What Is a Negative Sentence?

Team English - Examples.com
Created by: Team English - Examples.com, Last Updated: May 24, 2024

What Is a Negative Sentence?

In our daily interaction, our sentences could have various meanings.

If you do not express one properly, the people you are trying to communicate with might just misunderstand you and it defeats the purpose of communicating. When we would want to explain the opposite meaning of an idea, it is important that you use the right words and interrogative sentences so that it will not be interpreted as no when you are trying to say yes, and yes when you actually meant no.

Negative sentences are helpful when we would express the opposite meaning of an idea. Negative sentences does not literally mean that it is negative because you can actually use negative sentences when negating a pessimistic thought or idea.

In this article, learn more about negative sentences and browse through the examples to assist you in writing negative sentences in the future.

What are Negatives?

Before defining negative sentences, let’s get to know what makes negative sentences negative– the negatives.

A negative is a word or phrase that denotes disagreement or rejection towards something.

When negatives are used in a sentence, it does not always mean that it denotes something bad. Negatives are used to negate something which means that it is used to nullify a particular statement.

Take this for example:

  • Q: Are you feeling sick?
  • A: I don’t feel sick at all.

To use negatives in creating a negative sentence, always place the negated be verb before the idea or the verb, noun, or adjective of the sentence. This will indicate what idea you are trying to negate.

Take this sentence for example:

  • Don’t sit on the wet chair.

Don’t is the negated be verb here. Don’t refers to the idea (or the verb in this sentence) which is sit. 

In writing negative sentences, all you have to do is write the word not after an auxiliary verb which is also known as a helping verb.You may also see tips in writing a good analytical essay.

Defining Negative Sentences

Negative sentences state that something is false or basically the opposite of the truth.

We are able to create negative sentences with the help of negative words and adding the word not after auxiliary verbs.

The following are some of the negative words that we can use to create a negative sentence:

Negative words:

  • No
  • Not
  • None
  • No one
  • Nobody
  • Nothing
  • Neither
  • Nowhere
  • Never

An auxiliary verb is a verb that is used when in forming the tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. The most common way to write a negative statement is the use of a negated auxiliary verb.

Be verbs are an example of an auxiliary verb. The be verbs include:

  • To be (am, is, are ,was, were)
  • To have (have, has, had)
  • To do (do, does, did)

Double Negatives

There is a tendency for sentences to written with double negatives. When a sentence has double negatives, it is already considered incorrect because a negative sentence should only have one negative.

Double negatives change the entire meaning of a sentence fragment even to the point of making it into an affirmative one, making it quite tricky to read and understand what the sentence actually meant.

Sometimes, the use of double negatives are intentional and are used to achieve a comedic effect. While this can be effective in informal discourse, it is a big no-no in formal writings and discussions


We can use negative sentences in talking informally by using contractions.

Here are the contracted be verbs.

  • To be (is + not = isn’t, are + not = aren’t, was + not = wasn’t, were + not = weren’t)
  • To have (have + not = haven’t, has + not = hasn’t, had + not = hadn’t)
  • To do (do + not = don’t, does + not = doesn’t, did + not = didn’t)

The be verb am cannot be contracted.

Examples of Negative Sentences

To be

is + not = is not / isn’t

  • Maria is not a professional singer.
  • The existence of superheroes isn’t proven.
  • The coffee shop is not yet open for another batch of service crew.

are + not = are not / aren’t

  • Maria and her friends are not going to be present today.
  • The superheroes you have seen in films aren’t real; the real heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary acts of heroism.
  • If you are not going to present during the final presentation, you will fail the subject.

was + not = was not / wasn’t

  • The teacher was not pleased to see me running late for school.
  • The author wasn’t writing to please her readers; she was writing because she wants to express her thoughts and emotions.
  • The television show host was not good in presenting the television program.

were + not = were not / weren’t

  • You were not allowed to enter the premises.
  • You weren’t there when the crime happened so how could you stand as a witness against the prosecution?
  • You were not equipped to do the task yet.

To have

have + not = have not / haven’t

  • They have not eaten breakfast yet.
  • We haven’t discussed the matters between us because you kept on denying that those matters are inexistent.

has + not = has not / hasn’t

  • She has not written a single word yet for her term paper.
  • Alice still hasn’t realized that the term paper has been long overdue.

had + not = had not / hadn’t

  • Jerry had not forgotten Tom’s birthday.
  • Tom had not given his friendship with Jerry any value that is why Jerry felt so down when Tom forgot his birthday

To do

do + not = do not / don’t

  • I do not understand why he was acting that way towards her.
  • I don’t play guitar because I had a traumatic experience with it when I was five years old.

does + not = does not / doesn’t

  • Clara does not acknowledge the efforts of her groupmates.
  • She doesn’t want to admit that her groupmates actually contributed a lot to their sample project more than her. 

did + not = did not / didn’t

  • I know you didn’t commit the deed just to spite me.
  • However, I didn’t want to ignore the gut feeling I had when I saw you at the very place where the accident the happened.

Changing Affirmative Sentences to Negative Sentences

It is important to know how to change or rewrite affirmative sentences to negative sentences. Here are some examples of changing affirmative sentences to negative sentences:

  1. Affirmative: He is coming back.
    Negative: He is not coming back.
  2. Affirmative: The doctor was trying to bring back the pulse of the sickly child.
    Negative: The doctor wasn’t trying to bring back the pulse of the sickly child.
  3. Affirmative: You are going to fail tomorrow’s exam.
    Negative: You are not going to fail tomorrow’s exam.
  4. Affirmative: I do respect him as our professor.
    Negative: I do not respect him as our professor.
  5. Affirmative: She had forgotten to remind you of the homework that is due tomorrow.
    Negative: She had not forgotten to remind you of the homework that is due tomorrow.
  6. Affirmative: You were sure about what would happen.
    Negative: You were not sure about what would happen.
  7. Affirmative: The dog pees every morning when we would have a walk.
    Negative: The dog does not pee every morning when we would a walk.
  8. Affirmative: John and Maria have already left the premises.
    Negative: John and Maria have not yet left the premises.
  9. Affirmative: My brother and sister had been present during my high school graduation.
    Negative: My brother and sister had not been present during my high school graduation.
  10. Affirmative: She wants to cry after watching the heartbreaking film.
    Negative: She does not want to cry after watching the heartbreaking film.

We hope you found our article on negative sentences to be informative. Negative sentences are helpful when you want to express the opposite meaning of an idea. You can specifically use negative sentences when negating a pessimistic essay writing. We also included some examples on how to write negative sentences for your preference.

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