Estructuras de la negación

Understanding grammar is key to understanding a language.
Spanish grammar tips with Hotel Borbollón, online Spanish lessons.

Estructuras de la negación

We can use nadie (no-one), ninguno/a (none) and nada (nothing) to form single or double negatives depending on their function:

  • We use simple negation when these words are placed in front of the verb as the subject. In this case the verb is always used in the 3rd person singular.

Nadie vino a la fiesta.

Nobody came to the party.

Ninguna quiere hablar conmigo.

None of them want to talk to me.

Nada es lo que parece.

Nothing is what it seems.

  • We use double negation when these words come after the verb and are not the subject.

No he visto a nadie.

I haven't seen anyone.

Andrea no conoce a ninguna persona.

Andrea doesn't know anyone.

No hay ningún niño en el parque.

There isn't any child in the park.

¿Tú no desayunas nada?

Don't you have any breakfast at all?

The words nunca (never), jamás (ever) and tampoco (neither) can always be used with both simple and double negation. We use double negation to make the phrase more emphatic.

Nunca he ido a Quito. No he ido nunca a Quito.

I have never been to Quito. I have never, ever been to Quito.

Jamás cantaron en público. No cantaron jamás en público.

They never sang in public. They have never, ever sang in public.

tampoco tienes dinero. no tienes dinero tampoco.

You do not have any money either. Nor do you have any money, either.

Note: When we use a negative subject, we can also use a negative object.

Ninguno quiere decir nada.

None of us want to say anything.

Taking your learning further

Still facing difficulties with 'Estructuras de la negación'? Improve your Spanish with Gymglish - try our Spanish lessons for free now and receive a free level assessment!

Do you know any tips to avoid making mistakes with 'Estructuras de la negación'? Share it with us!

Improve your Spanish further and test Hotel Borbollón, online Spanish lessons.