Negation in Spanish
In Spanish you need the word "no" to build negations. Sentences, nouns and verbs can be negated. You can differentiate between simple and double negation.
Meaning of "no"
The different meanings of "no" lead to many sentences having a "no" at the beginning of the sentence in the meaning of no and a second "no" before the conjugated verb in the meaning of "not".
- ¿Eres francesa? - (Are you French?)
- No, no soy francesa. Soy italiana. - (No, I'm not French. I'm Italian.)
- ¿Sabes nadar? - (Do you know how to swim?)
- No, no sé nadar. - (No I don't know how to swim.)
In order to make verb phrases negative in Spanish, you simply put the word "no" in front of the conjugated verb. Therefore it stands before the auxiliary verb in compound tenses. "No" is always before the pronoun.
- No trabajo el domingo. (I don't work on Sunday.)
- Carmen no tiene hijos. (Carmen doesn't have children.)
- No me gustan las películas de terror. (I don't like horror movies.)
The following rule applies: subject + "no" + pronoun + verb + object.
In Spanish many things are double negated.Then, in addition to the particle "no", there is another expression of negation in the sentence.
The following expressions are used for a double negation:
No veo nada.
(I see nothing.)
No voy a ir nunca a la discoteca.
(I will never go to the disco.)
|nunca más||never again||
Me dije que nunca más volvería a fumar.
(I told myself I would never smoke again.)
El candidato jamás ganará.
(The canditate will never win.)
Ya no tengo un perro.
(I will never get a dog anymore.)
|todavía no||not yet||
No he comido todavía.
(I haven't eaten yet.)
No he visto a nadie hoy.
(I have seen nobody today.)
No compra ninguna revista.
(Don't buy any magazine.)
|tampoco||neither, not either||
Pepe no está comiendo tampoco.
(Pepe isn't eating either.)
No puedo encontrarlo ni descargarlo.
(I can't see it nor download it.)
No me gusta ni el teatro ni el cine.
(I don't like neither the theater nor the cinema.)
Position of negation expressions
Before the verb
If the negation expressions are before of the verb, the particle "no" is completely eliminated.
- Nada le gusta. - (He likes nothing.)
- Nadie ha venido. - (No one has come.)
- Nunca voy a ir a la discoteca. - (I will never go to the disco.)
Exception: If "todavía" or "ya" are used at the beginning of the sentence, "no" is following.
- Todavía no he comido. - (I haven't eaten yet.)
- Ya no trabajo, estoy jubilado. - (I don't work anymore, I'm retired.)
Behind the verb
If the negation expressions are behind the verb, then there must be an additional "no" in front of the verb. This double negation is the common variant.
- No tengo ninguna idea. - (I have no idea.)
- Carmen no ha estudiado nada. (Carmen hasn't studied anything.)
- Fernanda no conoce a nadie. (Fernanda doesn't know anyone.)
Multiple negation expressions
In Spanish it is also possible to include several negation expressions in one sentence.
- Nadie sabe nada. - (Nobody knows anything.)
- Mis amigos no han dicho nada a nadie. - (My friends haven't said anything to anyone.)
- No he regalado nunca flores a nadie. - (I have never given flowers to anyone.)
In the exercises you can practice now the simple and double negation. Good luck!
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