MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

278 views

Why does Spanish allow the double negative?

The difference between English and Spanish...
In Spanish, "no tengo nada" means "I have nothing" or "I don't have anything".  It does not mean "I don't have nothing".  This is often confusing for those who speak English, in which two negatives cancel each other out and make a positive.  In Spanish, on the other hand, adding a negative can reinforce the negativity of the phrase, not eliminate it.  For example, the negativity in the phrase "no lo haré nunca" sounds stronger than it does in "no lo haré" or "nunca lo haré".  


When is it acceptable/necessary to use a double negative in Spanish?
There are two types of negatives in Spanish...
Type 1: no  
Type 2: nunca, jamástampoconadie, nada, ningunoni.  


You can combine "no" with any of the Type 2 words in order to make a double negative.  The best way to explain how to do this is by example:

"No voy al teatro" - correct
"Nunca voy al teatro" - correct
"Voy nunca al teatro" - incorrect
"No voy nunca al teatro" - correct

If a Type 2 negative goes before the verb, there is no reason to include "no".  If it goes after the verb, you must put "no" before the verb.  

Nicola P. GCSE Spanish tutor, A Level Spanish tutor, A Level Philosop...

1 year ago

Answered by Nicola, an A Level Spanish tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

51 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Sophie H.

Degree: BA Spanish with Italian (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Spanish

Spanish

“¡Hola! I am a modern languages student at the University of Exeter with a real passion for Spanish. I love sharing my enthusiasm for languages and use a variety of interactive methods to help students improve and enjoy Spanish, as it ...”

£20 /hr

Amelia A.

Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Spanish, Biology

Spanish
Biology

“About Me: ​​Hello! My name is Amelia. I am a second year Medicine student at the University of Bristol. I offer help with Sciences, in particularBiology. I have always had a passion for languages and I would be delighted to assist an...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Toby C.

Degree: Modern Languages - Spanish, French and Beginners Italian (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Spanish, History+ 1 more

Spanish
History
French

“About me: I'm studying French, Italian and Spanish at Durham University. I absolutely love learning languages, and I'm certain I can help you learn one too! What will we cover in the sessions? Whether you're struggling with something...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

Nicola P.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Philosophy and Spanish (Bachelors) - Oxford, Magdalen College University

Subjects offered: Spanish, Philosophy+ 1 more

Spanish
Philosophy
English Literature

“Philosophy & Spanish student from Oxford. Obsessed with grammar, experienced in writing essays, and ready to help you!”

You may also like...

Other A Level Spanish questions

How do I use the passive voice?

How do you form the imperfect subjunctive?

How do I use the imperfect subjunctive in an 'if' statement.

When should I use the subjunctive mood?

View A Level Spanish tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok