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Spanish Negation

What is a negation in Spanish?

negation in spanish

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


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)

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


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.


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.


No habla nadie.- Nobody talks.

Él no come nunca. - He never eats.

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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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

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