Negative Sentence

Negative Sentences - Definition with Examples

A sentence that negates a particular statement or an affirmative sentence is called a negative sentence. It does not always imply something bad; but, just conveys that a particular, statement or condition is false. There are two common words used to show negation- no and not.  Go through the following example sentences-

1) There are no apples in the basket.

2) He is not interested in the project.

3) There was no car on the road.

4) You cannot go to the movie alone.

5) They should not miss their classes.

6) Cats do not like swimming.

7) There is no one in the house.

8) No man is totally perfect.

9) There was not a single bus at station.

10) They cannot pursue their dreams this way.

In the above examples ‘no’ is used as an adjective before a noun or a pronoun; and ‘not’ is used after a ‘be’ verb (is, am, are, was, were, being, been and be, do, have, will), a modal verb (can, may, must, should, would, might, shall, could, ought) or an auxiliary verb.

There are many shorter abbreviations for a ‘not’ with an auxiliary verb. Like- ‘is not’ can be written as ‘isn’t’, does not can be written as ‘doesn’t’, ‘cannot’ can be written as ‘can’t’, would not- wouldn’t, should not- shouldn’t, will not- won’t, was not- wasn’t, could not- couldn’t. We will understand it with the help of suitable examples.

  • He is not interested in your advice.

or

  • He isn’t interested in your advice.
  • It does not perform well all times.

or

  • It doesn’t perform well all times.
  • You cannot leave the children alone.

or

  • You can’t leave the children alone.
  • He would not have liked that.

or

  • He wouldn’t have liked that.
  • You should not leave the door ajar.

or

  • You shouldn’t leave the door ajar.
  • He will not disobey the law.

or

  • He won’t disobey the law.
  • I was not prepared for it.

or

  • I wasn’t prepared for it.
  • He could not have received the medal.

or

  • He couldn’t have received the medal.

 

Using ‘No’ to Negate A Sentence

‘No’ can be used as an adjective and as well as an adverb; depending on the sentences as explained below-

1) Use of ‘No’ as an Adjective

Go through the below given sentences-

  • He has big horses.
  • She eats vegetables.
  • They watch movies.
  • It gives better results.
  • We have a big house.

Below, the above sentences are negated by using ‘no’-

  • He has no big horses.
  • She eats no vegetables.
  • They watch no movies.
  • It gives no better results.
  • We have no big house.

When used as an adjective ‘no’ is placed before a singular or plural noun as in above examples.

2) Use of ‘No’ as an Adverb

As an adverb ‘no’ is placed before comparative adjective; as shown in the examples below-

  • He is taller than you. (Affirmative)
  • He is no taller than you. (Negative)
  • My house is better than yours. (Affirmative)
  • My house is no better than yours. (Negative)
  • Her grades are more than his. (Affirmative)
  • Her grades are no more than his. (Negative)

Try forming new positive sentences and negating them by using ‘No’ as an adverb and adjective.

 

Formation of Negative Sentences in Various Tense Forms

1) Negative Sentences in Simple Present From

Simple Present Tense sentences are the first type of sentences that we come across when we start learning English language. It is therefore important that we first learn to convert Simple Present Positive sentences into negative. For this we will take Simple Present Tense Sentences one by one and negate them by proper use of auxiliary verbs( do, does) and (no, not).

  • He likes drinking coffee.

The above sentence is an affirmative sentence in Simple Present form. Let us now negate the sentence as below-

  • He does not like drinking coffee. Or, He doesn’t like drinking coffee.

The basic formula for Negative Sentences In Simple Present Tense can thus be constructed as-

  • Subject + Auxiliary Verbs + NOT + Main Verb + Object
  • Subject + Do/Does + NOT + Base Form of the verb + Object

Few simple rules are to be followed for forming Negative sentences in Simple Present, i.e. if the subject is she, he, it or a singular noun then auxiliary verb ‘does’ is used; and, if the subject is- we, they, I, you or a plural noun then auxiliary verb ‘do’ is used. Care must be taken to choose the base form of the Main verb while representing a negative sentence in Simple Present Form.

Below we will go through some more affirmative sentences in simple Present and their Negative forms-

Sentences with subjects- he, she, it or a singular noun is to be negated by using ‘does not’-

  • She goes to college every day. (Affirmative)
  • She does not go to college every day. Or, She doesn’t go to college every day. (Negative)
  • He plays cricket after school. (Affirmative)
  • He doesn’t play cricket after school. (Negative)
  • It serves the purpose when instructed. (Affirmative)
  • It doesn’t serve the purpose when instructed. (Negative)
  • My dog likes milk. (Affirmative)
  • My dog doesn’t like milk. (Negative)

Sentences with subjects- we, they, I, you or a plural noun is to be negated by using ‘do not’-

  • We go to a movie every weekend. (Affirmative)
  • We do not go to a movie every weekend. (Negative)
  • They play cricket after school. (Affirmative)
  • They don’t play cricket after school. (Negative)
  • I drink milk every day. (Affirmative)
  • I don’t drink milk every day. (Negative)
  • You go to the grocery store in evening. (Affirmative)
  • You don’t go to the grocery store in evening. (Negative)
  • Dogs bark during night. (Affirmative)
  • Dogs don’t bark during night. (Negative)

Now that we have understood the basics of negative sentences with use of ‘do not’ and ‘does not’, we will further move towards the use of ‘no’ in negating an affirmative sentence.

2) Negative Sentences In Present Continuous Form

Let us consider some affirmative sentences in Present continuous Tense, as given below-

  • She is writing a letter.
  • He is driving.
  • They are going on a holiday.
  • People are revolting against the atrocities.
  • Children are playing in the garden.

The following sentences can be negated by using ‘not’ before the main verb; without changing the present form of the verb, as shown below-

  • She is not writing a letter.
  • He is not driving.
  • They are not going on a holiday.
  • People are not revolting against the atrocities.
  • Children are not playing in the garden.

From the above examples a basic formula for the Negative sentences in present continuous form can be constructed as-

  • Subject + Auxiliary Verb + Not + Main Verb (ing form) + Object

The formation of the sentence remains the same irrespective of the subject. That is the formula is same whether the subject is he, she, it, a singular noun, we, they, I, you or a plural noun.

3) Negative Sentences In Present Perfect Form

First go through the below sentences in Present Perfect Form-

  • He has submitted the assignment.
  • She has received the letter.
  • It has qualified all quality checks.
  • We have done a nice play.
  • They have conveyed the message well.
  • I have done my home work.

Now go through the negatives of the above sentences given below-

  • He has not submitted the assignment.
  • She has not received the letter.
  • It has not qualified all quality checks.
  • We have not done a nice play.
  • They have not conveyed the message well.
  • I have not done my home work.

The basic formula for Negative Present Perfect Sentences can thus be structured from the above examples-

  • Subject + Auxiliary Verb + Main Verb + Object
  • Subject + Have/Has + Past Participle + Object

Note- If the subject is she, he, it or a singular noun then Auxiliary verb ‘has’ is used; and, if the subject is we, they, you, I or a plural noun then Auxiliary verb ‘has’ is used.

4) Negative Sentences In Present Perfect Continuous Form

Consider the below sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Form-

  • He has been studying in college since 2010.
  • I have been going to gym for seven days.
  • They have been waiting for the train since morning.
  • We have been planning a tour for ten days.
  • They have been performing since Monday.

Now consider the negative of the above sentences, given below-

  • He has not been studying in college since 2010.
  • I have not been going to the gym for seven days.
  • They have not been waiting for the train since morning.
  • We have not been planning a tour for ten days.
  • They have not been performing since Monday.

The structure formula for negative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Form is-

  • Subject + Have not been/ Has not been + ing form of verb + Time reference

Note- If the subject is –she, he, it or a singular noun, ‘has not been’ is used; and if the subject is we, they, I, you or a plural noun then ‘have not been is used’.

5) Negative Sentences In Simple Past Form

Go through the below given Simple Past Form Sentences-

  • I ate a sandwich.
  • I met him in the party.
  • She gave me her book.
  • They hurried to the class.
  • We gathered at the assembly.

The structure/Formula for the above sentences –

  • Subject + Past Simple From of verb (2nd form) + Object

Now consider the Negatives of the above sentences-

  • I did not eat a sandwich.
  • I didn’t meet him in the party.
  • She didn’t give me her book.
  • They didn’t hurry to the class.
  • We didn’t gather at the assembly.

Therefore the Structural Formula for Negative Sentences In simple Past From can be constructed as-

  • Subject + Did + Not + Base Form (1st Form ) of the  verb + Object

Note- Irrespective of the subject the auxiliary verb remains the same.

6) Negative Sentences In Past Continuous Form

Let us first go through few sentences in Past continuous Form-

  • He was looking at you.
  • They were waiting for you.
  • She was preparing for the exams.
  • The bus was honking frequently.
  • I was driving to the causeway.

The structure formula for the above sentences is-

  • Subject + Auxiliary verb + ing form of verb + Object

The negative forms of the above sentences are-

  • He was not looking at you.
  • They were not waiting for you.
  • She was not preparing for the exams.
  • The bus was not honking frequently.
  • I was not driving to the causeway.

The structure/formula for Negative sentences In Past Continuous form is-

  • Subject + Was/Were Not + ing form of the verb + Object

Note- If the subject is he, she, it or a singular noun then auxiliary verb will be- was; and, if the subject is we, they, I, you or a plural noun then the auxiliary verb will be – Were.

7) Negative Sentences In Past Perfect Form

Consider the sentences below in Past Perfect Form-

  • She had given me her book.
  • They had bought a new car.
  • He had provided the logistics.
  • We had intervened to settle the matter.
  • I had done all the assigned work.

While converting the above sentences into negative, the verb remains in Past Participle form(3rd form) and ‘Not’ is inserted between the auxiliary verb ‘had’ and the main verb. The structure for Negative Sentence In Past Perfect Form is as given below-

  • Subject + auxiliary Verb + Not + Main Verb + Object
  • Subject + Had + Not + ing form of the verb + Object

Therefore the Negative counterparts for the above mentioned Positive Sentences will be-

  • She had not given me her book.
  • They had not bought a new car.
  • He had not provided the logistics.
  • We had not intervened to settle the matter.
  • I had not done all the assigned work.

Note- Auxiliary verb and the Main verb remain same, irrespective of the subject.

8) Negative Sentences In Past Perfect Continuous Form

Go through the following sentences in Past Perfect continuous Form-

  • She had been waiting for you since morning.
  • He had been studying for two hours.
  • They had been cooking since morning.
  • We had been looking at the development for two days.
  • I had been working on the problem for five days.

The above sentences can be easily converted into Negative sentences easily by inserting ‘had not been’ as the auxiliary verb instead of had been; as shown in the structural formula below-

  • Subject + had not been + ing form of the verb + object + time frame

The negative forms of the above sentences are as given below-

  • She had not been waiting for you since morning.
  • He had not been studying for two hours.
  • They had not been cooking since morning.
  • We had not been looking at the development for two days.
  • I had not been working on the problem for five days.

Note- ‘Had not been’ and the form of verb remains the same; irrespective of the subject.

9) Negative Sentences In Simple Future Form

Go through the following sentences in Simple Future Tense Form-

  • He will write the letter tomorrow.
  • They will go to the movie in the evening.
  • She will buy a laptop this weekend.
  • We will play chess after lunch.
  • I will read a book after the class.

The above sentences can be easily converted into negative sentences by placing ‘not’ between auxiliary verb ‘will’ and the main verb-

  • Subject + Auxiliary Verb + Not + Main Verb + Object
  • Subject + Will + Not + Base form of the verb + Object

The Negative counterparts of the above sentences are given below-

  • He will not write the letter tomorrow.
  • They will not go to the movie in the evening.
  • She will not buy a laptop this weekend.
  • We will not play chess after lunch.
  • I will not read a book after the class.

Note- The auxiliary verb and the main verb remain the same; irrespective of the subject.

10) Negative Sentences In Future Continuous Form-

Go through the following sentences in Future Continuous form-

  • They will be coming here for the annual meet.
  • She will be meeting you in the party.
  • He will be calling you after the class.
  • We will be moving to our new house tomorrow.
  • I will be waiting for you in the classroom.

The Structure/Formula for converting the above sentences into Negative is-

  • Subject + Auxiliary verb + Present Participle (1st from + ing) + Object
  • Subject + will Not Be + ing form of verb + Object

Therefore, applying the above structural formula we get the negative counterparts of the above sentences-

  • They will not be coming here for the annual meet.
  • She will not be meeting you in the party.
  • He will not be calling you after the class.
  • We will not be moving to our new house tomorrow.
  • I will not be waiting for you in the classroom.

Note- the auxiliary verb- ‘will not be’ and the ‘ing form of verb ‘will not change irrespective of the subject.

11) Negative Sentences In Future Perfect Form

Go through the below sentences in Future Perfect Form-

  • He will have submitted the bill by Monday.
  • They will have enjoyed the tour.
  • She would have completed her house work.
  • We would have gone to the hill station.
  • He will have played cricket.

The structure/formula for converting the above sentences into their negative counterparts is-

  • Subject + will not have/would not have + Past Participle (3rd form of the verb) + Object

The negative counterparts for the above sentences are-

  • He will not have submitted the bill by Monday.
  • They will not have enjoyed the tour.
  • She would not have completed her house work.
  • We would not have gone to the hill station.
  • He will not have played cricket.

Note- The auxiliary verb- ‘would/will not be’ and the verb form remain same, irrespective of the subject.

12) Negative Sentences In Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Go through the below sentences in Future Perfect Continuous Tenses-

  • He will have been working here for three years.
  • They will have been living in the city for past ten years.
  • She will have been cooking the meal for two years.
  • We will have been listening to the same song since morning.
  • I will have been sleeping since 10 A.M.

The structure/formula for converting the above sentences into their negative counterparts is-

  • Subject + Will not have been + Present Participle form of the verb (Base form + ing) + Object

Therefore the negative counterparts for the above sentences are –

  • He will not have been working here for three years.
  • They will not have been living in the city for past ten years.
  • She will not have been cooking the meal for two years.
  • We will not have been listening to the same song since morning.
  • I will not have been sleeping since 10 A.M.

Note- ‘will not have been’ and the verb form remains the same; irrespective of the Subject.

Exercises/Worksheet/Activities On Negative Sentences

Affirmative To Negative Sentences Exercise With Answers:

In the exercise below, there is an affirmative sentence provided; and its incomplete negative counterpart with three choices is also given. Choose the appropriate choice which correctly converts the given affirmative sentence into negative sentence. Verify your progress with the answers provided in the end.

1) He is going to the college. (Positive)

He is ________ going to the college. (Negative)

  1. a) not
  2. b) no
  3. c) can’t

2) Mohit caught the fish. (Positive)

Mohit __________ the fish. (Negative)

  1. a) did not caught
  2. b) do not caught
  3. c) did not catch

3) She gave me her book. (Positive)

She did not _________ me her book. (Negative)

  1. a) gave
  2. b) give
  3. c) given

4) The teacher finished the course in one month. (Positive)

The teacher __________ the work in one month. (Negative)

  1. a) had not finished
  2. b) did not finished
  3. c) had not finish

5) They are playing cricket. (Positive)

They are ________  cricket. (Negative)

  1. a) not playing
  2. b) not play
  3. c) not played.

6) He is smarter than you. (Positive)

He is _________ than you. (Negative)

  1. a) no smart
  2. b) no smarter
  3. c) more smarter

7) There are apples in the basket. (Positive)

There are _________ apples in the basket. (Negative)

  1. a) not
  2. b) lot
  3. c) no

8) The guests have eaten the dinner. (Positive)

The guests _________ eaten the dinner. (Negative)

  1. a) has not
  2. b) have not
  3. c) had not

9) I have completed my home work. (Positive)

I have not ___________ my home work. (Negative)

  1. a) completed
  2. b) complete
  3. c) completing

10) He has given his consent for the project. (Positive)

He _________ his consent for the project. (Negative)

  1. a) did not gave
  2. b) didn’t give
  3. c) has not given

11) She has bought a new car. (Positive)

She ________ bought a new car. (Negative)

  1. a) did not
  2. b) has not
  3. c) had not

12) He has been living in the house for 10 years. (Positive)

He ___________ living in the house for 10 years. (Negative)

  1. a) has not been
  2. b) had not been
  3. c) have not been

13) I have been working on the project since 2015. (Positive)

I have not been _________ on the project since 2015. (Negative)

  1. a) worked
  2. b) work
  3. c) working

14) She has been in the pool for three hours. (Positive)

She _________ in the pool for three hours. (Negative)

  1. a) had not been
  2. b) has not been
  3. c) wasn’t

15) He bought a car. (Positive)

He did not ________ a car. (Negative)

  1. a) bought
  2. b) caught
  3. c) buy

16) They played cricket all day. (Positive)

They ___________ cricket all day. (Negative)

  1. a) did not play
  2. b) did not played
  3. c) haven’t played

17) She prepared fruit salad for the kids. (Positive)

She ____________ fruit salad for the kids. (Negative)

  1. a) has not prepared
  2. b) didn’t prepare
  3. c) hadn’t prepared

18) He was looking for you. (Positive)

He was ________ looking for you. (Negative)

  1. a) never
  2. b) not
  3. c) always

19) She was dancing on the stage. (Positive)

She _________ on the stage. (Negative)

  1. a) was not dancing
  2. b) had not been dancing
  3. c) is not dancing

20) They were singing merrily. (Positive)

They _________ singing merrily. (Negative)

  1. a) was not
  2. b) all were
  3. c) were not

21) You were going to the office. (Positive)

You _____________ to the office. (Negative)

  1. a) had been going
  2. b) were not going
  3. c) were walking

22)She had been singing for two hours. (Positive)

She ___________ singing for two hours. (Negative)

  1. a) has not been
  2. b) had not been
  3. c) had never been

23) They had been in the diamond industry since 1935. (Positive)

They ___________ been in the diamond industry since 1935. (Negative)

  1. a) had not
  2. b) has not
  3. c) have not

24) I had been looking for him since last year. (Positive)

I ___________ looking for him since last year. (Negative)

  1. a) have not been
  2. b) has not been
  3. c) had not been

25) The children had been playing since morning. (Positive)

The children had not been __________ since morning. (Negative)

  1. a) played
  2. b) playing
  3. c) play

26) He will attend the class tomorrow. (Positive)

He _________ attend the class tomorrow. (Negative)

  1. a) would not
  2. b) can not
  3. c) will not

27) She will cook for the party tonight.

She __________ for the party tonight. (Negative)

  1. a) will not cook
  2. b) would not cook
  3. c) can’t cook

28) I will send you a gift. (Positive)

I _________ send you a gift. (Negative)

  1. a) wouldn’t
  2. b) can’t
  3. c) won’t

29) He will meet the principal in office tomorrow. (Positive)

He __________ the principal in office tomorrow. (Negative)

  1. a) can not meet
  2. b) will not meet
  3. c) would not meet

30) He will accept our demands. (Positive)

He _________ our demands. (Negative)

  1. a) will never accept
  2. b) can not accept
  3. c) will not accept

31) She will be cooking dinner. (Positive)

She will _________ be cooking dinner. (Negative)

  1. a) never
  2. b) not
  3. c) ever

32) They will be waiting for you. (Positive)

They ___________ waiting for you. (Negative)

  1. a) will not be
  2. b) would not be
  3. c) can not be

33) We will be leaving for New York tomorrow. (Positive)

We _________ leaving for New York tomorrow. (Negative)

  1. a) will never be
  2. b) will not be
  3. c) can not be

34)They will have been living in the house for 10 years. (Positive)

They will _________ living in the house for 10 years. (Negative)

  1. a) never have been
  2. b) not have been
  3. c) can’t have been

35)  The kids will have been playing since morning. (Positive)

The kids ____________ playing since morning. (Negative)

  1. a) will not have been
  2. b) can not have been
  3. c) wouldn’t have been

36) She will have been swimming for five years. (Positive)

She will _____________ swimming for five years. (Negative)

  1. a) not had been
  2. b) not has been
  3. c) not have been

 

Answers- 1)a, 2)c, 3)b, 4)c, 5)a, 6)b, 7)c, 8)b’9)a, 10)c,11)b, 12)a, 13)c, 14)b, 15)c, 16)a, 17)b, 18)b, 19)a, 20)c, 21)b, 22)b, 23)a, 24)c, 25)b, 26)c, 27)a, 28)c, 29)b, 30)c, 31)b, 32)a, 33)b, 34)b, 35)a, 36)c