I want to make negative sentences from positive sentences. For example:

If I had a car ..., I would ...    ← positive

If I had not a car, I would ...  ← negative

But I'm not sure about it would be correct edited as well?

Also what is the difference between these two negative sentences?

If I had not a car, I would ...

If I did not have a car, I would ...

And is there any other option to another expression?

Edit: I do not just tell about question and positive, negative structure grammar.

  • 2
    If I hadn't a car is common. But note this is with had and not contracted. If I had not a car sounds as strange as If I have not a car.
    – user6951
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 8:06
  • 1
    The usual and most common construction is if I didn't have a car. In negative sentences (and questions!) you normally add the auxiliary verb do: I have a car -> I don't have a car -> Do you have a car?
    – oerkelens
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 9:14
  • Regarding your edit: You are asking a question, I presume. If you want to tell us something about something, a blog is a better place. Instead of SHOUTING at us what you are not talking about, it would help if you would simply clarify your question and tell us what you are talking about.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 11:27
  • I don't have idea which point makes you as miss understood.
    – Carter
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 11:35
  • 1
    *If I hadn't a car isn't actually common. The negative inflectional affix -n't attaches to auxiliary verbs, but possessive have for the large majority of speakers is now lexical, and for these speakers *If I hadn't a car is ungrammatical.
    – user230
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 2:24

1 Answer 1


If I did not have a car, I would... is correct here. If I had not a car is not, because you aren't negating the right element. "a" is the indefinite article, but it also counts 'one' in a sense. As such, you would need to negate 'a':

If I had a car, I would drive to the store.


If I had no car, I would walk to the store.

However, in English you would more commonly say "did not have a car", because negating "have" makes more sense, and so "did not have" places the emphasis on that part of the sentence. You could also say "If I did have a car," which would emphasize that also, but we don't tend to in my experience. I'm not entirely sure why the distinction, but "If I had no car" sounds odd to me despite being technically sound, and "If I did have a car" also sounds a little off.

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