The double negative with ningún, ni and ni siquiera

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The double negative with ningún, ni and ni siquiera

In double-negative phrases, ningún, ni and ni siquiera have virtually the same meaning.

No hay ningún cliente en el hotel.

There's not one customer in the hotel.

No hay ni un cliente en el hotel.

There's not a single customer in the hotel.

No hay ni siquiera un cliente en el hotel.

There's not even one customer in the hotel.

The structures are different:

  • No + verb + ningún/ninguna + noun.

No tengo ninguna moneda.

I don't have any change.

  • No + verb + ni + un/una + noun.

No tengo ni una moneda.

I don't have a single coin.

  • No + verb + ni siquiera + un/una + noun

No tengo ni siquiera una moneda.

I don't even have a dime.

Notes:

  • We use ningún/ninguna to state the lack or absence of something, ni to emphasize the absence and ni siquiera to intensify the emphasis.
  • We can also use the simple negative structure ni siquiera + verb + noun.

Ni siquiera hay un plato que me guste.

There's not even one dish I like.


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