How to Negate Compound Tenses in French [+6 Examples]

How to Negate Compound Tenses in French

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In this grammar lesson you will learn how to negate compound tenses in French.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how to negate compound tenses in French
  • how the negation is used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on how to negate compound tenses in French
  • the way Anki files can be downloaded for how to negate compound tenses in French

Please refer to the French A2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about this lesson fits in French A2.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to negate compound tenses in French!

Table of Contents

What are the Compound Tenses in French

You may have been a bit confused as to what “compound tenses” mean.

Compound tenses are tenses that are made up of two parts:

  1. the conjugated auxiliary verb (either avoir or être)
  2. the past participle.

The only compound tense that you currently know is the passé composé.

So for now, this lesson only applies to the passé composé.

However, when you progress on your French journey, you will meet a few more compound tenses.

How to Negate Compound Tenses in French

In this lesson I am going to use the ne…pas negation to show you how to negate compound tenses in French.

This works for every type of negation, but the ne…pas is the most commonly used negation.

You can negate compound tenses in French in the following way:

  • ne [conjugated auxiliary verb] pas [past participle]

Avez-vous été déçu ? – Je n’ai pas été déçu.

Were you disappointed? – I was not disappointed.

Tu n’as pas fait un très bon travail.

You haven’t done a very good job.

Est-ce qu’elle est venue ? – Malheureusement, elle n’est pas venue.

Did she come? – Unfortunately, she didn’t come.

Nous n’avons pas eu beaucoup de pluie cette année.

We haven’t had much rain this year.

Je sais que vous n’avez pas fait ça.

I know you didn’t do that.

Ont-ils été impressionnés ? Non, ils n’ont pas été impressionnés.

Were they impressed? No, they were not impressed.

Whenever you want to negate sentences in the passé composé, you put the auxiliary verb in between ne and pas.

After pas you put the past participle.

Sentences Overview of How to Negate Compound Tenses in French

The final section of this lesson on how to negate compound tenses in French is about seeing the negation in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how to negate compound tenses in French through examples.

Here you can find the sentences of the previous chapters, neatly stored in one place.

Avez-vous été déçu ? Je n’ai pas été déçu.

Were you disappointed? I was not disappointed.

Tu n’as pas fait un très bon travail.

You haven’t done a very good job.

Est-ce qu’elle est venue ? – Malheureusement, elle n’est pas venue.

Did she come? – Unfortunately, she didn’t come.

Nous n’avons pas eu beaucoup de pluie cette année.

We haven’t had much rain this year.

Je sais que vous n’avez pas fait ça.

I know you didn’t do that.

Ont-ils été impressionnés ? Non, ils n’ont pas été impressionnés.

Were they impressed? No, they were not impressed.

Quiz Yourself on How to Negate Compound Tenses in French

It’s not enough to just read this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and practice them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

Anki File for How to Negate Compound Tenses in French

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A2 you can practice every French A2 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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