Negative words in Spanish

Negative words in spanish

Last week we spoke about positive words. Today it’s time for the negative words in Spanish. As the name implies, there are words that have a negative meaning, but we will also see that sometimes can support a positive idea. Let’s see some examples.

Negative words in Spanish:

No – no, not

Nadie / ninguno – nobody, no one

Nada – nothing, not anything

Nunca / jamás – never

Ningún / ninguna – none, not any

Tampoco – neither

Ni… ni – neither …. nor

Ni – not even

The words nadie / ninguno relate to people, both have the same meaning. For example:

• Nadie mirará por la ventana. – No one will look through the window.

• Ninguno en esta habitación puede hablar italiano. – No one in this room can speak Italian.

The words ningún / ninguna means the same, but are divided in this way to make a difference in gender, that is to say male, female, for the words refering to people, things, countries, etc. For example:

• Ningún hombre ha llegado a Marte. – No man has reached Mars.

• Ninguna de las chicas ha perdido su móvil. – None of the girls lost their cell phone.

You can use the word ninguno instead of “ni+noun….ni+noun”, as in “neither” when there are multiple nouns that are specific and known. For example:

• ¿Quieres un jesrsey o un abrigo? No quiero ninguno de los dos. – Do you want a sweater or coat? Neither of them. (This is in lieu of saying, “No quiero un suéter ni un abrigo”)

Nadie is better used when it is more general, as in “no one around” or “no one in the world”

• Nadie quiere ir a Siberia en invierno. No one wants to go to Siberia in the winter.

Keep in mind that the negative word usually comes before the verb. Here are some other examples:

• No me gusta comer pollo. – I do not like eating chicken.

• No tengo hambre. – I’m not hungry.

• Nadie está de acuerdo con tu decisión. – No one agrees with your decision.

• Ninguno quiere ir a Suecia. – No one wants to go to Sweden.

• Nada es cierto. – Nothing is true.

• Ella nunca volvera a bailarl. – She will never dance again.

• Jamás iremos a la carcel. – We will never goto jail.

• Ninguna de mis amigas esta sobria. – None of my friends are sober.

• Ella no quiere comer y los niños tampoco. – She doesn’t want to eat, and neither the children.

• Cuando llegamos no había nadie, ni el doctor ni la secretaria. – When we arrived there was no one, neither the doctor nor the secretary.

• Yo no comí ni un solo trozo de pastel. – I did not eat a single piece of cake.

When negative words are used after: más que, mejor que, they express an affirmative idea. For example:

• Para mí, él es mejor que nadie. – To me, he is better than anyone.

• Te necesito más que nunca. – I need you more than ever.

• Ahora más que nunca es bueno que él esté presente. – Now more than ever it is good that he is present.

Negative Idioms:

Ni yo tampoco – me neither

Ya no – no longer, not any more

Todavía no – not yet

Aún no – not yet

De ninguna manera – no way, by no means

De ningún modo – no way, by no means

Ni siquiera – not even

Para nada – not at all

(en / por) ninguna parte – nowhere

(en / por) ninguna lado – nowhere

(en / por) ninguna lugar – nowhere

Por nada del mundo – never, not for all the world