Negation in Creole is quite simple. There is one marker: pa(s). Pa is contracted when followed by a word/verb whose first letter is a vowel.

The placement of the negation marker ‘pa’ is variable; in present tenses, ‘pa’ is ALWAYS placed between the personal pronoun and the verb. ‘Pa’ also immediately follows the personal pronoun in the present progressive, simple past, imperfect and in the indefinite future tense.

However in the simple present perfect, past perfect, and definite future tenses, the negation marker ‘pa’ is place after the previous marker (past tense marker ‘té’, and definite future marker ‘va’).

With the verb dèt (to be), this is a special verb case in point. In the simple present tense, when using adjectives (You are pretty, he is sick, she is crazy, we are hungry etc), in Creole, the negation marker ‘pa’ lies between the personal pronoun and the adjective (e.g. mo pa faim, yé pa konten, nou-zòt pa fou). See more examples below.


A. Mo p’olé manjer.
I don’t want to eat.

B. Yé va pa dèt kapab kouri à l’ékol ojordi.
They won’t be able to go to school today.

C. Li té invité mo, mé mo té pa kapab kitté mo travay.
He invited me, but I could not leave work.

D. Ô, ça, çé pa bon.
Oh, that’s not good.

E. Mo pa Dominikin.
I’m not Dominican.

F. Yé krò yé toujou pli intèligen, mé yé pa myé.
They always feel that they’re the smartest, but they are not any better.



One thought on “Negating

  1. I have used this site for closely to four years. I learned so much from and truly enjoy. However, the new site had less information on it. I would to see more informstion from the old site and more audio lesson. Thank you for all your hard and valuable work. My family loss our Creole language because our Grandmother did not want us to learn the language. Same old reasons, they did not want us to know what they were talking about. They did not realize how they hurt our culture. Thank you again for the website, it’s truly a blessing.

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