Negative sentences: Italian grammar lesson 11

Stefano

Italian language tutor, course author. MEng, MBA. Member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA). After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. I couldn't find an app to recommend to my students, so I made my own one. With my method, you'll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.

Summary

Ready to sound like a local in Italy? Dive into the art of crafting perfect negative sentences in Italian! Our guide makes it a breeze to express the “not” in your thoughts with just one powerful word: non. 🇮🇹✨

  • Keep it simple: In Italian, negativity is a one-word wonder. Just pop non before the verb, and you’re good to go. No fuss, no muss! 🚫
  • Answer like a pro: Remember, “no” is for naysaying in response to questions. It’s the Italian mic drop for a quick negative reply. 💥
  • Double down: Embrace the double negative! It’s not a grammar no-no in Italian. Add words like nessuno or niente after non for that extra negation punch. 👊
  • Never say never: To express “never,” mai is your go-to. Just sandwich it with non and the verb, and you’re saying “never” like a native. 🚫⏳
  • Practice makes perfect: Get comfy with non. Use it in your daily Italian practice. The more you use it, the more natural it’ll feel. And soon, you’ll be negating with the best of them! 📚✨
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Negative sentences

How do you use negative sentences in Italian?

Making a sentence negative is very simple in Italian. While in English negative sentences are created by adding negative words like “isn’t”, “aren’t”, “doesn’t”, “don’t”, or “didn’t”, in Italian, we just need the negative word “non”.

You’ll probably also hear the word “no”, but you’ll only need it to answer a yes and no question since it means “no”.

Non – negative word

We use the negative word non right before the verb. Let’s have a look at some examples.

Make sure you focus on the negative word non and how we use it:

Lei non viene.

She isn’t coming.

Tu non vai a casa?

Aren’t you going home?

Non parlo francese.

I don’t speak French.

Oggi non lavoro.

I’m not working today.

Elisabetta e Marta non sanno niente.

Elisabetta and Marta don’t know anything.

Negative sentences in Italian

Other negative words

There are other negative words that you’ll find very useful. These words usually go after the main verb or at the end of the sentence.

Interestingly, unlike English, they are preceded by another negative word (non).

So, basically in Italian, we have to use double negatives since otherwise, the sentence would be incorrect.

Let’s have a look at these negative words:

  • Nessuno (nobody/no one)
  • Niente (nothing)
  • Nulla (nothing)
  • Mai (never)
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The structure is the following:+ non + verb + nessuno/niente/nulla/mai...

Here are some examples:

Stasera non viene nessuno.

No one is coming tonight.

Non vedo niente.

I can’t see anything.

Lei non vuole nulla.

She doesn’t want anything.

Loro non vengono mai da noi.

They never come to ours.

Making a sentence negative in Italian

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FAQs on Negative sentences: Italian grammar lesson 11

How do you make a sentence negative in Italian?

Making a negative sentence in Italian is very simple; we just need to add the negative word "non."

Does Italian use double negatives?

The double negative is a valid sentence structure in Italian. For example: Non viene nessuno. (No one is coming.)

How do you negate a verb in Italian?

In Italian, to negate a sentence, you can simply place "non" before the main verb. For example: Non posso mangiarlo (I can't eat this).

Italian word of the day
contento
Example
Finalmente abbiamo finito! Sono proprio contento.
Finally we’re done! I’m really glad.
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One Response

  1. No questions Stefano, I’ll keep trying. I was in Sardinia in September and my Italian was much better this year because of your program but I still have a long way to go.

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