Present Tense: Regular Verbs (negative)
Welcome back to another bite-size grammar lesson from Idioma PRO. Yesterday, we dove into talking about regular verbs in the positive form. Remember how simple it was? Let’s review: the verb “to talk” (which is the infinitive form) is conjugated “I talk, you talk, he talks… etc.”
Today we’re going to talk about the negative form of regular verbs to say what actions are not happening or are not true in the present moment.
To make the negative form of a regular verb, you simply add “do not” between the subject and the verb. The verb, like we saw yesterday in the positive form, is the same as the infinitive. For example, keeping with the verb “to talk” that we already used today, in the negative form would be “I do not talk, you do not talk…”
The exception to this formula once again, of course, is the third person singular “he/she/it”. Instead of adding “do not” after these pronouns, we add “does not.” Then, after “does not”, we add the main verb “talk” just as we did with all the other pronouns.
Notice that the form of the main verb, in this case “talk”, doesn’t ever change in the negative form, regardless of the pronoun or person we are talking about. The only thing that changes is if we use “do not” or “does not.” So, let’s review together, the positive and negative conjugations in the singular: “I talk, I do not talk. You talk. You do not talk. He talks. He does not talk.”
And lastly, to help you sound more like a native speaker, don’t forget about the contractions. In English, it seems like we love contractions, doesn’t it? But these contractions are simple: “do not” shortens to “don’t” and “does not” shortens to “doesn’t.” The contraction means the exact same thing as the full, longer form. It’s just a little easier to say and write. You’ll hear it a lot in every day conversation.
And that’s all there is to it. Before jumping to the exercises, we’ll do one last quick review here, with me as your guide. I’ll say a sentence in the positive form, and you switch it to the negative. Here we go!
“I wash the car…” would be “I don’t wash the car.” “You wash your hands…” in the negative form is “You don’t wash your hands.” “Kevin washes the floor…” changes to “Kevin doesn’t wash the floor.” One more… “They wash the dog…” is “They don’t wash the dog.” Sounds like you’re ready for the exercises!
The Present Tense (negative form) describes actions that are not happening or are not true in the present moment.
1. To form the negative form, add “do not” between the subject and the verb.
2. For the 3rd person singular, add “does not” between the subject and verb.
(Notice that the main verb in all persons is always the same. The only thing that changes is the form of “do/ does”.)
3. “Do not” can be shortened to “don’t”;
“does not” shortens to “doesn’t.”