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Negative expressions

4
votes

From the lesson on negative expressions I learnt that double negatives are used in spanish, but I am a little unclear about this.

For example Nunca necesitas papel. is fine

but my first thought was to say

No necesitas nunca papel.

Is this second form correct, the first is preferred just because it is shorter?

2352 views
updated FEB 18, 2010
posted by MiguelitoNZ

4 Answers

3
votes

Good news Miguelito!! Both are correct!!

updated FEB 17, 2010
posted by Benz
Muchas gracias. It is a bit of a language shock to find double negatives are okay! - MiguelitoNZ, FEB 17, 2010
Not to mention that triple negatives are okay too. - W_N_Gibbetts, FEB 17, 2010
1
vote

Well, just to mention the "rule"; if the negative word precedes the verb the double negative construction is not needed. When the negative word follows the verb the verb must be negated.

Nada es necesario.

No es necesario nada.

updated FEB 17, 2010
posted by 0074b507
1
vote

Is this second form correct, the first is preferred just because it is shorter?

I agree with Benz that both are correct. But it isn't just because it's shorter. Here is how I understand the difference:

Nunca necesitas papel.

You never need paper.

No necesitas nunca papel.

You don't ever need paper.

I think the double negative adds emphasis. That isn't true every time it is used, but that is the effect in this context. smile

updated FEB 17, 2010
posted by chaparrito
0
votes

I am fairly sure (but not totally positive) that they are both correct.

However, your assumption that "shorter is better" is correct, insofar as standardized testing is concerned. In normal conversation however, either would be fine.

updated FEB 17, 2010
posted by JCameron
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