I've noticed several times when watching French programmes that sometimes a sentence such as this is said: "On ne peut le controler"...We can't control him/it. Surely it should be "On ne peut pas le controler". At first I just thought it was slang, in the same way the "ne" is often dropped in negatives...but I did see it some quite "high brow" programmes and only ever with the verb pouvoir. Is there some kind of rule to this or what? I'm a bit confused. Moderator note: Multiple threads merged to create this one. See also FR: "ne" without "pas" - "ne" explétif et "ne" littéraire.