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:
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- ¡En la vida había visto la gasolina tan cara! (I’ve never seen gasoline so expensive!)
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:
- Es imposible girar en esa intersección. (It is impossible to turn at that intersection.)
Here, the word that is making our sentence negative is imposible (impossible).
- ¡La calidad del transporte público es inaudita! (The quality of public transport is unheard of!)
In the context of this sentence, the word inaudita refers to something unacceptable.
- Tuve una experiencia bastante desagradable con el motor de mi carro. (I had quite an unpleasant experience with my car engine.)
In the above example, the word we want to focus on is desagradable (unpleasant).
- El puente se encuentra en un estado bastante precario. (The bridge is in quite a precarious state.)
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
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