How to form negative verb forms

July 13, 2012pdf

Negative verb forms are made by putting not after an auxiliary verb. If there are two auxiliary verbs, not goes after the first.

  • She has not been invited.
  • I have not forgotten that.
  • She has not come.
  • They are not interested.
  • She cannot sing. (Note that cannot is written as one word.)

If there is no other auxiliary verb, we make negatives by putting do not (contracted form: don’t) before the verb.

  • I do not like cricket. (NOT I like not cricket.)
  • She does not like him.
  • I did not want to go.

Note that do not is followed by the infinitive without to.

  • I did not go. (NOT I did not to go.)

Do is not used to form negative subjunctive structures.

  • It is important that she not create any problems. (NOT It is important that she does not create any problems.)

Do is not used with negative infinitives or –ing forms.

  • Remind me not to go there again. (NOT Remind me do not to go there again.)

Negative imperatives are made with do not / don’t + infinitive without to.

  • Do not make a noise. OR Don’t make a noise. (NOT Make not a noise.)
  • Don’t pluck flowers.
  • Don’t walk on the grass.

Do is not normally used with be. However, do can be used to make the negative imperative form of be.

  • Don’t be silly.

The negative forms of infinitives and –ing forms are made by putting not before them. Do is not used.

  • Remind him not to do that again.
  • The best thing about a computer is not complaining.
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