Negative words in Spanish and double negative

In today’s lesson, we are going to learn some negative words such as nadie, nada, ninguno…, but, more important we will see that, unlike English, Spanish uses double negative

"No" in front of the verb means "not"

To change a sentence to mean the opposite in Spanish, you have to put «no» in front of the verb:

  • Soy estudiante (I am a student) – No soy estudiante (I am not a student).
  • Hablo español (I speak Spanish) – No hablo español (I am not Spanish).

You will do the same with all the tenses:

  • No fui al de vacaciones (I didn’t go on holidays).
  • No he visto las noticias (I haven’t seen the news).
  • No visitaremos el museo ( We will not visit the museum).

Sometimes you will have to say "no" twice in Spanish

«No» in Spanish means both «no» and «not«. This means that if you’re answering a question, you may need to say «no» twice:

  • No, no como carne (No, I don’t eat meat).
  • No, no he leído el periódico todavía (No, I haven’t read the newpaper yet).

Spanish double negative

There are more negative you need to understand. If you want to get top marks you should use them too.

  • Ya no (not any more) –  Ya no trabajo allí (I don’t work there any more).
  • No … nadie (not anybody/nobody) – No hay nadie aquí (There isn’t anybody here).
  • No … nunca/jamás (not ever/never) – Ana no va nunca al teatro (Ana never goes to the theatre).
  • No … nada (not anything/nothing) – No hay nada (there is nothing).
  • no … ni … ni (neither … nor) – Carmen no habla ni francés ni inglés (Carmen speaks neither French nor English).
  • no … ningún/ninguna (none/not one/not a single: before a noun) – No hay ningún árbol en el parque (there is not a single tree in the park).
  • no … ninguno/ninguna (none/not one/ not a single: to replace a noun) – Luis no tiene ninguno/ninguna (Luis doesn’t have a single one).

Understanding negation words in Spanish

Thank this video, you will be able to consolidate everything you need to know about negative forms in Spanish. 

Now it is time you practice everything you have learned with some exercises. You can repeat the activities as many times as you want and you can come back to this lesson if you need it. Remember you can contact us at «tutores@hablamossle.com» with any questions you have about this topic.

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