Je ne savais que faire en premier.

English Translation

I didn’t know what to do first.

Why exactly is there no “pas” in this sentence? Can the “que” always replace it, or only if it’s part of the phrase “que faire”?

1 Like

Ne is used alone, without pas, in a few idiomatic cases, with the verbs savoir and avoir followed by an infinitive clause.

  • Il ne sait que devenir.
  • Je n’ai que faire de vos promesses.

It is different from the usual meaning of ne… que… = only.

  • Il n’a que deux enfants.

Yes, French grammar is a pain!