EN: cela ne veut [pas] dire que

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Senior Member
English - Australia

just wondering if it is acceptable in OFFICIAL not colloquial French to omit "pas" in

in "ça/cela ne veut dire que"

I have seen in it before in expressions such as "ne cesse de + INF".

Is there a rule when you can omit just the "pas" ?

Merci d'avance!
  • Michelvar

    French / France

    It depends on the context. If "que" means "that", no, you can't. If "que" means "only", then there are contexts in which you will see this expression without "pas".

    "ça ne veut dire que cela, rien de plus" is correct, for instance. Meaning "it only means this, nothing more".
    But in "ça ne veut pas dire que tu as raison", ("it doesn't mean that you're right"), then, "pas" is compulsory.


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
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