Making things negative

Reminder: to make a sentence negative, we put non before the verb.

Io non sono un eroe.

I'm not a hero.

Maria non mangia carne.

Maria doesn't eat meat.

Here are other ways of making negative sentences:

  • Non… più (no more; not any longer) is the opposite of ancora (still).

Hai ancora del pane? No, non ne ho più.

–Do you have any bread left? –No, I don't have any more.

Dormi ancora? No, non dormo più.

–Are you still sleeping? –No, I'm not sleeping any longer.

  • Non… mai (never) is the opposite of spesso (often) or sempre (always).

Non viaggio mai perché ho paura dell'aereo.

I never travel because I'm scared of flying.

Non bevo mai il té, bevo sempre il caffè.

I never drink tea, I always drink coffee.

  • Non… niente (nothing) indicates the absence or lack of something. It's the opposite of tutto (everything) or qualcosa (something).

C'è qualcosa nel frigorifero? No, non c'è niente nel frigorifero. 

-Is there anything in the fridge? -No, there's nothing in the fridge.

Ho mangiato tutta la torta, non è rimasto niente.

I ate the whole cake, there's none left.

  • Non… nessuno (nobody) indicates the absence of a person. It's the opposite of qualcuno (somebody).

   Al bar non c'è nessuno.

There's nobody at the bar.

  C'è qualcuno dentro l'ufficio? No, è tardi, non c'è nessuno.

–Is there anybody in the office? –No, it's late, nobody is there.

  • Non… neanche (not even) + indefinite article + noun, shows that someone or something is absent.

Non c'è neanche un pezzo di pane da mangiare, vado a fare la spesa!

There isn't even a slice of bread to eat, I'm going grocery shopping!

Note: some of these phrases can be used without the non if they stand in for the subject of the sentence.

Nessuno è andato alla festa.

Nobody went to the party.

Niente è come sembra.

Nothing is as it seems.

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