Je t’aime. Je ne t’aime plus.

What to say on Valentine’s Day:

Je t’aime.

zhuh TEMM.

I love you!

What not to say (save it for some other time!):

Je ne t’aime plus.

zhuhn temm PLEW.

I don’t love you any more!

How much commentary do you need on this? Listen for the hints (Know Your Valentine!), accompany your gift with the appropriate words (see first entry, above), and keep the mood romantic.

A little more on negatives here. (For other phrases in the negative, click on the “negative” category.) Remember that the negative needs two parts, normally: a ne before the verb, and a pas after it. But pas can be changed to other words, to express different negative concepts: No one. Never. No more. Nothing. Here, the word is plus, which often means more, but in the company of ne, it means no more, or not any more, or no longer.

And notice that when you wrap the negative expression (here ne…plus) around the verb, whatever is attached to the verb has to go inside the negative expression. Te, you, and other pronouns–including ones that are not physically attached by an apostrophe–go inside the negative.

Think of the negative as the two grabby parts of the business end of a pair of fireplace tongs:

Je  ne t’aime  plus.

See? The two parts of the negative grab the verb and squeeze it.

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