How To Change Affirmative Sentence Into A Negative Sentence

How To Change Affirmative Sentence Into A Negative Sentence

There are two ways of turning an affirmative sentence into a negative sentence-

  1. Changing the meaning of a sentence.
  2. Without changing the meaning of a sentence.

1. Changing The Meaning of a Sentence

  • When we change the entire meaning of an affirmative sentence, it becomes a negative one.
  • Similarly, we can also turn a negative sentence into an affirmative one by changing its meaning.
  • Usually, the three words – ‘no’, ‘not’ or ‘nothing’ are placed in affirmative sentences to make them negative. 

There are some examples of this process –

Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
There are so many pens in the box. There is no pen in the box. 
Manas babu is a polite teacher. Manas babu is not a polite teacher. 
Mumbai is the biggest city in India. Mumbai is not the biggest city in India. 
Five and five make ten. Five and five do not make ten. 
Man is a social animal. Man is not a social animal. 
It is very hot today. It is not very hot today. 
I may go to school. I may not go to school. 
Last week he went to Kashmir. Last week he did not go to Kashmir. 
There is a mystery about Netaji’s death. There is no mystery about Netaji’s death. 
They love everything. They love nothing. 
She went out shopping. She did not go out shopping. 
I love mango. I don’t love mango. 
This is my work. This is not my work. 
They left the town. They did not leave the town. 
Do the sum on the blackboard. Do not do the sum on the blackboard. 

2. Without Changing The Meaning of a Sentence

The following rules are to be observed while turning an affirmative or assertive sentence into a negative sentence without changing its meaning. 

i. By using opposite words


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
The compartment was full. The compartment was not empty. 
He is rich. He is not poor. 
She is a liar. She is not truthful. 
You are honest. You are not dishonest. 
Priya is brave. Priya is not a coward. 
She drew a beautiful picture. She did not draw an ugly picture. 
The fellow looks tidy. The fellow does not look untidy. 
Malay was unable to make up his mind. Malay was not able to make up his mind. 
Urmila was incapable of plying the pen. Urmila was not capable of plying the pen. 
Sneha refused to accept his proposal. Sneha did not agree to accept his proposal. 
The baby’s likes and dislikes we’re known to her mother. The baby’s likes and dislikes were not unknown to his mother. 
Nitu always obeys her teachers. Nitu never disobeys her teachers. 
Our family is United. Our family is not ununited. 
She is married. She is not married. 
We should love the poor. We should not hate the poor. 

ii. By making negative question


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
Mother told me a story. Did not mother tell me a story? 
The teacher punished the boy. Did not the teacher punish the boy? 
He helps the poor. Does he not help the poor? 
Earth has not anything to show more fair. Has earth anything to show more fair? 
He was a real hero. Was not he a real hero? 

iii. By making assertive sentence ‘wh’ question 


Affirmative sentence
Everybody loves his motherland. Who does not love his motherland? 
Everyone knows Tagore. Who does not know Tagore? 

iv. By placing ‘none but’ or ‘no-one’ in the place of ‘only’


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
Only students are allowed here. No one/none but students are allowed here. 
She is only his wife. She is no one/none but his wife. 
Only a real lover can do this. No one/none but a real lover can do this. 
He wants only his company. He wants no one/none but his company. 
I am only an ordinary man. I am no-one/none but an ordinary man. 

V. By changing the formation of the degree


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
English is the easiest subject. (superlative degree) No other subject is as good as English. (positive degree) 
Ram is taller than Rahul. (comparative degree) Rahul is not as tall as Ram. (positive degree) 
She is the best girl in the class. (superlative degree) No other girl in the class is as polite as she is. (positive degree) 
‘Ghum’ is the highest rail station in India. (superlative degree) No other rail station in the world is as high as ‘Ghum’.(positive degree) 
Madhabi’s voice is louder than Arush’s.(comparative degree) Arush’s voice is not as loud as Madhabi. (positive degree) 

VI. By using ‘so – that’ (negative) in the place of ‘too – to'(positive)

The formation of these two types of sentences are as follows-

  • Too-to(positive): subject + verb + too + adjective + to + main verb
  • So – that(negative): Subject + verb + so + adjective + that + subject + can/could (do/does/did) + not +main verb + object. 


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
The weather is too cold to go out. The weather is so cold that we can not go out. 
The insult is too much to bear. The insult is so much that we can not bear it. 
She is too short to touch the branches of the tree. She is so short that she can not touch the branches of the tree. 
The sum was too hard to do. The sum was so hard that none could do it. 
Maitri was too ill to walk. Maitri was so ill that she could not walk. 

VII. By using ‘no sooner – than'(negative) in the place of ‘as soon as'(affirmative):

The formation of these two types of sentences is given below-

  • As soon as(affirmative):  As soon as + first action + ‘, ‘ + second action. 
  • No sooner – than(negative): No sooner + had(have/has) + first action + than + second action. 

Some examples of this kind of sentences are given below-

Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
As soon as Priti heard the news, she burst into tears. No sooner had Priti heard the news than she burst into tears. 
As soon as he had gone, she hailed a passing railway coolie. No sooner had he gone, than she hailed a passing railway coolie. 
As soon as she came into his life, he went in haste to give that good news. No sooner had she come in his life than he went in haste to give that good news. 
As soon as he saw the police, he fled. No sooner had he seen the police than he fled. 
As soon as the boy took the water, he began to drink it. No sooner had the boy taken the water than he began to drink it. 

VIII. By using can not but/could not but

‘Can not but’ or ‘could not but’ are used to turn an assertive or affirmative sentence into a negative sentence when someone can not stay without doing any work. 


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
I help the blind man. I can not but help the blind man. 
They shed tears. They couldn’t but shed tears. 

IX. By using ‘Is not without love’ in the place of ‘love’


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
A mother loves her child. A mother isn’t without love for her child. 

X. By using ‘ It is not that’

‘It is not that’ is used for the double negative. 


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
He loves the poor. It is not that he doesn’t love the poor. 

XI. By using ‘not at all’ in the place of ‘hardly’


Affirmative sentenceNegative sentence
I hardly believe you. I do not believe you at all. 

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