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Thursday, September 20, 2012

My question concerns "Pinga" and (double) negation. An example you used is "Pinga ou fè sa!" Is this different from "Pinga ou pa fè sa!"

Yes.  It's definitely different.
I guess a double negation comes thru as a positive sentence. ( I don't know how it works in English)

Pinga ou fè sa!
Don't do that!
Don't you do that!
Pinga in this sentence comes off  as a warning not to do something

Pinga ou pa fè sa non! comes through as you better do it, you should do it, I hope you do it
My emphatic "non" at the end of that sentence doesn't mean anything, but if I were to say that sentence,  that NON would be there.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words


  1. Hm. Confusing. I believe in Creole double negative usually does not make a positive.

    Example: "Pyès moun pa manje diri."

    ="No one is eating rice."
    not "No one is not eating rice" i.e. "Everyone is eating rice"

    1. Yes, you're right that can be confusing :)
      One way to not making that confusing is to see PINGA as the auxiliary which does not need PA to form the negative.

      Pinga ou pale.
      Don't talk.

      Pinga ou ale avèk yo.
      Don't you go with them.

      Whereas PYÈS would fall in the indef. adj /PRON category like ANYEN and OKENN where PYÈS + PA, ANYEN + PA, OKENN + PA form the negative.

      Mwen pa gen pyès lajan.
      I have no money.

      Mwen pa wè pyès moun.
      I don't see anyone.
      I see no one

      Pa gen pyès moun la.
      There's no one there.