4 Vote

Spanishdict.com has two translations for "mas que nada" 1) "more than anything" 2) "more than nothing"

Are both of these translations correct? Also, Sergio Mendes has a famous song entitled "mas que nada". Which of the translations does the song title refer to?

  • Posted May 11, 2010
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  • See my edited answer. - geofc May 11, 2010 flag
  • I can't get any response for "mas que nada" nor "más que nada" in either the dictionary or the phrasebook. What did you do that I didn't? - geofc May 11, 2010 flag

5 Answers

4 Vote

"more than nothing" would be a word-for-word translation. As Geof indicated, the meaning is "more than anything."

You'll often find negatives used like this in Spanish. Keep in mind that in Spanish a double negative (grammatically incorrect in English), only stresses the negative. It is correct and often used.

3 Vote

"More than anything"

Although I suppose that "a penny in your pocket is more than nothing" would have to use "mas que nada".

You have just made my world shake.

As for the Sergio Mendes song, try this link to the great Wikipedia.


I'm still trying to find/work out whether the song is in Spanish or, maybe more likely, Portuguese. If Portuguese, the meaning changes substantially.

Hot News is that the original by Jorge Ben Jor is written in Portuguese and there seems to be some doubt whether it's originally "mais que nada", "mas que nada" or "más que nada". Of these, the last, with the accent on "más" is what we're all talking about so far. The other two get translated varying from "but that's nothing" to "no way". If you're confused, join the club.

3 Vote

"More than anything", definitely.

"More than nothing" sound very, very weird.

0 Vote

Apparently in Brasilian Portuguese slang and the song covered by Brasil '66, the meaning is the OPPOSITE of the formal Spanish meaning. This from Wikipedia:

Brazilians use Mas que nada (or just que nada) colloquially to disagree with someone. A fitting English translation might be "No way, man!" or a sarcastic "Yeah, right!"

With many recordings, the title song is incorrectly written Mais que nada (Portuguese for "more than nothing") which would fundamentally alter its meaning. Also it should not be confused with the Spanish más que nada, which means "more than anything", or "above all", and is used in the sense of "mainly" or "principally".

0 Vote

What is änything" or "nothing" in this case? I think that they are the same

In English, what is the difference between "Is there anything that I can get you?" and "Is there nothing that I can get you?". I know that that is not correct the English, but it is commonly said.

Therefore, they are the same, in my mind.

"Más que nada."

PD Es imposible dividir algo por nada.

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