Negative Form of Verbs

This video looks at the second main structure for English verbs which is the negative form. The structure is almost exactly the same as for the positive form, but we use the word “not” before the main verb to make it negative.


So lets make those original examples negative.

“We are not learning.”

“She has not helped people.”

“We are not walking together.”

These sentences are in the negative form.

Contracting the Negative Form

Again we can use contractions with the negative form to make things quicker and easier to say.


“We are not learning.” becomes “We aren’t learning.”

“She has not helped people.” becomes “She hasn’t helped people.”

“We are not walking together.” becomes “We aren’t walking together.”

“They had not planned the project.” becomes “They hadn’t planned the project.”

“You have not taken over the office.” becomes “You haven’t taken over the office.”

“The house was not built in 1952.” becomes “The house wasn’t built in 1952.”

“I have not been to Africa.” becomes “I haven’t been to Africa.”

With the positive structure we talked about how with the simple tenses you do not need the auxiliary verb. However, this is not the case with the negative structure; now we always need the auxiliary verb.

So lets have a quick look at those simple tense examples again and make them negative.

Contractions in the Negative Form

Now that we do need an auxiliary verb we will be able to use the contracted form so lets do that in these examples.

“I eat breakfast.” becomes “I don’t eat breakfast.”

“She helped me.” becomes “She didn’t help me.”

“They had meatballs.” becomes ” They didn’t have meat balls.”

“It tickles.” becomes “It doesn’t tickle.”

“We sent them.” becomes “We didn’t send them.”

“It goes well.” becomes “It doesn’t go well.”

The only exception to this is the verb “to be”, which never uses an auxiliary for tense. This is because the verb “to be” is very irregular, we have made other videos focusing on this subject which you can see by clicking on this link.


  1. ELC Update - Pronunciation Videos - English Language Club - August 24, 2014

    […] at the basic english verb structure. The video can be split into three sections: Positive Form, Negative Form and Question Form. I think it is a really important video because these rules apply to every ver in […]

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