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another grammatical question

About the combination of ne and pas around a verb.
Sometimes the pas isn't necessary.
Is it correct to say "je ne comprends toujours". I still don't understand.
Or should it be "je ne comprends pas toujours".

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Re: another grammatical question

The rule is that you need ne + another bit.
Usually the other bit is "pas".
But there are certain specific constructions where it is ne +something else instead of the "pas".
The most common are
ne ... rien - nothing
ne... jamais - never
ne... personne - nobody
ne... plus - no more

However ne... toujours is not such a construction.
So it would be "je ne comprends toujours pas" (I still don't understand) or "je ne comprends pas toujours" (I don't always understand).

Does that help?
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Re: another grammatical question

There are also times when the ne is redundant.
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Re: another grammatical question

I seem to remember from distant school days that omitting the "pas" (as in the OP) only applies when using certain verbs. “Pouvoir” springs to mind. “Je ne peux le faire"
Not sure if there are others.

Ah, <a href="https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/ne-litteraire/" target="_blank" title="https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/ne-litteraire/">here</a> is something on the subject. It's hellishly complicated...

EDITED - among other things, to try and make a live link following Cajal's wonderful instructions of 27 Dec; but I see I have failed miserably, so here is the plain link again:
https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/ne-litteraire/





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Re: another grammatical question

Grammatically, if it's a negative, then the "ne" isn't redundant.
However, the evolution of the spoken language is such that M. Le Français Moyen will probably drop the "ne" when speaking.
"Je sais pas" and "j'ai jamais vu" will frequently be heard in everyday speech. The reality is that they're accepted and acceptable but still wrong. Just like "innit" and "I ain't never"

Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: another grammatical question

They are not wrong, just alternate forms. The decisions of a committee in Paris do not a language make, just a version of it.
Too thick for a PhD!
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Re: another grammatical question

I think there's a subtle distinction between dropping the actual negative form when expressing the negative, and not being allowed to say "le weekend" or " le sandwich".
I'm the first to embrace the concept of language as evolving and to call people out for wishing we'd all carried on speaking like Chaucer, but I'm not as keen on saying that, grammatically ( and I DID specifically say "grammatically") dropping the negative is OK. Like most people, I do it all the time when speaking. I would never write it that way, though.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: another grammatical question

Wooly, try that one on your French teacher or your GCSE examiner ;-)
And why not argue that tu est and various other common alternative forms aren't wrong either.

Seriously - I would say dropping the ne when the rules say it should be there, is colloquially acceptable but grammatically incorrect. So in a context where you should be grammatically correct, like a formal written communication or speech, it would be wrong. Papoting with your friends it is fine. But like everything the important thing is to know the rule, so that you break it from choice in appropriate situations, not from ignorance in inappropriate situations.
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