Affirmative And Negative Sentences


A sentenceOpens in new window can be classified as to whether it states a fact or situation that is, or a fact or situation that is not.

An AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCE states a fact or situation that is—it affirms the information.

For example:
  • India is a country in South Asia.
  • She works at the bookstore.
  • He liked to eat dumplings.

A NEGATIVE SENTENCE states a fact or situation that is not—it negates the information. It includes an element of negation.

For example:
  • India is not a country in Europe.
  • She does not work at the bookstore.
  • He does not like to eat dumplings.

In English, an AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCE can be made negative by adding one of the two following negations:

Liam is a student.Liam is not/isn’t a student.
Kim can do it. Kim cannot/can’t do it.
You should go. You should not/shouldn’t go.
They will drink tea. They will not/won’t drink tea.
We read a lot.We do not/don’t read a lot.
Xochitl writes well. Xochitl does not/doesn’t write well.
The train arrived. The train did not/didn’t arrive.

Other Negative Words

Besides the word not, there other negative words in English. These negatives can function as either object or subject of the sentence.

The most common negative words are: nothing, nobody, no one, never. Nothing and no one (nobody) are often used as objectsOpens in new window or subjects Opens in new windowof a sentenceOpens in new window.

Object of the sentence:
  • I have nothing to give you.
  • Before the exam he sees no one (nobody).

Subject of the sentence:
  • Nothing is free.
  • No one is going on vacation.