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ESL Easy Quiz

It Isn't Hard - Negative Present Tenses

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about the quiz called “It Isn't Hard” but your teacher will probably talk to you about "Negative Present Tense". If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

You probably have a good grasp on how to say what is happening and now you need to learn about the negative present tense so that you can say what is NOT happening or DOES NOT happen. It's a little like learning where the brake is on a bike or a car, so that we can stop things under control when we need to! Don't worry too much about the terminology - just answer the questions below and negative present tense will soon seem natural to you.

  1. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    We 'do not do' things in English (like driving on the right-hand side of the road!)
  2. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    We usually use the present continuous form of the verb, even for a future event. (Arguably, having a baby is a 'process' rather than an 'event', so perhaps there is a sense of 'continuity' in this example!)
  3. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    My cousin ... .... dark hair.
    Usually in English, when we deny a fact, we say 'I do not know' or 'It does not matter'. The pattern is to use a form of the 'do' auxiliary, then 'not' and then the infinitive form of the verb that isn't happening.
  4. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    Don't make the tea just yet: the water ...
    This is how to make the everyday negative with a verb in the continuous form.
  5. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    We'd love to play tennis with you, but I'm afraid we didn't bring ... .... of our equipment with us.
    English does not need a 'double negative' ('I don't want no trouble' has two negative elements in it; the better version is 'I don't want any trouble').
  6. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    She ... ... speaking to me since we had a disagreement last weekend.
    This is the short form of how to say that some process is not happening.
  7. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    My parents ... .... let me go into town by myself in the evenings.
    An example of the 'not ever' structure.
  8. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    That dreadful old wreck of a car isn't going ...
    An example of the 'not ... any' structure.
  9. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    Many years ago now, tennis champion John McEnroe used to challenge the decisions by umpires and court officials. The comment he used to shout at them was:
    'You ... ... be serious!'
    This carries the sense that the officials have not managed to make a sensible decision ('cannot'), rather than a vague possibility that they might have made a mistake.
    Meanwhile, at time of writing, McEnroe is now well-established as a commentator at Wimbledon on BBC television.
  10. Which is the best way to express the negative sentence?
    You ... .... make remarks like that in public.
    The apostrophe, in such a situation, shows that one or more letters have been left out (in this case, from 'cannot'), so it must go between the N and the T. Nowhere else would be right.

Author: Ian Miles

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