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Spanish language Spanish Neither... Nor ~ Ni

The Spanish word ni is used in pairs to mean "neither... nor."

Ni Ana ni Pedro puede(n) venir. Neither Ana nor Pedro can come
No puede(n) venir ni Ana ni Pedro.
Ni tú ni yo tenemos dinero. Neither you nor I have money.
No tenemos dinero ni tú ni yo.  
Ni fumo ni bebo / No fumo ni bebo. I neither smoke nor drink.

Notes

  1. When ni... ni precedes the verb, the verb is not negated. When ni... ni follows the verb, it is negated.

  2. When a group of people is joined by ni... ni and is the subject of the verb, the verb may be singular or plural.

Ni can also be paired with sin.

Maneja sin permiso de conducir ni seguro. He drives without a license or insurance.
Lo hizo sin hacer preguntas ni quejarse. He did it without questioning or complaining.

Ni by itself or followed by siquiera in front of a noun means "no" or "not a."

¿Adónde fue?
Ni idea.
Where did he go?
No idea.
¿Cuánto dinero tienes?
Ni siquiera un céntimo.
How much money do you have?
Not a cent.

Ni (siquiera) can also mean "not even."

Ni siquiera me llamaste. You didn't even call me.
No sé ni dónde estamos. I don't even know where we are.

 

Spanish Negation     Negative pronouns

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