« italian disjunctive or "stressed" pronouns: i pronomi tonici | Main | italian double negatives »
Wednesday
Aug222007

more on negatives: compound tenses

We learned last week that double negatives in Italian are totally kosher. But using them with "compound tenses" - tenses made up of avere or essere plus a participle (e.g. "ho mangiato") - can be a little tricky. Specifically most beginners wonder where to put the negative terms. This week's lesson will try to clarify.

But before we get to that, let's learn a few more useful negative expressions.

non...ancora
not yet

non...più
no longer

non...affatto
not at all

non...mica
not in the least

non...punto
not at all

The "non" part of pretty much any negative expression always goes before the helper verb (avere or essere), or before any direct or indirect object pronoun or reflexive pronoun. It's the second part that hops around a bit.

Nessuno, niente, nulla and né...né always follow the participle.

Non hanno visto niente.
Non ha trovato nessuno.
Non abbiamo mangiato nulla.
Non hai comprato il pane il formaggio.
Non ho scritto nessuna lettera.

Mica and punto always go between the helper and participle.

Non ha mica parlato.
Non è punto arrivato.

Affatto, ancora, mai, neanche, neppure, nemmeno and più can go either between the helper and participle or after the participle.

Non si sono svegliati ancora.
Non si sono ancora svegliati.

Non ha viaggiato mai.
Non ha mai viaggiato.

Non mi ha salutato nemmeno.
Non mi ha nemmeno salutato.

There's not nothing more to it. C4N!

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.