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Spanish Negation

What is a negation in Spanish?

In this lesson you are going to learn how to use the Spanish negation.

Spanish negation

Note: To make a sentence negative, place the word “no” before the verb.

 

AffirmativeNegative

Nosotros hablamos Español (We speak Spanish) – Nosotros no hablamos Español (We don’t speak Spanish)

Ella está aquí (She is here) – Ella no está aquí (She is not here)

What are some rules of Spanish negation?

Note: When the answer to a question is negative,” two negative words” are required.

e.g.

Question: ¿Habla ella Español? (Does she speak Spanish?)
Answer: No. Ella no habla Español. (No. She doesn’t speak Spanish.)

 

Tip: List of affirmative words and their negative counterparts:

Affirmative – Negative Counterparts

algo (something) – nada (nothing)

alguien (somebody) – nadie (nobody)

algún (-o, -a, -os, -as) (some, something) – ningún (-o, -a, -os, -as) (no, none)

siempre (always) – nunca (never) 

siempre (always) – jamás (never, ever)

también (also) – tampoco (neither, not either)

o . . . o (either . . . or) – ni . . . ni (neither . . . nor)

 

Note: The negative words can be used alone, preceding the verb.

e.g.

Nadie habla – Nobody talks.

Él nunca baila – He never dances.

Ella ni canta ni baila – She neither sings nor dances

 

Note: The negative words can also be used with the word “no”, following the verb.

e.g.

No habla nadie.- Nobody talks.

Él no come nunca. – He never eats.

Note: Sometimes, “three negative words” occur in the same sentence.

e.g.

No compro nada nunca. – I never buy anything.

Él no compra nada tampoco. – He doesn’t buy anything either.

 

Note: You can even have “four negative words” in the same sentence.

e.g.

Ella no ve nunca a nadie tampoco. – She never sees anyone either.

 

Note:”Alguno” and “ninguno” drop the “-o” before a masculine singular noun.

e.g.

Question:¿Tienes algún papel? – Do you have any paper?
Answer: No, no tengo ningún papel – No. I do not have any paper

 

Note: “Ninguno”, “ninguna” are generally used in the singular.

e.g.

Question:¿Tienes algunas revistas? – Do you have some magazines?

Answer: No, no tengo ninguna. – No, I do not have any.

 

Question:¿Tienes algunos libros? – Do you have some books?

Answer: No, no tengo ninguno. – No I do not have any.

 

Note: The plural of “ninguno, ninguna” is used only when the noun it modifies exists only in plural, or is normally used in plural.

e.g.

Ningunas de esas casas están a la venta – None of those houses are for sale

Read more about the Spanish grammar

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