Negative replies have the following structure: No, subject + auxiliary verb + not
Read the following sentences.
- Have they lodged a complaint?
- No, they haven’t lodged a complaint?
Short answers are preferred in everyday speech.
- No, they haven’t.
Note that the ‘not’ is usually contracted and becomes a part of the auxiliary verb.
- Have you finished the job?
- No, I haven’t finished the job. OR No, I haven’t.
- Has she given her consent?
- No, she hasn’t given her consent. OR No, she hasn’t.
- Are they joining us?
- No, they aren’t joining us. OR No, they aren’t.
- Were you worried about his safety?
- No, I wasn’t worried about his safety. OR No, I wasn’t.
The form of the auxiliary verb has to agree with the number and person of the subject. The pronouns and the auxiliary verbs used with them are given below.
I – am, was, have, had
He / she / it – is, was, has, had
We – are, were, have, had
You – are, were, have, had
They – are, were, have, had
Negative replies in the simple present and simple past tenses are made with do + not.
- Does she live with her parents?
- No, she doesn’t.
Do is used even when we repeat the whole sentence.
- No, she doesn’t live with her parents.
- Does he have a job?
- No, he doesn’t. OR No, he doesn’t have a job.
- Did she call the police?
- No, she didn’t call the police. OR No, she didn’t.
- Did they accept the invitation?
- No, they didn’t accept the invitation. OR No, they didn’t.
Note that after do, does and did, we use the infinitive (first or base form of the verb) without to.
- Did she come?
- No, she didn’t come. (NOT No, she didn’t came.)