Negation of and -guo constructions

The shi4 de construction is used to emphasize additional information like the place or manner of an action. For instance:

Ni3 shi4 zai4 na2li xu2e de Zho1ng we2n?
Where was it that you studied Chinese?

Wo3 shi4 zai4 da4 xu2e xu2e de.
It was at university that I studied. (forgive the stilted translation)

Now, what if I want to emphasize that I did not study at university? Do I negate the shi4 to become bu2 shi4?

Wo3 bu2 shi4 zai4 da4 xue2 xue2 de.

And how about negating a verb with the experiential marker -guo4? In affirmative form, -guo4 would I think be used as:

Wo3 co2ng qia2n zai4 da4 xue2 xue2 guo4.

Would the negative be as follows (negation of the zai4 state verb)?

Wo co2ng qia2n bu2 zai4 da4 xue2 xue2 guo4.

If both negations are correct, then what is the difference in nuance between the two?

  1. Wo3 bu2 shi4 zai4 da4 xue2 xue2 de.
  2. Wo3 co2ng qia2n bu2 zai4 da4 xue2 xue2 guo4.

Does the first emphasize that study did take place, but it was not at a university that it took place – whereas the second emphasizes that a particular experience (that the act of studying at a university in the past) never occurred?

I would say 1 is correct, 2 should be rephrased as

Wô cónglái méiyôu zài dàxué xuéguò [Zhõngwén]

But the situations in which the second one should be used seem limited to me…

Also, I’m no expert.

Are you negating the zai4 with me2iyo3u? I thought that was verboten – zai4 “seems” like a state verb (I could be wrong here), and I thought state verbs must be negated with bu4 (or bu2 zai4 in this case).

Or are you negating the xue2guo4 with me2iyo3u?

Yes, you can.

I would use “沒”. It’s an odd phrasing, I’d expect “我從前沒讀過大學” perhaps. In written language, you could see “未”

Yes, exactly.

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negating xueguo with meiyou. Zai here is not a verb but part of an adverbial phrase (the place where action happened)

Yeah so I thought if he adds 中文 at the end it makes some sense (“I’ve never studied Chinese at university” but only with a private tutor, or some such)

Thanks to both of you.

Could you give an example of a sentence with 中文 at the end that makes sense, along the lines that you were thinking?

Didn’t I write one?

Sorry, I missed the [Zhongwen] at the end of your sentence! Got it now. Do3ng le.

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Here you can only negate with mei2 (沒). To make it sound more natural, I would also use yi3 qia2n instead of co2ng qia2n

Wo yi3 qia2n mei2 zai4 da4 xue2 xue2 guo4.