Grammar Latest Posts Linguistics

How To Use Special Negative Words and Expressions in Spanish

In today’s article, we’ll continue exploring ways to turn our Spanish sentences into negative statements.

Besides common negative words, in Spanish there are words or expressions that can turn a sentence negative because of their meaning and/or context. Let’s look at some examples:

Tip: Click on any of the linked sentences in this article (while on a mobile) to add them directly to your Fluent Forever app, so you can study them later. Don’t have our app yet? Download it here!

A gas pump in a white car.
Pain at the pump!
Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

In this sentence, we use the expression en la vida, which literally means “in your lifetime.” However, in this particular context, it means “never.” We use it when we want to categorically deny something (note the use of the exclamation marks in the example). 

This use of en la vida is based on its connotation. In other words, we don’t use the expression to convey its direct meaning, but to imply something associated with it.

A look at some more examples

Here are some other examples of words that can give a sentence a negative sense based on context and connotation:

Here, the word that is making our sentence negative is imposible (impossible).

In the context of this sentence, the word inaudita refers to something unacceptable.

In the above example, the word we want to focus on is desagradable (unpleasant).

Precario (precarious) is the word with the negative connotation of imminent danger here.

As you can see in all of these examples, we didn’t use typical negative words like no, tampoco, sino, etc. Instead, we included words and expressions that made our sentences negative based on their meaning and context.

With this information in hand, you can build sentences with negative connotations in Spanish.


Written by Humberto Aparicio

Enjoy what you're reading?
Sign up for more

Think In Any New Language

GET THE APP