Negation for beginners

Negation is the act of making a term, phrase, or clause negative or opposite. In this article, you will learn how to make negations.

What Is Negation in English Grammar?

What Is Negation?

Negation is when you say the opposite of what someone else said or express the negative meaning of a word or sentence.

Two Negative Words

There are two words that are commonly used in English to make a sentence negative:


We can use 'no' as a negative answer to a yes/no question.

A : Is there any cake left for me?

B : No! Sorry!

We can use 'no' before a noun to make a negative sentence and to show negation.

We have no time to celebrate.

He has no friends.


'Not' is the most common word used to show negation. For example:

I am not a student.

The short form of 'not' is 'n’t' and it often comes after auxiliary verbs or modal verbs to make them negative.

She isn't working on Fridays.

I can't sing.


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