Negative Conjunctions

Conjunciones coordinantes negativas

Negative conjunctions in Spanish
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The Spanish word ni is used on its own, in pairs, and with other words as a negative conjunction.

1) In pairs, ni … ni means "neither … nor."

Por ejemplo…

Ni fumo ni bebo. I neither smoke nor drink.
Ni tú ni yo tenemos dinero. Neither you nor I have money.
No tenemos dinero ni tú ni yo.  
Ni Ana ni Pedro puede(n) venir. Neither Ana nor Pedro can come.
No puede(n) venir ni Ana ni Pedro. 

 Notes

  1. When ni … ni follows the verb, the verb must be negated (preceded by no).
    But when ni … ni precedes the verb, it’s not negated.

  2. When a group of people is joined by ni … ni and is the subject of the verb, the verb may be singular or plural.

2) No … ni is very slightly less emphatic.

Por ejemplo…

No fumo ni bebo. I neither smoke nor drink.
No quiere café ni té. He wants neither coffee nor tea.

3) Ni can also be paired with sin.

Por ejemplo…

Maneja sin permiso de conducir ni seguro. He drives without a license or insurance.
Lo hizo sin hacer preguntas ni quejarse. He did it without questioning or complaining.

4) Ni on its own or followed by siquiera in front of a noun means "no" or "not a."

Por ejemplo…

¿Adónde fue?
– Ni idea.
 – Where did he go?
– No idea.
¿Cuánto dinero tienes?
– Ni siquiera un céntimo.
 – How much money do you have?
– Not a cent.

5) Ni (siquiera) can also mean "not even."

Por ejemplo…

Ni siquiera me llamaste. You didn’t even call me.
No sé ni dónde estamos.  I don’t even know where we are.

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Conjunciones negativas

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