A1 Level. Spanish negative sentences

Updated: May 1, 2020

Spanish negative sentences are really easy to create. In most cases, you simply have to put a “no” in front of whatever verb or verb phrase you want to negate. The adverb no in Spanish is used similarly to the adverb not in English for sentence negation. In Spanish, the no is inserted directly before the conjugated verb. For example, the following sentence pairs are examples of positive and negated Spanish sentences containing the adverb no:

Hablo alemán "I speak German"(positive)

No hablo alemán. "I don’t speak German." (negated)

Vamos de vacaciones. "We're going on vacation".(positive)

No vamos de vacaciones. "We don’t go on holidays." (negated)

Los niños pueden leer el libro. "The children can read the book." (positive)

Los niños no pueden leer el libro. "The children cannot read the book." (negated)

More negative words

1. To provide additional information, you can use negative words. Negative words can be adjectives, pronouns, or adverbs.

No hay nadie en casa. "There is nobody at home".

No quiero ni carne ni pescado. "I want neither meat nor fish"

Carmen tampoco quiere carne. "Carmen neither wants meat" Notice that Spanish negative sentences may have two (or more) negative words. It is both common and expected to have a double negative in Spanish. It is also correct to respond with “no” twice as one answers the “yes/no” question and the second one negates the sentence.

2. “No” is not always necessary. You can also use a negative word in place of “no” or use a negative word alone in certain circumstances. In Spanish, there are other words besides the adverb no that serve to deny elements of the sentence: nadie, nada, nunca, etc. When these words appear after the verb, it is still necessary to use the adverb no. For this reason, it is considered that in Spanish the negation is double.

Negation with "Nunca"

Me lavo siempre las manos. "I always wash my hands." (positive)

Nunca me lavo las manos. "I never wash my hands." (negated)

Mi perro bebe la leche. "My dog drinks milk." (positive)

Mi perro no bebe nunca la leche. "My dog never drinks milk." (negated)

Negation with "Nada"

Tengo algo. "I have some."

No tengo nada. "I have none." OR "I don’t have any."

Hay algo en la casa. "There is something in the house."

No hay nada en la casa. "There is nothing in the house."

¿Comió algo? "Did you eat something?"

¿No comió nada? "Did you eat nothing?"

Negation with "Nadie"

Alguien estudia. "Somebody studies." (positive)

Nadie estudia. "Nobody studies." (negated)

Él besó a alguien. "He kissed someone." (positive)

Él no besó a nadie. "He kissed no one." (negated)

Vimos a alguien. "We saw someone." (positive)

No vimos a nadie. "We saw no one." OR "We didn't see anyone." (negated)

Doble negative

Cristina no ve a nadie en la calle.

"Cristina does not see anyone on the street"

No hay nada mejor que un paraguas.

"There is nothing better than an umbrella".

Cristina no lleva tampoco un chubasquero.

"Cristina does not have a raincoat either."

Cristina no ve a ningún amigo en el parque.

"Cristina does not see any friends in the park."

Cristina no lleva ni botas de agua ni chubasquero.

"Cristina does not even wear rain boots and a raincoat." 3. Also never separate direct or indirect object pronouns from the verb. Place the negative word in front of these pronouns.

No me gusta el vino. "I don’t like wine."

No lo hagas. "Don’t do it."

Let's practice

Audiovisual comprehension to practice oral and written expression. No. 1: "Firma tu primero".

In a lawyer's office, a couple finalizes their divorce. The lawyer attends a last quarrel of the couple and each one shows his contempt for the other.When the couple see each other at the moment of signing, they hesitate and change their tone, much sadder and even more affectionate.The lawyer cannot believe what she is seeing. Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented above plus a few new ones. Press PLAY when you are ready.

Complete with the word bank below. Note that several answers are possible for some sentences. Word Bank: volvería, ni, nada, nunca, me, no, volverá, tampoco

VERÓNICA: Señor Miguel, señora Rosa, aquí tienen los papeles del divorcio.

ROSA: Menos mal, por fin. Pensaba que no ___ libraría de ti ______.

MIGUEL: Digas lo que digas ______ me vas a ofender, por mucho que

te esfuerces.

ROSA: ¿Ah, sí? pues no __________ a casarme contigo _______ aunque me

pagaras un millón de euros.

VERÓNICA: Por favor, señores...

MIGUEL: No, si el que no ____________ contigo soy yo, ____aunque te pongas

de rodillas.

.ROSA: Y yo _____ volvería contigo _____ aunque fueras el último hombre de la

tierra y yo la última mujer.

MIGUEL: ¿Tú, la última mujer? Se extingue la especie humana sea quien


VERÓNICA: ¡Por favor, señores! Calma.

VERÓNICA: Y firmen los papeles.

MIGUEL: Firma tú primero.

ROSA: No, firma tú.

MIGUEL: No no no, mujer, firma tú, que no, no pasa __________

ROSA: Mejor firma tú primero...

MIGUEL: No si yo realmente, _______ te creas tú que...

Quiz activity. No. 2: Complete the blank space.

Word bank: tampoco, nada, nadie, nunca, no

a) Hablas demasiado rápido, no comprendo __________.

b) Silvia está asombrada. Ella no había visto ___________ a un hombre tan alto.

c) No hay ________ en el concierto.

d) - ¿Qué piensas de este vestido? - No me gusta ____________

e) Hoy ______ tiene ganas de salir a la calle .

f) - No quiero ir a la fiesta. - Yo __________ quiero ir a la fiesta.

Finally, remember you can contact your tutor for any question you have it. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet, book 30 minutes free trail class today.

¡Hasta la vista!,

The Español Latino Team.

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