1 – The Ne Disappears in Spoken French
First, you should know that no French person today in France would say: “Je NE comprends pas.”
They’ll smooth it to something that sounds like “Jeun compran pa”, gliding over the “ne”.
In Paris, we even omit the “ne” altogether; the “je” becomes kind of a “sh” sound and the whole thing is pronounced “shcompran pa.”
2 – Spoken French is Different From Written French
Of course, we still write “Je ne comprends pas.” – with all the silent French letters! This is why I often say that written French and spoken French are like two different languages.
So, how do you know a sentence is in the negative if you don’t say the “ne” in French?
You need to focus on:
- the “pas” or…
- “jamais” (never),
- “rien” (nothing),
- “aucun” (no or none),
- “person” (no one),
- and other negative words
that replace the pas, to understand that the sentence is in the negative.
3 – Schools Don’t Teach This Modern French Pronunciation
Unfortunately, schools and recordings made for students of French don’t usually teach this modern “street” French pronunciation. They over enunciate French, they hang on to a “prettier”, fancier and proper French language that is nowadays a fiction…
If this concept is new to you, it is essential you train on it with audio recordings featuring modern French -I highly recommend you check out my unique downloadable French audiobooks, featuring different speeds of recording and enunciation, and focussing on today’s modern glided pronunciation.