Practice in Turning Positive Statements Into Negative Statements

A Sentence-Revision Exercise

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This exercise will give you practice in turning positive statements (also called affirmatives) into negative statements.

The most common way of turning a positive statement into a negative statement in English is to add the word not (or the contracted form -n't). In a declarative sentence, the word not is usually placed after a helping verb (such as a form of do, have, or be). Similarly, in less formal writing, the contraction -n't may be added to the helping verb.

Instructions

For each sentence below, write the negative version of the verb or verb phrase in italics. In some cases, you will need to add a helping verb.

When you have completed the exercise, compare your answers with those on page two.

  1. The teacher was paying attention to the other children in the room.
  2. The band was playing perfectly in tune.
  3. The police concluded that the security system had been working properly.
  4. The research study concluded that longer school days lead to greater student achievement.
  5. Travis has been a taxi driver for a very long time.
  6. My friend wants to move to Alaska with her family.
  7. I waited for Charlie to finish complaining about his stupid cell phone.
  8. Sara is the first person in our family to go to college.
  9. When I go to bed tonight, I will think about pink elephants.
  10. We have been seeing a great deal of each other lately.
  11. I heard my grandfather singing in the shower.
  12. We are going to spend our vacation at the lake this year.
  1. Caleb tried very hard to win the race.
  2. Last night I went to the movie theater with Takumi.

Here you will find answers (in bold) to the exercise. Note that contracted forms (such as wasn't or didn't) may also be written out in full (was not or did not).

  1. The teacher was not paying attention to the other children in the room.
  1. The band wasn't playing perfectly in tune.
  2. The police concluded that the security system had not been working properly.
  3. The research study did not conclude that longer school days lead to greater student achievement.
  4. Travis has not been a taxi driver for a very long time.
  5. My friend does not want to move to Alaska with her family.
  6. didn't wait for Charlie to finish complaining about his stupid cell phone.
  7. Sara is not the first person in our family to go to college.
  8. When I go to bed tonight, I won't think about pink elephants.
  9. We have not been seeing a great deal of each other lately.
  10. did not hear my grandfather singing in the shower.
  11. We are not going to spend our vacation at the lake this year.
  12. Caleb didn't try very hard to win the race.
  13. Last night I did not go to the movie theater with Takumi.
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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Practice in Turning Positive Statements Into Negative Statements." ThoughtCo, Sep. 30, 2017, thoughtco.com/practice-positive-into-negative-statements-1690988. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, September 30). Practice in Turning Positive Statements Into Negative Statements. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/practice-positive-into-negative-statements-1690988 Nordquist, Richard. "Practice in Turning Positive Statements Into Negative Statements." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/practice-positive-into-negative-statements-1690988 (accessed January 24, 2018).