Forming negative sentences using no (negation)

In Spanish, to make a sentence negative simply put no before the verb:

No hago deporte.
I don't exercise.

Fernanda no compra pan.
Fernanda does not buy bread.

No duermes mucho.
You don't sleep much.

If the sentence has me, te, se, le, nos, os, les then no goes in front of these:

No me levanto antes de las ocho.
I don't get up before eight.

Tú no te lavas los dientes todos los días.
You don't brush your teeth every day.

No se visten antes de las siete.
They don't get dressed before seven.

Nosotros no nos duchamos por la mañana.
We don't have a shower in the morning.


In Spanish, the adverb no is often repeated to emphasise the negation.

¿Vas al médico? – No, no voy al médico.
Are you going to the doctor? - No, I am not going to the doctor.

See also Oración negativa and Forming negative sentences using no (negation) with complex verbal structures.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

no estudias mucho.
You don't study a lot.


No hago deporte.
I don't exercise.


Elena no quiere café.
Elena doesn't want any coffee.


No se visten antes de las siete.
They don't get dressed before seven.


Ella no  se despierta temprano.
She doesn't wake up early.


¿Vas al médico? – No, no voy al médico.
Are you going to the doctor? - No, I am not going to the doctor.


Vosotros no sois altos.
You are not tall.


No me levanto antes de las ocho.
I don't get up before eight.


Tú no te lavas los dientes todos los días.
You don't brush your teeth every day.


Nosotros no bebemos y conducimos.
We don't drink and drive.


No duermes mucho.
You don't sleep much.


Nosotros no nos duchamos por la mañana.
We don't have a shower in the morning.


Yo no hablo alemán.
I don't speak German.


Fernanda no compra pan.
Fernanda does not buy bread.


Javier y Mario no juegan al fútbol.
Javier and Mario don't play football.


Q&A

Mags

Kwiziq community member

14 October 2017

2 replies

I'm confused about the possible difference between English and Spanish in one example.

Encuentro las gafas de Adriana, means I find Adriana's glasses. But what does "No encuentro las gafas de Adriana" mean? I don't find the glasses? Or I can't find the glasses? I believe it's the former, but I lost a point in my test because I wrote "No puedo encontrar las gafas de Adriana".

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

15 October 2017

15/10/17

Hi Mags, thanks for pointing this out. We're missing an explanation here. I've accepted as partially correct "no puedo encontrar" now since it isn't wrong, but in a simple sentence like this "no encuentro" is the usual way to express the same thing.

We will to expand on this in the lesson and compare with how the modal verb poder is used - possibly in another lesson. This is just an idiomatic difference between English and Spanish since, if you think about, "I don't find X", "I'm not finding X" and "I can't find X" all really amount to same thing, semantically in the case of 'glasses' anyway. It sounds odd in English, but it's not in Spanish.

Hope that helps!

Mags

Kwiziq community member

15 October 2017

15/10/17

Thanks for that. Yes, I accept that we have different ways of expressing meaning in our languages. It keeps me on my toes! (Haha)

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