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Spanish Grammar - Negatives

Spanish grammar lesson 8: Negatives and Double Negatives

Adding the word "no" before a verb is usually sufficient to make a negative expression in Spanish.

"No" in Spanish basically means "no," or "not."

For example, "duermo" means "I sleep," and "no duermo" means "I do not sleep."

Other helpful words for negative phrases include: "nada" (nothing), "tampoco" (neither, nor, not either), "ni" (neither, nor), "ni siquiera" (not even), "nunca" (never), "jamás" (never) "ninguno" or "ninguna" (none, no, not any, nobody), "ningún" (contraction of "ninguno" used before masculine singular nouns), "nadie" (no one, nobody)

Also, it is important to understand that in Spanish, unlike in English, the use of double negatives can be grammatically correct. For example, to say, "I do not want anything," you would say, "No quiero nada," as if to say "I do not want nothing," but that is correct!

Exercise: Read, listen to, and repeat aloud the following examples.

No es nada. Sólo es un simple resfriado.

(It's nothing. It's only a simple cold.)

No tengo ni fiebre ni erupción.

(I neither have a fever nor a rash.)

Nunca me han vacunado.

(They have never vaccinated me.)

Jamás ha tenido una fractura.

(He has never had a fracture.)

Nadie quiere probar el nuevo tratamiento.

(Nobody wants to try the new treatment.)

Ni siquiera tiene una semana de nacido y ya está enfermo.

(He's not even a week old, and he is sick already.)

No, nunca puedo dormirme antes de las dos de la madrugada.

(No, I can never sleep before two in the morning.)

Ninguno de los niños tuvo varicela jamás.

(None of the children ever had chicken pox.)

Yo tampoco quise ir al hospital.

(Nor did I want to go to the hospital.)

Ningún cirujano quiere operarlo.

(No surgeon wants to operate on him.)

Dicen que no lo pueden trasladar a ninguna parte.

(They say that they cannot transfer him anywhere.)

Lo siento, ya no hay nada qué hacer.

(I am sorry, now there is nothing that can be done.)

No hay cupo en ninguna de las unidades de terapia intensiva.

(There is no room in any of the intensive care units.)

 

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