Negative Sentences in Spanish

Negative Sentences in Spanish - Learn and Practice

Welcome to our grammar lesson about negative sentences in Spanish.

In this lesson, we will learn the basics about how to form negative sentences.

In order to to that, we will study the negative words we use and where to place them in the sentence.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.


no is the most important word to form negative sentences.

Its usual place is right before the verb:

Yo no leo muchos libros.
I don’t read many books.

Marta no es mi hermana.
Marta is not my sister.

¿Tú no has comido todavía?
You haven’t eaten yet?

However, if there is any Direct Object, Indirect Object or Reflexive Pronoun (me, te, se, lo…) before the verb, we need to place no right before the pronoun:

No me gusta esta película.
I don’t like this film.

Ellos no te conocen.
They don’t know you.

Using “no” twice for more emphasis

If we wish to emphasize the negative nature of a sentence, we can use “no” twice: once before a comma, and a second time in its usual place:

No, mis amigos no saben bailar.
No, my friends can’t dance.

No, no quiero pintar.
No, I don’t want to paint.

Other negative words

The following words often appear in negative sentences:

  • nada = anything, nothing
  • nadie = anybody, nobody
  • nunca = never
  • ningún = any, none, not one
  • ninguno = any, none, not one
  • ninguna = any, none, not one
  • tampoco = either, neither

In general we have 2 options where to place these words:

Option 1: After the verb, keeping no before the verb
Option 2: Replacing no before the verb

Let’s read some examples.

For each negative word, we will show 2 options where to place it:


Two ways of saying “I don’t like anything”:

No me gusta nada.

Nada me gusta.


Two ways of saying “Nobody has a pencil”:

No tiene nadie un lápiz.

Nadie tiene un lápiz.


Two ways of saying “I never drink alcohol”:

Yo no bebo alcohol nunca.

Yo nunca bebo alcohol.

ningún / ninguno / ninguna

  • ningún is masculine. We use it right before the noun.
  • ninguno is also masculine, but we can’t use it right before the noun.
  • ninguna is feminine.

Two ways of saying “I don’t want any book”:

No quiero ningún libro.

Ningún libro quiero.

Two ways of saying “There are many books, but none interests me”:

Hay muchos libros, pero no me interesa ninguno.

Hay muchos libros, pero ninguno me interesa.

Two ways of saying “I haven’t read any page”:

No he leído ninguna página.

Ninguna página he leído.

Note: we also have the plural forms ningunos and ningunas, but we seldom use them. We use them only before nouns that are always in plural form, for example “gafas” (“ningunas gafas” = any glasses).


Two ways of saying “We don’t have coffee either”:

No tenemos café tampoco.

Tampoco tenemos café.



Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about negative sentences in Spanish:


Fill the gaps with the necessary words to form negative sentences:

1) No sabes ___.
Yo don’t know anything.

2) ___ quiere dormir.
Nobody wants to sleep.

3) No han usado ___ bolsa.
They haven’t used any bag.

4) No conozco ___ museo. No conozco ___.
I don’t know any museum. I don’t know any.

5) María ___ quiere jugar.
María doesn’t want to play.

6) Yo ___ quiero.
I don’t want either.

7) Nueva York es la ciudad que ___ duerme.
New York is the city that never sleeps.

2) Nadie
3) ninguna
4) ningún, ninguno
5) no
6) tampoco
7) nunca