Using ni... ni... for neither... nor...

To form the equivalent negative sentence of "Neither... nor..." in Spanish we use the conjunction "ni".

Have a look at these examples:

Ni Lucas ni Daniel fueron a la fiesta ayer.
Neither Lucas nor Daniel went to the party yesterday.

Es un poco flojo. Ni estudia ni trabaja.
He is a bit lazy. He neither studies nor works.

Su español no es ni bueno ni malo.
Her Spanish is neither good nor bad.

Notice how:

  • we use the conjunction ni twice (before each negative element in the sentence).
  • ni can be followed by nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.

Important:

If ni... ni follows the verb, then the verb needs a negative too. 

Have a look:

Ni Lucas ni Daniel fueron a la fiesta ayer.
Neither Lucas nor Daniel went to the party yesterday.

but:

Ayer no fueron a la fiesta ni Lucas ni Daniel.
Yesterday, neither Lucas nor Daniel went to the party.

Both sentences are correct and mean exactly the same thing. Unlike in English the double-negative remains negative in Spanish, and cannot be translated as: Yesterday, neither Lucas nor Daniel did not go to the party.

Here are more examples:

No le interesa ni la historia ni la geografía.
She is interested in neither history nor geography.

No nos hemos duchado ni por la mañana ni por la noche.
We showered neither in the morning nor in the evening.

Ni sentada ni tumbada desaparece mi dolor de espalda.
Neither sitting nor lying down makes my backache disappear.

La entrevista de trabajo no fue ni bien ni mal.
The job interview went neither well nor badly.

Important note:

We sometimes omit the first ni and only use the ni in the second element of the sentence that we are negating. This is also correct as long as we introduce the first sentence with a verb in negative. For example:

"A Camila no le gustan los gatos ni los perros."

(Camila doesn't like cats or dogs.)

"No vamos a ir a la playa ni a la montaña."

(We are not going to the beach or the mountains."

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

La entrevista de trabajo no fue ni bien ni mal.
The job interview went neither well nor badly.


Ayer no fueron a la fiesta ni Lucas ni Daniel.
Yesterday, neither Lucas nor Daniel went to the party.


No nos hemos duchado ni por la mañana ni por la noche.
We showered neither in the morning nor in the evening.


Su español no es ni bueno ni malo.
Her Spanish is neither good nor bad.


No le interesa ni la historia ni la geografía.
She is interested in neither history nor geography.


Es un poco flojo. Ni estudia ni trabaja.
He is a bit lazy. He neither studies nor works.


Ni sentada ni tumbada desaparece mi dolor de espalda.
Neither sitting nor lying down makes my backache disappear.


Ni Lucas ni Daniel fueron a la fiesta ayer.
Neither Lucas nor Daniel went to the party yesterday.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

GenevièveC1Kwiziq community member

How would you say “I want neither a sandwich nor a borrito”

One of my answers is “No me apetece un bocadillo ni un burrito”.

According to the corrector, this answer is wrong.

I do not understand because in the explanations, there is a note which reads as follows:

“We sometimes omit the first “ni” and only use the “ni” in the second element of the sentence with a verb in negative”

Asked 7 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Genevieve,

Yes you are right. That should be another possible answer. I corrected it in the system.

Gracias

Saludos

Inma

How would you say “I want neither a sandwich nor a borrito”

One of my answers is “No me apetece un bocadillo ni un burrito”.

According to the corrector, this answer is wrong.

I do not understand because in the explanations, there is a note which reads as follows:

“We sometimes omit the first “ni” and only use the “ni” in the second element of the sentence with a verb in negative”

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