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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Rosa here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer some of your most common Spanish questions.
The question for this lesson is, How Do You Make Sentences Negative in Spanish?
You can make the most basic negative sentence by simply inserting no before the verb. For example, Hoy es lunes is "Today is Monday." Hoy no es lunes is "Today is not Monday."
Here are some other common negative words:
Nada, meaning "nothing," nadie, meaning "nobody," ningúno or ningúna, "none," nunca and jamás meaning "never," and tampoco meaning "neither."
You can also use these negative words on their own or with no. So you can say, Nadie habla, which means, "no one speaks." You can also say, No habla nadie to mean the same thing.
No hay nada en el refrigerador means, "I have nothing in the refrigerator."
Unlike in English, double negatives are standard and acceptable. So you can use more than one negative word in a sentence.
Actually, in Spanish, you never mix negative and positive words together, so it's common to have two, three, or even four negative words in one sentence.
For example, in English, we say "Maria doesn't want anything," but in Spanish, it's Maria no quiere nada. Remember, nada means "nothing." So, the direct translation into English would be something like, “Maria doesn’t want nothing.”
You can even say, Maria no quiere nada nunca, for "Maria never wants anything," which includes three negative words.
Ningún changes form depending on the noun it's attached to. For masculine nouns, you say ningún. For example, No tengo ningún libro means "I don't have any books."
If you use ningún without saying the masculine noun though, you use ninguno. Say you're responding to the question, ¿Tienes algún libro? meaning "Do you have any books?" You'd say, No, no tengo ninguno. “No, I don’t have any.”
For feminine nouns, you use ninguna in both situations.
Not so bad, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll try to answer them.
¡Hasta la vista!