Qualche, qualcuno/a, nessun/a, nessuno, alcuno/a, alcuni/e

Qualche (some) is the opposite of nessun/a (none) and qualcuno (someone; some) is the opposite of nessuno (no one; none). 

Ho visto qualche animale nel bosco. 

I saw some animals in the forest.

Non ho mangiato nessun dolce.

I didn't eat any dessert. (Note: the double negative is perfectly correct in Italian, so this literally means “I didn't eat no dessert”.)

Before a masculine noun, we use qualche (some) or nessun (ending in n only and meaning “no, none”). Before a feminine noun, we use qualche (some) or nessuna (with an a on the end and meaning “no, none”).

C’è qualche medico in sala? 

Are there any doctors in the room?

Nessun amico mi telefona. 

None of my friends call me (literally “no friend calls me”).

Non c’è nessuna canzone che ti piace nella playlist?

Aren't there any songs you like on the playlist? (literally “Isn't there any song…?”)

After a verb, we use nessuno/qualcuno (none, nobody / some, somebody) instead of a masculine noun, and nessuna/qualcuna (none, nobody / some, somebody) instead of a feminine noun. Qualcuno/a and nessuno/a don't have plural forms.

Pensavo ci fossero dei libri, invece non ne ho visto nessuno.

I thought there were books here, but I haven't seen any.

Se trovi delle belle rose, comprane qualcuna.

If you find any beautiful roses, buy some of them.

Before the preposition di (of), we use qualcuno/a or nessuno/a.

Qualcuno/a di voi ha preso i libri?

Has any of you taken the books?

Nessuno/a di noi è andato/a in vacanza.

None of us have been on vacation.

Alcuni/e (some) is a literary word that's used only in the plural (masculine or feminine). It can be used before a noun or before di (of).

Alcuni bambini sono entrati a scuola.

Some children entered the school.

Alcune di noi sono francesi.

Some of us are French.


  • Qualche (some, a few, any) is invariable and is always followed by a singular noun, even though we generally translate it into English using the plural.

Ho visto qualche amica al concerto.

I saw some friends at the concert.

C’è qualche libro che ti piace?

Are there any books that you like?

  • When nessun/a (none) is at the beginning of a sentence, then it isn't necessary to use non in the same sentence. In all other instances, we use the structure non + verb + nessuno/a.

Nessuna casa di questo quartiere è grande. 

No houses in this neighborhood are big (literally “No house in this neighborhood is big”).

Non c'è nessuna casa grande in questo quartiere.

There aren't any big houses in this neighborhood.

  • In more formal language we can use alcun/alcuno before a noun rather than nessun/o to mean “no”, “not any”.

Non ho visto alcun/nessun invitato.

I did not see any guests.

Non ho visto alcuno/nessuno psicologo.

I did not see a psychologist.

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