Negative Sentence: A detailed study with easy examples

Negative sentence

A negative sentence or phrase is one that contains a word such as “not, no, never, or, nothing in it. The negative sentence is generally used to express denial, disagreement, or refusal. For example, I do not eat fish. See more examples.

Formation of negative sentences

1. Mr Sinha is a doctor.

2. Mr Sinha is not a doctor.

In sentence (1), ‘is’ is the main verb and the sentence is affirmative.

In sentence (2), ‘not’ is used after the verb ‘is’ to make the sentence negative.


Affirmative Negative
4. They are students.They are not students.
5. I am a teacher.I am not a teacher.
6. I have a headache.I have not a headache
‘or’ I do not have a headache
Affirmative Sentence Vs. Native Sentence

In the above sentences, we turn the affirmative sentence into negatives by putting ‘not’ after the main verbs ‘be’ and ‘have’

Now look at the following sentences:

(7) I am working in the garden.

(8) I am not working in the garden.

In sentence (7) ‘be’  verb ‘am”  is used as an auxiliary verb and ‘working’ is the main verb.  ‘Not’  is placed after the auxiliary verb to make the sentence ‘negative’.


9. He was studying grammar.He was not studying grammar.
10. I have completed my work.I have not completed my work.
11. He has been working hard.He has not been working hard.
12. It is true.It is not true/it isn’t true/ It’s not true.
13. He has answered the question.He has not answered the question.
(or) He hasn’t answered the question.
Affirmative Sentence Vs. Negative Sentence



In sentence (12), the contracted form ‘isn’t’ for ‘is not’ and in sentence (13), the contracted form ‘hasn’t’  for ´has not’  is used. More often ‘it is not true‘  is contracted to “it’s not true

Contracted forms of negative models

Simple FormContracted Form
Will notwon’t
Shall notshan’t
Might notmightn’t
Must notmustn’t
Can notcan’t
Am not (no contracted form)
Modal Contracted forms

14 . He is playing in the field, isn’t he?

15. They are tired, aren’t they?

Usually (n’t) for ‘not’ is used to make question tags after positive statements.

16. I am late, aren’t I? (Not amn’t I)*

Present Simple Negative sentence

Now look at the following sentences:

Positive Negative
17. I play football.I do not/ don’t play football.
18. He played football.  He did not/ didn’t play football.
19. He plays football.He does not/doesn’t play football.
Present Simple Positive Sentence and Negative sentence

In sentence (17) ‘play’ is the main verb. It has not taken any ‘auxiliary verb’ before it. In order to make the sentence negative, we take the support of the auxiliary ‘do’  in the present tense and in the past tense ‘did’. Ins sentence(18) auxiliary  ‘did’ is used and in sentence(19) the auxiliary ‘does’  is used. Not is added to  ‘do/did/does’ to make the sentences negative.

Future simple Negative Sentence

Now study the following sentences;

20. He will play He will not /won’t play.
21. I can swim.I cannot /can’t swim.
22. He should stay here.He should not/shouldn’t stay here.
Future simple Negative Sentence

 In sentence (20), “WILL’  is the modal auxiliary. In negative form ‘not’ is used after the modal auxiliary. Similarly the modal ‘can” in sentence (21) and the modal ‘should”  in sentence (22) take ‘not’  after them to turn the affirmative sentence into negatives.

23. He used to play cricket in his school days. (Affirmative)

34. He didn’t use to play cricket in his school days. (Negative)

Now look at eh the following sentence:

25. My father has a house in Cuttack “(Such a sentence is now less used)

Instead, we say:-

26. My father has got a house in Cuttack. (Affiramtive)

27. My father hasn’t got any hose in Cuttack. (Negative)

28. My father does not have any house at Cuttack. (More and more often it is used now-a-days)

Note: ‘got’ is less common in past tense and negatives.

Exercise for negative Sentences


Turn the following sentences into negatives.

Use the contracted form n’t for ‘not’.

  1. I shall help you at the time of your need.
  2. We should help one another.
  3. He does his work sincerely.
  4. The boy has a good memory.
  5. He used to swim in his childhood days.
  6. He will answer my phone.
  7. My father can speak four languages.
  8. We have been waiting here for an hour.
  9. My father takes tea at six o’clock in the morning.
  10. I have got a new bicycle.


Complete the sentences using a negative. The first one has been done for you.

  1. Sunil studies attentively but Sohon doesn’t study attentively.
  2. I have decided on a career, but  you _______________
  3. Rahul loses things, but Anil _______________
  4. I had a good time yesterday, but Subasis _______________
  5. Helen can relax but Bobby _______________
  6. My father will attend the party, but I _______________
  7. I have got a job, but my friend Rosy _______________
  8. My elder sister has a sweet voice, but my younger sisters _______________

Negative imperative

Look at the following sentences:

28. Have a cup of tea.

29. Come here.

30. Be careful!

The above sentences are imperative sentences. The subject ‘you’ is usually dropped.

We don’t say ‘You come here’ or ‘You have a drink’.

Imperative Negative Sentence

Now study the following:

Imperative Negative imperative
31. Go with him.Don’t go with him.
32. Open some windows.Don’t open any windows.
33. Be quiet.Don’t be noisy.
Imperative and Negative imperative

We have used ‘Don’t” at the beginning of the imperative sentences to make them negative imperatives.

ImperativeNegative imperative
34. Let us/Le’s play footballLet’s not play football
Imperative and Negative Imperative

Sentences beginning with “Let’ are also imperatives which are used to offer ‘suggestions’.

‘Not’ is used after ‘Let’ to make negative imperative sentences.


Turn the following imperative sentences into negatives.

  1. I. Let’s go home.
  2. Open your book.
  3. Drive fast.
  4. Sit down.
  5. Answer the phone.
  6. Sing that song again.
  7. Have faith in him.

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