Language Guide
Adjectives
Negation and Negative Words in Spanish

Negation and Negative Words in Spanish

Quick Answer

It's very simple to make verb phrases negative in Spanish. In most cases, you simply put the word no  in front of whatever verb or verb phrase you want to negate.

Check out these examples.

No me gusta este libro.
I don't like this book.
 
No camines en el césped.
Don’t walk on the grass.
 
Mi hermano no es alto.
My brother is not tall.
 

Never separate direct or indirect object pronouns from the verb. Simply place the negative word in front of the pronoun.

No lo conozco.
I don't know him.

 

No me hables.
Don't talk to me.

 

Negative Words

Negation using no is the most basic type of Spanish verb negation, but you can use other negative words and phrases in combination with no. Examples of some of these words and phrases are given below.

Common Negative Words and Phrases

SpanishEnglish
nadie
 
nobody
nada
 
nothing
ni
 
nor
ni...ni
 
neither...nor
jamás
 
never
nunca
 
never
tampoco
 
neither, not either
todavía no
 
not yet
ya no
 
no longer

Check out these examples with the negative words from the table above.

No hay nadie en este club.
There is nobody in this club./There isn't anybody in this club.
 
No quiero comer nada.
I want to eat nothing./I don't want to eat anything.
 
No quiero ni pizza ni pasta.
I want neither pizza nor pasta./I don't want pizza or pasta.
 
¿Comes espinacas? No, no como espinacas nunca.
Do you eat spinach? No, I never eat spinach./I don't ever eat spinach.
 
No hablo mucho tampoco.
I don’t talk a lot either.
 
Todavía no termino.
I'm not done yet.
 
Ya no vive aquí.
He doesn't live here anymore.
 

Double Negatives

Each of the above sentences has two (or more) negative words. Double negation is A-okay in Spanish!

Leaving the No Out

It's not always necessary to use the word no to negate a sentence. You can also use a different negative word, such as nunca or nadie, in place of no.

For example:

Nunca compro verduras aquí.
I never buy vegetables here.
 
Tampoco me gustan los tacos de puerco.
I don’t like pork tacos either.
 
Nadie vino.
Nobody came.
 

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