Spanish conjunctions: ni… ni

neither nor spanish conjunctions featured 3 1

You already know that negative sentences are a lot different in Spanish; no auxiliary verb, double negative.

And, when you talk about options in sentences, it is also a bit different because you can negate without even saying no.

Read below and with this broken-down explanation, you’ll learn how to use ni, the word that means both neither and nor in Spanish.

ni conjunction spanish (1)

How to say “neither…, nor” in Spanish

Both “neither” and “nor” are translated as ni in Spanish.

Ni helps negate two or more subjects, verbs, or complements.

Also, you can find it at the beginning, before the verb, or after the verb. And because it has the same value as neither and nor, you can have nini in the same sentence.

  • Let´s see some examples of ni in Spanish.

Ni Pedro ni Carlos vinieron a trabajar.

Neither Pedro nor Carlos came to work.

El bebé no quiere ni comer ni beber nada.

The baby doesn´t want to eat or drink anything.

La mamá de María no come ni carnes, ni huevos, ni leche.

María’s mom eats neither meat, eggs, nor milk.

Can you see the differences? Don’t worry.

Keep reading and you’ll get it!

nor neither spanish ni (1)

Use of “ni”… “ni” with subjects

When there is more than one subject and you want to negate them, you put ni before each of them.

But as ni is already conveying the negative meaning the verb stays positive.

Ni tú ni yo vamos a ir al concierto.

You and I aren’t going to the concert.

Ni esa camisa ni ese bolso se te ven bien.

Neither that shirt nor that bag look good on you.

Also, you can start your sentence right with the verb in negative, using no, and add the subject at the end. It’s a way of emphasis.

No felicitaron ni a mi mamá ni a mi papá.

Neither my mom nor my dad was congratulated.

No están en casa ni David ni Camila.

Neither Camila nor David are home.

ni ni spanish conjuntion (1)

Use of “ni”… “ni” with verbs and objects

In the first case, when the options are verbs, ni goes right before each verb without any other negative particle. Here, ni has the same value as no.

Yo ni quiero ir a la playa ni quiero quedarme en casa sola.

I neither want to go to the beach nor stay home alone.

Ni trabaja, ni estudia. No hace nada.

She neither works nor studies. She doesn’t do anything.

Although it is possible to use only one ni.

Yo no voy a la iglesia ni rezo.

I neither go to church nor pray.

Now, if you are going to decide between two colors or some types of sandwiches, then you simply make a negative sentence and place ni before each of the nouns that work as objects in your sentence.

No me gusta ni el sándwich de atún ni el de jamón.

I like neither the tuna nor the ham sandwich.

No me voy a poner ni una camiseta blanca ni una camisa blanca.

I’m wearing neither a white t-shirt nor a white shirt.

neither nor conjunctions spanish (1)

Spanish conjunctions

As you see, the only case in which ni is used in an affirmative sentence is when you use it with the subjects at the beginning of the sentence.

The rest of the time, and contrary to English, you are going to use ni with negative sentences.

There are also other uses of ni, in which it is used to emphasize the negative.

You already learned more, now you can use them more often!


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