Ultimate Guide: Affirmative And Negative Words In Spanish

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Mastering the use of affirmative and negative words in Spanish is an integral step to becoming a more coherent, fluent-like speaker.

As a beginner, it’s normal that and no will be your go-to words on a daily basis. Not only are these words universally understood, but when accompanied by some light head nodding, or pointing, both words will assist you in the majority of most situations.

If you want to do more than “survive” an interaction with native speakers, you’ll need to learn the most common affirmative and negative words in Spanish.

Fortunately, we’ve put together an exact list of what you need.

Absolute Statements

# Affirmative Negative
1 Si No
2 Afirmativo Negativo
3 Siempre Nunca / Jamás
4 Todo Nada
5 Alguien Nadie
6 Con Sin

1. Sí / No


Used as a simple “yes”. Make sure to include the accent (‘) on the “i”, otherwise you’ll be saying “si”, which means “if”.

  • Yes, I would love to go with you – Sí, me encantaría ir con ustedes
  • Yes, it’s a good idea – Sí, es una buena idea


The Spanish word “no” is used in two different ways.

Firstly, it’s used as a response to a question, just as we use “no” in English.

  • Do you want to go with us to the party? No thanks, we’re busy – Quieren ir con nosotros a la fiesta? No gracias, estamos ocupados
  • Do you have money to pay for the taxi? No! I forgot my wallet at home – Tienes dinero para pagar el taxi? No! olvidé mi cartera en casa

Secondly, it can be placed before a verb to make that verb negative, the same way we use “don’t” or “do not” in English.

  • Do not drink so much wine, you have to work tomorrow – No tomes tanto vino, debes trabajar mañana
  • I don’t know when it’s your birthday – No se cuando es tu cumpleaños

2. Afirmativo/Negativo


Used more commonly as military talk, but also a formal and literal way to affirm.

  • Affirmative, we have the suspect – Afirmativo, tenemos al sospechoso
  • The exam is tomorrow morning?  Affirmative, at eight o’clock – El examen es mañana en la mañana? – Afirmativo, a las ocho en punto


Same idea, except this is a formal and literal word for denial.

  • Negative procedure – Negativo procedimiento

3. Siempre / Nunca, jamás


A frequency adverb which translates as “always”, and is normally used before the verb.

  • You can always count on us – Siempre puedes contar con nosotros
  • Carlos always leaves work at 4:00 p.m – Carlos siempre sale del trabajo a las 4:00 pm

It can also be used after a verb that is in the imperative mood.

  • We will be there for you, remember it always – Estaremos ahí para ti, recuérdalo siempre
  • Always brush your teeth before sleeping – Cepilla siempre tus dientes antes de dormir


Separately, each of these words means “never”.

  • I have never read that book – Nunca he leído ese libro
  • I never thought that would happen – Jamás pensé que eso pasaría

These words can be used together as “nunca jamás” which means “never ever”.

  • Would you swim with sharks again? Never ever – Volverías a nadar con tiburones? Nunca jamás

4. Todo/Nada


Used as “all”, “whole”, “entire” or “everything”. When talking about a specific thing, make sure to be aware of how to use the correct Spanish article.

  • The whole year was great – Todo el año fue genial
  • All my life I waited for this moment – Toda la vida esperé este momento
  • Every day on the way to work – Todos los días camino al trabajo
  • All the flowers are beautiful – Todas la flores son hermosas

These words can also be used to replace a noun when the context is clear.

  • What book do you want to buy? I do not know, I like them all – Qué libro quieres comprar? No se, me gustan todos
  • How many test questions did you answer? I answered them all – Cuántas preguntas del examen respondiste? Las respondí todas


This means “nothing”, but is also used as the negative form of “something” (algo).

  • There’s nothing to eat, we go to a restaurant – No hay nada para comer, vamos a un restaurante
  • Today is my day off, I will not do anything – Hoy es mi día libre, no haré nada
  • Nothing better than a good coffee – Nada mejor que un buen café

5. Alguien/Nadie


Specifically used for people, the same way “someone” or “somebody” is used in English.

  • She is waiting for someone – Ella está esperando a alguien
  • Could someone help me clean the house? – Alguien podría ayudarme a limpiar la casa?
  • I hope there is someone at home – Espero que haya alguien en casa


The equivalent negative form of “alguien”, this word is used as “nobody”, exclusively for people.

  • Nobody will come to the meeting – Nadie vendrá a la reunión
  • There is nobody here – No hay nadie aquí
  • No one knows what’s happening – Nadie sabe lo que está pasando

6. Con/Sin


The Spanish for “with” and is normally followed by a name or a noun. It also works in a special form when we use it as “conmigo” (with me) and “contigo” (with you).

  • My hamburger with tomato please – Mi hamburguesa con tomate por favor
  • Can I go to the cinema with you? Yes! You can come with me – Puedo ir al cine contigo? Sí! Puedes venir conmigo


Used as “without”.

  • My pizza without anchovies please – Mi pizza sin anchoas por favor
  • Without money we can not travel – Sin dinero no podemos viajar

(Tip: A common phrase used by native speakers is “sin” with “embargo” (ie. sin embargo), and this means “however” or “nevertheless”.)

Variable Statements

# Affirmative Negative
1 O Ni
2 También Tampoco
3 Algo, algún, alguna, algunos, algunas Ningún, ninguno, ninguna, ningunos, ningunas

1. O/Ni


Used the same way we use “or” in English, and often when expressing the idea of affirmation, but with some variables to the initial statement.

  • Do you want to do something today? Let’s go to the theater or the cinema – Quieres hacer algo hoy? Vamos al teatro o al cine


This word can be a little tricky to get used to.  When used in a sentence once, it means “not even”.

  • I do not want even a bit of that cake – No quiero ni un poco de ese pastel
  • We were not even there – Nosotros ni siquiera estábamos ahí

When used twice in the same sentence, it usually means “neither…nor”.

  • He is neither a lawyer nor an engineer – Él no es un ni un abogado ni un ingeniero
  • It is neither in Olga’s house nor in Roberto’s house, it is in my house – No es ni en casa de Olga ni en casa de Roberto, es en mi casa

2. También/Tampoco


Can be translated as “also”, “too” or “as well” and commonly used to agree with someone or something in a positive way.

  • I like to play piano – Me gusta tocar piano
  • Me too! – A mi también!
  • We also have class in the afternoon – También tenemos clase en la tarde


The opposite of “también”, this word is normally used to agree – but in a negative form.

  • I do not want to study today. I understand you, me neither – No quiero estudiar hoy. Te entiendo, yo tampoco
  • I did not understand the movie either – Yo tampoco entendí la película
  • There was no soap in the supermarket either – Tampoco había jabón en el supermercado
  • Today we do not want to eat at home. We neither – Hoy no queremos comer en casa. Nosotros tampoco

3. Algo, algún, alguna, algunos, algunas / Ningún, ninguno, ninguna, ningunos, ningunas


Normally works as “something” or “anything”.

  • Can you help me with something? I don’t have time – Puedes ayudarme con algo? Yo no tengo tiempo
  • Do you know anything about Raúl? I haven’t seen him in days – Sabes algo sobre Raúl? No lo he visto en días

Algún, alguna, algunos, algunas

Grammatically, this works like “todo”, but is used as “some” and most of the time, the use of an article before the noun is not necessary.

  • Any volunteer to go to the expedition? – Algún voluntario para ir a la expedición?
  • Are any of these songs your favorite? – Alguna de estas canciones es tu favorita?
  • Some of my friends come to the party tonight – Algunos de mis amigos vienen a la fiesta esta noche
  • Some of the shirts are new – Algunas de las camisas están nuevas

Ningún, ninguno, ninguna, ningunos, ningunas

Typically used as “no”, “any”, “no more” or “none”. These can be thought of as the negative counterpart for algún/alguno/alguna/algunos/algunas.

  • No student answered the question – Ningún estudiante respondió la pregunta
  • None of you bought any food? – Ninguno de ustedes compró comida?
  • I do not like any of the shirts – No me gusta ninguna de las camisas

These words only work with special plural nouns that have a singular meaning.

  • She has no any desire to work today – Ella no tiene ningunas ganas de trabajar hoy
  • We are not children – No somos ningunos niños

How To Express Probability Or Accuracy


“Posible” indicates that something may or may not happen (just like English).

  • It is possible that today rains – Es posible que hoy llueva
  • Do you think you can help me tomorrow? It is possible, only if I have time – Crees que puedas ayudarme mañana? Es posible, solo si tengo tiempo

“Imposible” is used as a fact i.e. there’s zero possibility of the action happening.

  • It is impossible to travel today, there is a storm – Es imposible viajar hoy, hay una tormenta
  • Can you lend me money? That’s impossible, I need to save – Puedes prestarme dinero? Eso es imposible, necesito ahorrar

Emphasizing Affirmative And Negative Phrases

Affirmative words – when used alone – work as affirmative terms.

However, when used with the word “no”, they are used to emphasize a negative response.

But when you want to emphasize a phrase (positive or negative), you can accompany affirmative words by:

  • The preposition que (that) – Seguro que, obvio que, claro que, etc
  • The adverb mente (ly) – Seguramente, obviamente, claramente, etc

Que is used as a conjunction, allowing us to link ideas, points of view or even emphasize decisions previously taken.

For example:

  • Manuel: Sara, are you going with us? / Sara, ¿vas a ir con nosotros?
  • Sara: Yes, I’m going with you! / ¡Si! Yo voy a ir con ustedes.
  • Alex: Are you sure? It’s really dangerous / ¿Segura? Es realmente peligroso.
  • Sara: Of course! I’m going no matter what! / ¡Claro que si! ¡Yo voy, sin importar que!

The particle mente (the equivalent of -ly in English) helps us to turn simple words into adverbs which indicate us circumstances about something that is happening, or just happened.

For example:

  • Alejandra: Are you sure that he didn’t want to come with us? / ¿Estás seguro que él no quería venir con nosotros?
  • Raúl: I don’t know. Probably, but he didn’t say anything else. / No lo sé. Probablemente, pero no dijo nada más.

Now, let’s review some of the most common examples you’ll see of this.

1. Seguro

This word has at least three different meanings  (“safe”, “sure” and “insurance”), but as an affirmative word, works as “sure”.

  • I need money my friend, can you lend me some? Sure! pay me back when you can – Necesito dinero, amigo, ¿puedes prestarme un poco? ¡Seguro! devuélvame el dinero cuando puedas
  • The movie is in the cinema? I’m sure it’s not – ¿La película está en el cine? Estoy seguro que no
  • Your parents come to visit us? Surely not – ¿Tus padres vienen a visitarnos? Seguramente no

2. Claro

Although this means  “clear” (e.g. no es muy claro el cielo – the sky isn’t very clear), this word can be used to express an affirmation – even when we need to affirm an negative thing.

  • Do you want see the movie? Of course! it’s my favorite – Quieres ver la película? Claro! es mi favorita
  • Do you agree with our decision? Of course not, it’s unfair – Estás de acuerdo con nuestra decisión? Claro que no, es injusto
  • Can we buy another dog? Of course not – Podemos comprar otro perro? Claro que no
  • Clearly, there is no problem – Claramente, no hay ningún problema

3. Definitivo

Just as we use “definitive” in English.

  • We will not go to the beach, it’s definitive – No iremos a la playa, es definitivo
  • It is definitive that we will not have holidays – Ya es definitivo que no tendremos vacaciones
  • Definitely not, I prefer to stay at home – Definitivamente no, prefiero quedarme en casa

4. Obvio

  • Do you want to eat hamburgers? Obviously, they are my favorites – Quieres comer hamburguesas? Obvio, son mis favoritas
  • Juan does not come to the party. Obviously not, he has a lot of work – Juan no viene a la fiesta. Es obvio que no, tiene mucho trabajo
  • It’s a lot of money, do not buy it. Obviously not – Es mucho dinero, no lo compres. Obviamente no
  • I’m not sure that’s right. Of course, It’s obvious! – No estoy seguro que eso sea correcto. ¡Por supuesto! ¡Es obvio!

5. Posible

Just as you would use possible/possibly in English.

  • Can our team win the game? it’s possible – Nuestro equipo puede ganar el partido? Es posible
  • It is possible that I can not go to work – Es posible que no pueda ir al trabajo
  • Is there any better option? Possibly not – Hay alguna opción mejor? Posiblemente no

6. Probable

Once again, the same as probable/probably in English.

  • Is there an exam tomorrow? It is probable – Hay examen mañana? Es probable
  • It is probable that we can not go – Es probable que no podamos ir
  • Are you going to college tomorrow? Probably not – Van a la universidad mañana? Probablemente no

7. Evidente

Evident or evidently.

  • They are not to blame, it is evident – Ellos no tienen la culpa, es evidente
  • They were not here, right? Evidently not – Ellos no estaban aquí, ¿verdad? Evidentemente no

8. Aparente

Apparent or apparently.

  • The movie looks good, right? Apparently It is – La película se ve buena, verdad? Aparentemente
  • It’s too late they are not coming home. Apparently not – Ya es muy tarde ellos no vienen a casa. Aparentemente no

9. Por Supuesto

A commonly used phrase for “of course.

  • Did you pass the exam? Of course, I studied a lot for that – Aprobaste el examen? Por supuesto, estudié mucho para eso

Double Affirmatives In Spanish

In Spanish, it’s very common to emphasize an affirmative answer for many reasons, including a) to indicate that you are 100% sure of the answer and b) to leave no doubt in the mind of the person who asked you the question.

Let’s take a look at how double affirmatives are used.


  • Sure, yes! – , claro
  • Of course, yes – Claro que
  • Of course! I always want to eat pizzas – Por supuesto! Siempre quiero comer pizzas

Double Negatives In Spanish

Unlike English (where it’s considered grammatically incorrect), double negatives are commonly used in Spanish.

  • There’s nobody at the house – No hay nadie en la casa

In the above example, you’ll notice two negative words no and nadie, and if we translate it literally, we would have:

“There is not (no hay) nobody (nadie) in the house”.

This is something that you’ll get the hang of once you interact with more Spanish speakers.

Let’s look at more examples of the double negative:

  • We do not know anything about the meeting – No sabemos nada sobre la reunión
  • I never eat in that restaurant – No como nunca en ese restaurante
  • They have nothing to do there – Ellos no tienen nada que hacer ahí

If there is a “no” before the verb you probably need to use a negative word after the verb.

  • Lo siento, no puedo hacer nada por ellos – I’m sorry, I can’t do anything for you.

Common Affirmative and Negative Phrases in Spanish

Now that you know the most common affirmative and negative Spanish words, it’s also useful to learn a collection of key phrases that can roll off your tongue when required.

1. Todo el tiempo

All the time, all along

  • I’m hungry all the time – Todo el tiempo tengo hambre
  • All along the journey – Desde el principio (todo el tiempo) de la jornada

2. Todo el mundo

All the world, everyone, everybody

  • Everyone came to the party – Todo el mundo vino a la fiesta
  • Everybody is here – Todo el mundo está aquí

3. De toda la vida

Lifelong, or entire life.

  • I’ve known him all my life – Lo conozco de toda la vida

4. Falta algo

Something is missing.

  • It’s a good song, but I feel that something is missing – Es una buena canción, pero siento que falta algo
  • I feel there is something missing to put in my luggage – Siento que falta algo por colocar en mi equipaje

5. Algo así

Something like that.

  • This is what you need? Yes something like that – Es esto lo que necesitas? Si, algo así

6. Lo / la de siempre

The usual, or as usual.

  • Welcome to the restaurant, what do you want to drink? The usual, please – Bienvenido al restaurante, que desea tomar? Lo de siempre, por favor

7. En algún momento

At some point.

  • At some point I thought about giving up, it was a very difficult test – En algún momento pensé en renunciar, era un examen muy difícil

8. Por lejos

By far.

  • This is by far the best birthday present – Este es por lejos el mejor regalo de cumpleaños

9. Ni siquiera en broma

Not even kidding.

  • Do not say that, not even kidding – No digas eso, ni siquiera en broma

10. Ni siquiera cerca

Not even close.

  • I’m not even close to finishing the book – No estoy ni siquiera cerca de terminar el libro
  • I was not even there yesterday – Ni siquiera se estuve ahí ayer

11. No tiene nada que ver

It has nothing to do with it.

  • The book has nothing to do with the movie – El libro no tiene nada que ver con la película

12. No pasa nada

Nothing happens.

  • Relax, nothing happens – Tranquilo, no pasa nada
  • Calm down, if you do not go to the meeting, nothing happens – Cálmate, si no vas a la reunión no pasa nada

13. Ni una sola vez

Not even once.

  • I have not traveled there even once – No he viajado allí ni una sola vez

14. Ni lo sueñes

Don’t even dream of it.

  • Can I miss work tomorrow boss? Don’t even dream of it, we have a lot to do – Puedo faltar al trabajo mañana jefe? Ni lo sueñes, tenemos mucho que hacer

15. Cuenta con eso

Count on that.

  • Can you visit me tomorrow? Count on that – Pueden visitarme mañana? Cuenta con eso

16. Me encantaría

I would love to.

To express a general idea of being enchanted (in a good way) by something and as a consequence, used to agree with something.

  • Do you want to go out to eat at a restaurant? I would love to – Quieres salir a comer a un restaurante? Me encantaría

17. De acuerdo

Agree, or agreed!

Spanish phrase for being in agreeance with something or someone. We can transform it into a negative form (not agree) adding “no” + “estar”

  • So that’s the final decision of the meeting, are you all in agreement? Yes, we agree – Entonces esa es la decisión final de la reunión, están todos de acuerdo? Si, estamos de acuerdo
  • I disagree – No estoy de acuerdo
  • Carlos does not agree – Carlos no está de acuerdo
  • We disagree – No estamos de acuerdo

18. De ninguna manera

No way.

Sometimes replaced with the phrase as “no hay forma de”, which translates as the same.

  • No way can you go out tonight, you should do your homework – De ninguna manera puedes salir esta noche, debes hacer tu tarea
  • There’s no way to get home, there’s a lot of traffic – No hay forma de llegar a casa, hay mucho tráfico

19. Todo lo contrario/Al contrario

On the contrary.

This one can be used when talking about an opposite idea or scenario during a conversation. Maybe you and your friend are discussing about a topic and your friend give you a statement from his perspective, but the truth is completely the opposite.

  • I thought you wanted to go to the party? No, on the contrary, I am very tired and I want to sleep – Creí que querías ir a la fiesta? No, al contrario, estoy muy cansado y quiero dormir
  • The math exercise is very difficult? On the contrary, it is very easy – El ejercicio de matemáticas es muy difícil? Al contrario, está muy fácil

20. Olvídalo

Forget it.

When you want to express that it’s just not happening.

  • Forget it, I will not spend my money on that – Olvídalo, no gastaré mi dinero en eso
  • Can you do the work for me? forget about it – ¿Puedes hacer el trabajo por mí? Olvídalo

Practice: Affirmative And Negative Words In Spanish

Now it’s time to practice what we’ve covered thus.

A) Complete the sentence with the right affirmative word:

  1. Yo hago ejercicios ________ los días después del trabajo. (Alguien / todos / claro)
  2. Necesito ________ ejemplo, no entiendo la lección. (Siempre / también / algún)
  3. Sí, ________ que podemos ir al cine. (Claro / todos / con)
  4. Siempre hay ________ en la oficina. (Si / alguien / también)
  5. Nosotros ________ tenemos frío. (También / claro / algunas)

B) Complete the sentence with the right negative word:

  1. Ella ________ estudió para el examen. (Tampoco / ningún / nadie)
  2. Ayer ________ fue al restaurante. (Nunca / nadie / sin)
  3. Mi bebida ________ hielo por favor. (Sin / ni / nada)
  4. No tengo hambre ________ estoy cansado, solo quiero ir a casa. (Ningunas / jamás / ni)
  5. Ustedes ________ han viajado a ese lugar. (Nunca / ni / sin)

C) Determine if the following sentences are correct or incorrect:

  1. No, yo nunca he estado ahí
  2. Ellos sin quieren ir al cumpleaños
  3. Mi ensalada sin sal por favor
  4. No hay ningún problema
  5. Nadie entiende no nada
  6. No hay jamás difícil en este examen



  1. Yo hago ejercicios todos los días después del trabajo – I do exercises every day after work.
  2. Necesito algún ejemplo, no entiendo la lección – I need some example, I do not understand the lesson.
  3. Sí, claro que podemos ir al cine – Yes, of course we can go to the cinema.
  4. Siempre hay alguien en la oficina – There is always someone in the office.
  5. Nosotros también tenemos frío – We also have cold.


  1. Ella tampoco estudió para el examen – She did not study for the exam either.
  2. Ayer nadie fue al restaurante – Yesterday nobody went to the restaurant.
  3. Mi bebida sin hielo por favor – My drink without ice please.
  4. No tengo hambre ni estoy cansado, solo quiero ir a casa – I’m not hungry nor am I tired, I just want to go home.
  5. Ustedes nunca han viajado a ese lugar – You have never traveled to that place.


  1. No, yo nunca he estado ahí – No, I’ve never been there (Correct)
  2. Ellos sin quieren ir al cumpleaños – (Incorrect) (Ellos no quieren ir al cumpleaños – They do not want to go to the birthday)
  3. Mi ensalada sin sal por favor – My salad without salt please (Correct)
  4. No hay ningún problema – There is no problem (Correct)
  5. Nadie entiende no nada (Incorrect) (Nadie entiende nada – Nobody understands anything)
  6. No hay jamás difícil en este examen (Incorrect) (No hay nada difícil en el examen – There is nothing difficult in the exam)


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