Affirmative and Negative words

Negative words and sentences might not quite sound right when you try to translate them into English. At first glance they might seem like you are using a double negative (e.g. I don’t have nothing.) The chart below will show an affirmative words and its corresponding negative word.

Affirmative Words Negative Words
algo something nada nothing
alguien someone nadie no one
algún/alguno some ningún/ninguno not any, none
o…o either…or ni…ni neither…nor
siempre always nunca never
también also tampoco neither, either

 

If you respond negatively to a question, you’ll need to use the word ‘no’ twice. The first no to answer the question, and the second time for the verb. The reason for this is that Spanish doesn’t have an equivalent for the word “don’t”. So, for example:

English: Do you like chicharrones?
Español: ¿Te gustan los chicharrones?

English: No, I don’t like chicharrones.
Español: No, no me gustan los chicharrones.

 

When you form a negative sentence in Spanish, every word in the sentence has to be negative.

He doesn’t want to be with anybody ever.

In this sentence,  ever and anybody need to be in the negative form in the Spanish version of this sentence.

No quiere hablar con nadie nunca.

You might think it looks like it says “I don’t want to talk to nobody never, but it sounds perfectly normal in Spanish and is not incorrect.

 

*When alguno and ninguno are used in front of a masculine noun, they change to algún and ningún.

 

 

 

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