Negation with the negative verb

Finnish has a special negative verb. This means that it changes depending on the subject and each grammatical person has its own form.

negative conjugation
singular plural
En Emme
Et Ette
Ei Eivät

Some examples of the negation

As the negative verb has the same personal ending as all verbs, the main verb doesn't need any personal ending. You get the form of the main verb by using the 1st person singular and leaving the personal ending out.

Here are some examples of negation in the present tense.

Minä en tahdo mennä.
I don't want to go.
Sinä et tunne häntä.
You don't know him.
Hän ei puhu englantia.
He doesn't speak english.
Me emme enää tapaa.
We won't meet again.
Te ette tiedä totuutta.
You don't know the truth.
He eivät pidä ulkomaalaisista.
They don't like foreigners.

See also the article about the negation in the past tenses.

Negative imperative

The imperative for the negative verb is älä in singular.

Älä mene!
Don't go!

Negative imperative is used when denying someone. The main verb is without any ending:

Älä tupakoi!
Don't smoke
Älä juokse!
Don't run!
Älä yritä!
Don't try!
Älä tule lähemmäksi!
Don't come closer!
Älä ota sitä!
Don't take it!

In plural it's älkää. Plural form is used for formal situations.

Älkää menkö sinne!
Don't go there

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