Negation in English

Negative forms

Negation is the process that turns an affirmative statement into its opposite denial.


She is a nice girl - She is not a nice girl

Verbs in English are negated by placing the word not after an auxiliary or modal.


  • I am not from Germany
  • I do not like playing tennis.
  • She does not listen to classical music.
  • I have not read this book yet.
  • I did not go to Moscow.
  • I had not had dinner when they came in.
  • You should not sleep late.
  • I cannot help you.
  • I will not participate in that competition.

Contracted forms

Negative forms can be contracted.

Long negative forms Short negative forms
do not don't
does not doesn't
am 'm not (*not amn’t)
are not aren't
is not isn't
did not didn't
have not haven't
had not hadn't
should not shouldn't
would not wouldn't
will not won't