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Two-part Construction French has a two-part negation for verbs, consisting of the ‘ne’ particle (a global negation), and one of several other words clarifying the type of negation: * ne … pas = "not" * ne … rien = "nothing" * ne … jamais = "never" * ne … jamais rien = "never anything" * ne … personne = "nobody" * ne … aucun(e) = "not any" * ne … plus = "not any more, no longer or no more" * ne … gure = "not much, not any" (archaic) * ne … que = "only" * ne … point = "not, not at all" (mostly literary) Simple Verbs and Position of the Negation Usually, the element ‘ne’ comes before the verb which is marked for tense. Thus a simple verb is usually positioned between the ‘ne’ particle and the qualifying part of the negation: Example: * " Je ne sais pas. " = "I don’t know." * " Il ne fume plus. " = "He doesn’t smoke anymore." Note: ‘ne’ always comes before object pronouns – me (myself), te (you), le (him/it), la(she/it), lui(him/her/it), les (them): * " Nous ne les invitons plus. " = "We don’t invite them anymore." The Elided ‘e’- ne and n’ As with other words ending in a vowel in French, the e of the ‘ne’ particle is elided (contraction) when directly preceding a word beginning in a vowel (or with a silent ‘h’ then a vowel): * " Il n’hsite pas. " = "He does not hesitate." Compound Verbs and Position of the Negation Compound verbs are composed of the past participle of a verb [i.e. mang (eaten), parl (talked), which remains unchanged in terms of tense] and an auxiliary (supporting) verb such as have avoir (have) and tre (be). It is the auxiliary verb which is marked for tense, and so it is the auxiliary verb which becomes sandwiched between the first part of the construction, ne, and the second (qualifying) part of the negation: * " Je n’ai pas dormi chez moi. " = " I didn’t sleep at home." There is an exception, however, when personne (no one) and nulle part (anywhere) are used with compound tenses, with these secondary negation particles following the whole compound verb (and thus following the same negation construction as that of simple verbs): * " Nous n’avons vu personne. " = "We didn’t see anybody." * " Je n’ai vu les enfants nulle part. " = " I did not see the kids anywhere." Ne..que (only) in compound tenses can take both positions, depending on the intended meaning, as it is strictly speaking an adverb and not a negation: * " Je n’ai pris qu’une pomme. " = "I only took one apple." * " Je n’ai pens qu’ vous. " = "I only thought of you." In fact, with ‘ne … que’ the negation construction is not strictly necessary, and the same thought can be expressed positively with the word seulement (only): * " J’ai seulement pris une pomme. " = "I only took one apple." Spoken and Written Usage In colloquial French it is common to drop the ‘ne’ altogether in fast speech (but not in writing). It is also common in current literary style to omit the pas particle with the verbs vouloir (to want), pouvoir (to be able to) and savoir (to know). Thus we have: * " Je ne sais pas. " (correct) * " Je sais pas. " (spoken) * " Je ne sais. " (literary equivalent to "I know not.") About the Author: 相关的主题文章:

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