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Spanish negatives

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Information about Spanish negatives
Education

Published on November 25, 2008

Author: dabreu

Source: slideshare.net

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Negativos Negation in Spanish, that is to say, just saying NO , is relatively simple. To make a sentence negative, just put no before the main verb. Examples: I see the university / veo la universidad ; I don't see the university / no veo la universidad . I speak Spanish / hablo español . I don't speak Spanish / no hablo español . There are other ways of making a sentence negative. For example: I never speak Spanish / nunca hablo español or I never buy lottery tickets / nunca compro boletos de lotería . In all cases, there is, and must be, a negative word before the main verb.

Positive and negative words usually run in pairs and the simplest way to learn them is to learn them in their pairs. The following table should help.      no….ni neither ... nor o…..o either ... or nunca, jamas never siempre always Ningun o,a no, none not any algun.. o,a,os,as some, any nadie no one, nobody alguien someone anyone nada nothing, not anything algo something, anything Negative Spn Negative Eng Positive Spa Positiv Eng

Note 1: siempre can sometimes create a problem, especially in grammar drills in which you are asked to make a sentence negative, the model structure which appears below has two possible answers, both correct. Positive I always eat in Los galanes / siempre como en Los galanes Negative I never eat in Los galanes / nunca como en Los galanes Alternative I don't always eat in Los galanes / no siempre como en Los galanes // no como siempre en Los galanes

Note 1: siempre can sometimes create a problem, especially in grammar drills in which you are asked to make a sentence negative, the model structure which appears below has two possible answers, both correct.

Positive I always eat in Los galanes / siempre como en Los galanes

Negative I never eat in Los galanes / nunca como en Los galanes

Alternative I don't always eat in Los galanes / no siempre como en Los galanes // no como siempre en Los galanes

Note 2: The pair también / tampoco are best exemplified by their usage in a simple question and answer sequence. First speaker: Do you want a glass of wine? / ¿Quieres un vaso de vino? Second speaker: Yes, please. / Sí, por favor. Third speaker: Me, too. / Yo, también . When this sequence becomes negative, we get the following results: First speaker: Do you want a glass of wine? / ¿Quieres un vaso de vino? Second speaker: No, thank you. / No, gracias. Third speaker: Me neither. / Yo, tampoco.

Note 2: The pair también / tampoco are best exemplified by their usage in a simple question and answer sequence.

First speaker: Do you want a glass of wine? / ¿Quieres un vaso de vino? Second speaker: Yes, please. / Sí, por favor. Third speaker: Me, too. / Yo, también .

When this sequence becomes negative, we get the following results:

First speaker: Do you want a glass of wine? / ¿Quieres un vaso de vino? Second speaker: No, thank you. / No, gracias. Third speaker: Me neither. / Yo, tampoco.

Note 3: Ningún, ninguno, ninguna are usually used in the singular, with the idea of expressing a singular identity: not a single one. Do you have many books? / ¿Tienes muchos libros? I don't have any. / No tengo ninguno [I do not have a single one // I don't even have one]. Note 4: Just to confuse things, when alguno follows a noun that follows a verb that is negative, alguno can also have a negative meaning. It didn't undergo any change / no sufrió cambio alguno . You can also say No sufrió ningún cambio . Do you have many books? / ¿Tienes muchos libros? I don't have any. / No tengo ninguno [I do not have a single one // I don't even have one]. I don't have any / No tengo libro alguno [I do not have a single one // I don't even have one].

Note 3: Ningún, ninguno, ninguna are usually used in the singular, with the idea of expressing a singular identity: not a single one.

Do you have many books? / ¿Tienes muchos libros? I don't have any. / No tengo ninguno [I do not have a single one // I don't even have one].

Note 4: Just to confuse things, when alguno follows a noun that follows a verb that is negative, alguno can also have a negative meaning. It didn't undergo any change / no sufrió cambio alguno . You can also say No sufrió ningún cambio .

Do you have many books? / ¿Tienes muchos libros? I don't have any. / No tengo ninguno [I do not have a single one // I don't even have one]. I don't have any / No tengo libro alguno [I do not have a single one // I don't even have one].

Note 5: algún, ningún are the short forms of alguno, ninguno which occur when they are used before a masculine singular noun. This is called apocopation / apócope . He's got no vices / No tiene ningún vicio. Do you play any musical instrument? / ¿Tocas algún instrumento musical? I don't play any instrument. / No toco ninguno or no toco ningún instrumento or no toco instrumento alguno. Algún, ningún : we have met this form of shortening before: Es un hombre grande / He's a big man versus es un gran hombre / he's a great man . Es un hombre bueno / he's a good man versus es un buen hombre / he's a good fellow. Note that these adjectives change from literal meaning (after the verb) to figurative meaning (before the verb). There is no such change of meaning with algún, ningún .

Note 5: algún, ningún are the short forms of alguno, ninguno which occur when they are used before a masculine singular noun. This is called apocopation / apócope .

He's got no vices / No tiene ningún vicio. Do you play any musical instrument? / ¿Tocas algún instrumento musical? I don't play any instrument. / No toco ninguno or no toco ningún instrumento or no toco instrumento alguno.

Algún, ningún : we have met this form of shortening before: Es un hombre grande / He's a big man versus es un gran hombre / he's a great man . Es un hombre bueno / he's a good man versus es un buen hombre / he's a good fellow. Note that these adjectives change from literal meaning (after the verb) to figurative meaning (before the verb). There is no such change of meaning with algún, ningún .

The most important thing to remember, after the pairing of the positives and the negatives, is that when a negative ( no, nunca, jamás, nadie, nada etc) occurs before the verb, everything after the verb becomes negative as well. This may seem a little confusing at first, but you soon get used to the idea. The next sentence demonstrates this faily clearly. Positive: I always give something to someone / siempre doy algo a alguien Negative: I never give anything to anybody / nunca doy nada a nadie or no doy nunca nada a nadie. Literal translation: I never give nothing to nobody. Note that the English post verb positives have become negatives in Spanish after the initial negative before the verb.

The most important thing to remember, after the pairing of the positives and the negatives, is that when a negative ( no, nunca, jamás, nadie, nada etc) occurs before the verb, everything after the verb becomes negative as well. This may seem a little confusing at first, but you soon get used to the idea. The next sentence demonstrates this faily clearly.

Positive: I always give something to someone / siempre doy algo a alguien

Negative: I never give anything to anybody / nunca doy nada a nadie or no doy nunca nada a nadie.

Literal translation: I never give nothing to nobody. Note that the English post verb positives have become negatives in Spanish after the initial negative before the verb.

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