Negative Sentences in Spanish – Learn and Practice

Welcome 😊 to our grammar lesson on how to form negative sentences in Spanish.

Here we will learn the negative words we can use, as well as their placement in the sentence.

Two negative sentences
Two negative sentences

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to make many negative sentences in Spanish.

You will also find a Quiz and an Exercise to 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 object pronoun or reflexive pronoun (me, te, lo, se…) before the verb, then we place no right before those pronouns.

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

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

Using “no” twice for 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 tengo tu bolígrafo.
No, I don’t have your pen.

Other negative words

The following words often appear in negative sentences:

  • nada = nothing, anything
  • nadie = nobody, anybody
  • nunca = never, ever
  • ningún / ninguno / ninguna = any, none, not one
  • tampoco = neither, either
  • ni siquiera / ni = not even
  • ni… ni… = neither… nor…

In general we have 2 options for placing these words:

– Option 1: Somewhere 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 the 2 options where we can place it. The verb is always highlighted in orange:


Meaning = nothing, anything

No me gusta nada.
Nada me gusta.
I don’t like anything.


Meaning = nobody, anybody

No tiene nadie un lápiz.
Nadie tiene un lápiz.
Nobody has a pencil.


Meaning = never, ever

Yo no bebo alcohol nunca.
Yo nunca bebo alcohol.
I never drink alcohol.

ningún / ninguno / ninguna

Meaning = any, non, not one

  • ningún is masculine. We can only use it right before a noun.

No quiero ningún libro.
Ningún libro quiero.
I don’t want any books.

  • ninguno is also masculine, but we can’t use it right before a noun.

Hay muchos libros, pero no me interesa ninguno.
Hay muchos libros, pero ninguno me interesa.
There are many books, but none interests me.

  • ninguna is feminine.

No he leído ninguna página.
Ninguna página he leído.
I haven’t read any pages.

Note: we also have the plural forms ningunos and ningunas, but we seldom use them. Only before a couple of nouns that are always plural, such as “gafas” (“ningunas gafas” = any glasses).


Meaning: neither, either

Nosotros no tenemos café tampoco.
Nosotros tampoco tenemos café.
We don’t have coffee either.

ni siquiera / ni

Both ni siquiera and ni can mean not even

Ella no sabe ni siquiera el abecedario.
Ella ni siquiera sabe el abecedario.
She doesn’t even know the alphabet.

Ella no sabe ni el abecedario.
Ella ni sabe el abecedario.
She doesn’t even know the alphabet.

ni… ni…

Meaning: neither… nor…

Yo no tengo ni gel ni champú.
I have neither gel nor shampoo.

Nini yo sabemos esquiar.
Neither you nor I can ski.



Take this short Quiz about negative sentences:

Exercise 1

Fill the gaps with the necessary words to form negative sentences. Click on the gray spaces to see the solutions:

1) Tú no sabes nada.
You don’t know anything.

2) Nadie quiere dormir.
Nobody wants to sleep.

3) Ellos no han usado ninguna bolsa.
They haven’t used any bags.

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

5) María no quiere jugar.
María doesn’t want to play.

Exercise 2

More sentences!:

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

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

8) El chico no tiene ni siquiera una bicicleta.
The boy doesn’t even have a bike.

9) No tenemos ni frío ni calor.
We are neither cold nor hot.

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