Spanish expressions: Ni siquiera…, siquiera…

spanish expressions ni siquiera

There are several ways to express when something is enough or not in Spanish. The use of Ni siquiera and Siquiera is very popular to achieve this goal. And, they will always depend on the context. The phrase ni siquiera indicates something negative that is not enough. For example, ni siquiera puedo comprar pan. / I can’t even buy bread.


On the contrary, natives use Siquiera for the expected minimum. For example, metan siquiera un gol, por favor. / at least score a goal, please. These two Spanish expressions will help you talk about your ideas better and add more common phrases to your vocabulary. If you want to know how to use Ni siquiera and how to use Siquiera, you must keep reading.


How to use Ni siquiera


You can use the phrase ni siquiera to express the extreme of an uncomfortable or negative situation. We can structure this phrase with the copulative conjunction “ni” and the conjunction or adverb “siquiera”.


Sometimes the phrase ni siquiera can function as an emphatic value. This value indicates that we are denying what we consider to be essential. The phrase ni siquiera can be similar to the English phrase “not even”.


Let’s see a few examples below,


Ni siquiera el psicólogo pudo cambiar el estado anímico de Andrés, así que no creas que otra persona podrá.

Not even the psychologist could change Andres’ mood, so don’t think someone else can.


Le pedí a mi hermana que me diera un poco de su chocolate y ni siquiera pudo darme un cuadrito, es una egoísta.

I asked my sister to give me some of her chocolate and she couldn’t even give me a square, she is selfish.


Estás castigado, no saldrás por una semana y ni siquiera podrás ir al parque de diversiones como habías quedado con tus amigos.

You are grounded, you will not go out for a week and you will not even be able to go to the amusement park as you had arranged with your friends.


¿Cómo le vas a hacer caso a Paola? Ella ni siquiera sabe lo que está diciendo, no es una persona cuerda.

How are you going to listen to Paola? She doesn’t even know what she’s saying, she’s not a sane person.


How to use siquiera


You can use the word siquiera as conjunction, an adverb, or in negative sentences. We can translate it as the word “even” in English. When we speak of siquiera as concessive conjunction, it can mean “although”. However, when it has the value of an adverb, you can use it as “at least”.


Now well, if you want to use siquiera as conjunction, here are some examples to explain it better,


Debes ir a casa de tus padres, siquiera sea para saludarlos, no puedes seguir enojada con ellos toda la vida.

You should go to your parents’ house, even if it is just to say hello, you can’t stay mad at them all your life.


Deberías ir con nosotros al cine el viernes, así siquiera sea para acompañarnos.

You should go to the movies with us on Friday, even if it is just to join us.


Moreover, if you want to use siquiera as an adverb, you should do it as in the following examples,


¿Puedes siquiera intentar estudiar para el examen de mañana? Yo no te pido que saques la nota más alta, pero por lo menos pasa el examen.

Can you at least try to study for tomorrow’s test? I am not asking you to get the highest grade, but at least pass the exam.


Siquiera ayúdame a recoger toda esta basura, yo no puedo hacerlo sola.

At least help me clean up all this trash, I can’t do it by myself.


Finally, if you want to use siquiera in negative sentences, you must see these examples below,


No fui a la fiesta ni siquiera para ver a los famosos que estaban allí.

I did not go to the party, not even to see the celebrities who were there.


No quiere siquiera recibir un mensaje tuyo, te recomiendo dejarlo solo hasta que se le pase.

He doesn’t even want to receive a message from you, I recommend you leave him alone until he gets over it.


Ni siquiera vs siquiera


The word siquiera can function as a conjunction or as an adverb. While ni siquiera is just an expression, and thus, it only has one meaning. Another of their differences is, that although both have the word “siquiera”, “ni siquiera” has the conjunction “ni”. This adds a more emphatic meaning to the sentence.


Si tu ni siquiera me mirabas cuando estábamos en el colegio, eso fue después que te enamoraste de mí.

If you didn’t even look at me when we were at school, that was after you fell in love with me.


No deberíamos siquiera estar hablando de política, es un tema muy conflictivo en donde al final, todos terminan peleados.

We should not even be talking about politics, it is a very contentious issue where, in the end, everyone ends up fighting.


No has hablado desde que llegaste y ni siquiera has tocado tu plato de comida, ¿estás segura que te sientes bien?

You haven’t spoken since you arrived and you haven’t even touched your plate of food, are you sure you feel okay?


In summary, Ni siquiera will help you express something negative that is not enough. Yet, siquiera will help you express the expected minimum or what’s barely necessary to do/ accomplish something. You should not confuse siquiera with ni siquiera even though they both use the word “siquiera”. After all, they have quite different meanings. A simple way to differentiate both is depending on how negative the sentence is. Ni siquiera and siquiera are expressions that can help you enrich your Spanish, and in this way, speak it more fluently. So, don’t think twice if you need to make use of them



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