Spanish adverbials of affirmation and negation: Sí…, no…

affirmation negation spanish adverbials

Have you ever wondered how to express agreement or disagreement in Spanish?

Sometimes, we are in a middle of a conversation and we would like to express our opinion. However, it can be a hill up if you don’t know the right words.

In Spanish, we have affirmation and negation adverbials that help us express what’s going on inside our heads. These adverbials are really common during everyday conversations.

For that reason, today we will teach you how you could use them to express your ideas in Spanish.

Using negation and affirmation adverbials

The affirmation and negation adverbials are very used by Spanish speakers. These adverbials help us express the degree of agreement or disagreement we have with what someone just said.

You can use the affirmation and negation adverbials, in almost any real-life scenario. For example, if you’re in a work meeting, they will help you to communicate with your coworkers and make the right decision.

These Spanish adverbials express a subjective reality.

In other words, they help you express your perspective on life. With this in mind, there’s no doubt that when someone uses these adverbials to express their opinion, they don’t rely on statistics or something similar.

Generally, the affirmation and negation adverbials are placed at the beginning of the sentences. But, sometimes, you can place them in the middle or at the end of the sentences, depending on what you want to express and highlight.

Many of these adverbials are phrases and not just single words.

Now, let’s see some examples.

No podía escuchar nada.

I could not hear anything.

No hemos llegado a esa situación aún.

We have not reached that point yet.

Él vio lo que ocurrió.

He did see what happened.

Desde luego que se sorprendieron con la noticia.

Of course, they were surprised by the news.

Estaré allí sin duda alguna antes de la hora del cierre.

I’ll without question be there before closing time.

As you can see, where these adverbials are placed may vary and provide circumstantial information. Thus, it’s not surprising that from one moment to another, your opinion might change and so the adverbial you’re using.

Also, they are part of the predicate of the sentence or predicado as we call it in Spanish.

Affirmation adverbials

As their name suggests, they help you indicate how much you agree with an idea, or something else. But, they are also amazing to emphasize how likely is an action to take place.

You must remember that since these words and phrases are adverbs they modify the verb.

As we said before, most of these adverbials are phrases and not just single words.

Some of these adverbials are: “sí”, “desde luego”, “efectivamente”, “obviamente”, “por supuesto”, “sin duda alguna”, “también”, “verdaderamente”, “ciertamente”, and “indiscutiblemente”.

Now, to better understand how we should use them, let’s look at the examples below:

En verdad son el uno para el otro.

They really are for each other.

Indiscutiblemente necesitaba ayuda.

He definitely needed help.

, quedaba una porción de pastel.

Yes, there was a slice of cake left.

Obviamente no tenía ganas de verlos en un día tan triste.

He obviously didn’t feel like seeing them on such a sad day.

Por supuesto que vamos a ayudarlo.

Of course we are going to help him.

En efecto, el lugar que recomendaste era muy bueno.

Indeed, the place you recommended was very good.

In these examples, all adverbials are placed at the beginning of the sentence. However, placing them at the beginning isn’t mandatory.

Let’s see the examples below to understand how “moving” the adverbial helps you highlight something that just happened or the subject.

Seguramente, llegarás a tu meta.

Surely, you will reach your goal.

Tú, seguramente, llegarás a tu meta.

Llegarás a tu meta, seguramente.

With this example, there’s no doubt that placing the affirmation adverbial in the middle of the sentence highlights who’s doing the action. On the other side, placing it at the end emphasizes the action itself and not the degree of agreement.

Negation adverbials

These Spanish adverbials deny any information. You can use them to express your disagreement or to express that certain actions will not take place.

They also express that a piece of information is false. Just like adverbials of affirmation, several of these adverbials are phrases and not just words.

Some of these adverbs are: “no”, “jamás”, “ni”, “ninguna”, “nunca”, “para nada”, “tampoco”.

Let’s see some examples below to understand how we should use them:

No queda para nada bien.

It does not fit well at all.

Ninguno de los alumnos llegó a tiempo.

None of the students arrived on time.

Ese sospechoso tampoco es el culpable.

That suspect isn’t the culprit either.

No es sorprendente que gane en las apuestas, ni siquiera es inusual.

It is not surprising that he wins at bets, it is not even unusual.

Ni ella ni él estaban seguros.

Neither she nor he was sure.

No era lo que esperábamos ni lo que queríamos.

It was not what we expected or what we wanted.

No sabían actuar, ni siquiera quienes habían asistido a la academia.

They did not know how to act, not even those who had attended the academy.

In general, we place the negation adverbials at the beginning of the sentence. You can also use two or more different adverbials in only one sentence depending on what you want to say.

These adverbials allow you to use the structure “Ni…ni” or “Neither… nor” as you may know it in English. In other words, you can combine two different adverbials or use the same adverbial to express your opinion using the structure “Ni…ni”

Practice this topic with some activities, click here!

Spanish adverbials

In summary, affirmation and negation adverbials are quite handy when it comes to expressing your opinion about certain topics.

If you’re having a business meeting, a conference, or just talking to a friend, don’t be afraid of using these adverbials. They help you sound more professional, and polite.

After all, sometimes saying “Sí” or “No” is not enough and might be disrespectful to your audience.

Don’t waste more time and start practicing with these adverbs to improve your Spanish.

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