Grammar & Vocabulary

Something/Nothing/Somebody/Nobody

As we all know, in English, we cannot use double negatives:

We say either I have nothing or I don’t have anything. (We use anything instead of nothing in negative sentences.)

In Spanish, we must use double negatives:

Algo – something
Nada – nothing
Alguien – somebody
Nadie – nobody

Yo tengo algo. (I have something.)
Yo conozco a alguien. (I know somebody.)

Yo no tengo nada. (Lit. I don’t have nothing.)
Yo no conozco a nadie. (Lit. I don’t know nobody.)

We cannot use nada or nadie in affirmative sentences.

I have nothing and I don’t have anything can only be translated into yo no tengo nada.
I know nobody and I don’t know anybody can only be translated into yo no conozco a nadie.

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Practice – Translate the following sentences into Spanish

1. I have something in my pocket.

2. I have nothing in my pocket.

3. I don’t have anything in my pocket.

4. That’s something.

5. That’s nothing.

6. I don’t know anybody in this party.

7. I know somebody.

8. We know nobody here.

 

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Correct answers for Practice – Translate the following sentences into Spanish:

1. Tengo algo en mi bolsillo. 2. No tengo nada en mi bolsillo. 3. No tengo nada en mi bolsillo. 4. Eso es algo. 5. Eso no es nada. 6. No conozco a nadie en esta fiesta. 7. Conozco al alguien. 8. No conocemos a nadie aquí.

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