive. I want native speakers to confirm 'jamais' can never EVER be found together with 'ne' and 'pas', not even in sentence initial position. Thank you!

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SussexSoleil

Are you aware of this site? I've set the URL to point you at the usage of "ne".

http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/ne

I believe "pas" and "jamais" are mutually exclusive negative auxiliaries, but you may find some exception here.

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli
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Awesome, awesome, awesome website! Thanks a lot!! :))

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

There is no exception, no pas with jamais.

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli
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Never ever? Not even if 'jamais' occupies sentence initial position?

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

I thought we were talking about using it as part of the negative construction?

Anyway, the point is the same. No pas - http://www.linguee.com/english-french/search?source=auto=jamais

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

There are many forms of negation. Eventually you will get to the stage where you completely understand how to omit "ne". J'aime pas le Manchester United.

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli
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I am familiar with the colloquial omitting of 'ne', what I'm interested in are the negative items(adverbs, pronouns) which can be found in co-occurrence with 'ne' and 'pas'.

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

In concurrence? In any case, there are lists. Maybe I'm missing something but what's particularly interesting about this from a grammatical point of view? Is it the way they function?

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-occurrence

It would be interesting to research why 'personne' - co-occurring with 'ne' and 'pas' can occupy sentence initial position, while 'jamais' cannot; in other words, what prevents 'jamais' to behave like 'rien' or 'personne'? It is obviously not syntax, so it might be the semantics of these negative polarity items.

October 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

Ah apologies, I must have misread.

Well the simple answer is that they mean different things. Depending on which pronoun/adjective/adverb is used, adding or omitting ne pas might change the meaning all together.

Par exemple:

"Ce n'est pas rien [pronoun]" = (literal) "It's not nothing". Meaning "It's something";

"Ce n'est pas jamais [Adverb]" = (literally) "It's not never..." This doesn't work.

There's more! Check out this link - http://fr.tsedryk.ca/grammaire/negation/NEGATION_regle.htm

Also note that Jamais can and is often used as a standalone.

October 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mantepli
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This is awesome! I thought maybe there could exist a sentence variant of fronting 'jamais', like in 'Never have I....', that might show that 'jamais' can behave in a different manner. Thank you for clarifying this. :) The link is very helpful!

October 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JCMcGee

Google "negative concord"

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alexwrecker

I'm not that quite advanced

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alexwrecker

Its weird beacuse you are all proboly gronups and I'm a child

October 17, 2014
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