Negative interrogative sentences

This is a discussion thread · 10 replies
1 2
Guys, I always thought the word "not" would always follow the auxiliary verb, even in interrogative sentences, just like that:

- Is not he your friend?
- Do not you like pizza?
- Have not you been to the party?
- Will not you come alone?
- Could not you go by taxi?

Then, I came to know (and this is what I want to know) that the word "not" follows the auxiliary verb only when it's contracted, just like that:

- Isn't he your friend?
- Don't you like pizza?
- Haven't you been to the party?
- Won't you come alone?
- Couldn't you go by taxi?

If it's not contracted, it must come after the subject, so the correct would be just like that:

- Is he not your friend?
- Do you not like pizza?
- Have you not been to the party?
- Will you not come alone?
- Could you not go by taxi?

Please... Is that truuuuueee??? OMG! (lol)

Thanks for your attention.

PC
New Member07
Approved answer (verified by )
pcgasparettoIf it's not contracted, it must come after the subject, so the correct would be just like that:
- Is he not your friend?
...Is that truueee???It's true. The negative not is like a small child. It's not allowed to cross the bridge over the subject alone. It has to hold the hand of its parent verb (in contracted form).

He is not your friend.
Verb crossing:
Is he not your friend?
not crossing alone: NO.
Is not he your friend?

He is not your friend.
Contraction:
He isn't your friend.
Verb with n't crossing together: OK.
Isn't he your friend?

CJ
Veteran Member53,321
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Gosh! I've spoken (learnt) English for 15 years, and I've never seen or listened to it before. I mean, in fact, I have, but I really thought it was wrong. I thought people were writing or speaking wrongly, misusing grammar. But it's the other way around... Now, I see that "I" was wrong all the time. Gee! (lol)

Thanks a lot, ClifJim. I will never speak wrongly again! Emotion: smile
Anonymous:
Holy Mary! I didn't know that.

I've always heard and seen contracted form and didn't even imagine such thing.

Is that applied to all verbal tenses and auxiliary verbs (be, do, have, modals)? Really? I mean, that's the real rule?!
AnonymousIs that applied to all verbal tenses and auxiliary verbs (be, do, have, modals)? Really? I mean, that's the real rule?!
Yes. It doesn't matter which auxiliary takes n't over the subject.

Haven't you noticed that?
Doesn't he know that?
Can't they do that?
Aren't you sleepy yet?

Not:

Have not you ...
Does not he ...
Cannot they ...
Are not you ...

Of course, this applies to the majority of modern English. If you examine texts from 100 or more years ago, you may find uncontracted not before a subject. You may also occasionally find it in modern texts when an author wants a particular stylistic flavor. But it should be considered a rare exception -- not normal practice.

CJ
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Anonymous:
CalifJim, thanks for your reply. But, I think I didn't make myself clear on my previous question. I've always used contracted form, as you mentioned...

Haven't you noticed that?
Doesn't he know that?
Can't they do that?
Aren't you sleepy yet?

When I asked if the rule is applied to all verbal tenses and auxiliary verbs, actually I meant the word "not" after the subject. Like...

Have you NOT noticed that?
Does he NOT know that?
Can they NOT do that?
Are you NOT sleepy yet?

That's what I didn't know.

But, according to your answer, I assume the rule does apply to all of them.

Thanks again.

Rodrigo Yuda
AnonymousHave you NOT noticed that?
Does he NOT know that?
Can they NOT do that?
Are you NOT sleepy yet?
All OK, but not used in casual conversation except for emphasis. They are formal.

CJ
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Anonymous:
hey.. i need to know how will ou answer negative interrogative sentences. Eg. for the question "Don't you like pizza?", if I dont like pizza, i'll reply "No, I don't like pizza.". Is this correct?
Anonymousfor the question "Don't you like pizza?", if I dont like pizza, i'll reply "No, I don't like pizza.". Is this correct?
Yes. That's right.

CJ

In the future please start a new thread when your question is not directly related to the material being discussed in this thread.

CJ
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here