Afrikaans Grammar. Negation


Apart from short sentences (see below), Afrikaans uses a double negative Nie ... Nie ...for negation.

Ek is nie honger nie 'I am not hungry not'.

Negation is a more complicated area of the language and as usual, (and in keeping with the name Easy Afrikaans), we are only looking at some simple examples and approximate rules.

Simple Sentences Start lesson

These simple sentences show the usual position of nie in simple sentences..

The first nie (as a general rule) follows the subject and verb, and the second is always positioned at the end of the sentence.

I speak AfrikaansEk praat Afrikaans
I don't speak AfrikaansEk praat nie Afrikaans nie
The house is redDie huis is rooi
The house is not redDie huis is nie rooi nie
This is my houseDit is my huis
This is not my houseDit is nie my huis nie
The garden is largeDie tuin is groot
The garden is not largeDie tuin is nie groot nie
I am hungryEk is honger
I am not hungryEk is nie honger nie

Sentences with only one nie Start lesson

In short sentences, there is only one nie.

To be slightly more precise, in sentences such as these where there is only a subject and a verb only one negative is used.

The dog runsDie hond hardloop
The dog is not runningDie hond hardloop nie
Peter readsPeter lees
Peter is not readingPeter lees nie
She writesSy skryf
She is not writingSy skryf nie
They sleepHulle slaap
They are not sleepingHulle slaap nie

This is also the case where the object is a pronoun. Start lesson

I see itEk sien dit
I do not see itEk sien dit nie
You have themJy het hulle
You do not have themJy het hulle nie
He eats itHy eet dit
He does not eat itHy eet dit nie
I see herEk sien haar
I do not see herEk sien haar nie