How to make Negatives

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Geat info about the negatives

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How to make Negativesin English: 

How to make Negatives in English

Present Tense Negatives: 

Present Tense Negatives Use doesn’t or don’t + the simple form of the verb: He I She We It They You


He likes to play soccer. He doesn’t like to play soccer. I have a big house. I don’t have a big house. They live in Boston. They don’t live in Boston. He understands Chemistry. He doesn’t understand Chemistry.

Past Tense Negatives: 

Past Tense Negatives Use didn’t + the simple form of the verb: *Note: Use didn’t with all subjects!


He took the test. He didn’t take the test. They had an argument. They didn’t have an argument. She hollered at me. She didn’t holler at me. I left work early. I didn’t leave work early.

EXCEPTIONS for usingdoesn’t, don’t, and didn’t:: 

EXCEPTIONS for using doesn’t, don’t, and didn’t: The verb BE in English is special. *Note: Never use doesn’t, don’t, or didn’t with the VERB BE! Instead, just put NOT after be: is, am, are, was, were


EXAMPLES with be: She is angry. She is not angry. They are studying right now. They are not studying right now. Luis was in class yesterday. Luis was not in class yesterday. We were arguing. We were not arguing.

Negatives with Auxiliaries:: 

Negatives with Auxiliaries: Auxiliaries are function words like: can could may might will would should To make the negative form, simply add:


EXAMPLES with auxiliaries: She should buy a new car. She should not buy a new car. They may come to the party. They may not come to the party. They will win the game. They will not win the game. He can swim. He can not swim.

Simple present vs.Present Perfect: 

Simple present vs. Present Perfect Sometimes we use HAVE in the simple present tense. EX. I have a bird. -In this case, have is a main verb, so just follow the rule for the present tense negative . . . I don’t have a bird. I haven’t a bird.


Other times, when you see the word have, it’s a part of the present perfect tense (or present perfect continuous) EX. I have lived in San Diego for many years. She has been a teacher for a long time. They have been studying hard. -In this case, have is a NOT a main verb, it’s a helping verb. So you can’t use Doesn’t or Don’t.


EXAMPLES of present perfect (and continuous) negatives: I have lived in San Diego for many years. I have NOT lived in SD for many years. She has been a teacher for a long time. She has NOT been a teacher for a long time. They have been working hard. They have NOT been working hard.


Your turn to practice! On your own paper, write the negative forms of the sentences that follow. Then show your teacher.


Change to the negative form. 1. Carol is coming to visit soon. 2. I have big family. 3. Celia gave me a ride home. 4. They have taken a lot of breaks. 5. We play tennis often. 6. It will snow tomorrow. 7. She should get a promotion. 8. I was very angry. 9. Harold has a friendly wife. 10. Jane may need help. 11. We had nice weather during our vacation.

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