Negative Forms

When there is more than one auxiliary verb, we make negative forms by putting not after the first auxiliary verb.

    • They have not been invited.
    • She has not come.
    • I cannot come.

When be (is, am, are, was, were) is the main verb, we make negative forms by putting not after be.

    • She is not ready.
    • You are not late.
    • I was not surprised.

When have is the main verb, we make negative forms by putting do not before have.

    • They do not have a car.
    • He does not have a good job.

When there are no auxiliary verbs, we make negative forms by putting do not before the verb. After do not we use the infinitive without to.

    • Money does not grow on trees.
    • She did not come.

Before infinitives and -ing forms, we use not to make negative forms.

    • It is important not to be late.
    • The best thing about a computer is not complaining.

Negative questions

Negative questions can be contracted or uncontracted. Contracted negative questions have the word order auxiliary verb + n’t + subject. They are less formal.

    • Can’t we wait?
    • Won’t she come?
    • Hasn’t she any friends to invite?

Uncontracted negative questions have the word order auxiliary verb + subject + not .

    • Can we not wait?
    • Will she not come?
    • Has she not any friends to invite?
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Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

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