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Old March 28, 2010, 01:02 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,314
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
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Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Working on negating a declarative sentence...

I understand (I think) "nunca" and "jamás". Are they strictly interchangeable? Or are there certain times when one is used and not the other?

I don't necessarily understand when "tampoco" is used, nor do I understand the syntax of the sentences that have "tampoco". I think that it has the same sense as the English "somthing/somebody doesn't ______ either". Right? Will you please give me a few examples (with translations)?

Also, I don't really understand "ni". Is it like "did not even"? Will you also give me some example sentences (again with translations)?

"Nunca" and "jamás" can be interchangeable sometimes. But the nuance I find, is that "jamás", tends to sound a bit more dramatic and more "definitive" than "nunca".

"Tampoco" is used when you have made a negative statement and you're adding another one.

"Ni - ni" is a couple similar to "neither - nor".
"Ni" alone, stresses the absence of something.

Juan nunca me dice que me quiere. (She's sad) / Juan jamás me dice que me quiere. (She's about to cry or crying.)
Juan never says that he loves me.

Nunca le doy mi (número de) teléfono a extraños. (I'm a bit paranoid) / Jamás le doy mi teléfono a extraños. (I'm paranoid)
I never give my telephone number to strangers.

Nunca manejes cansado. (Wise advice) / Jamás manejes cansado. (More like an order.)
Never drive if you're tired.

Nosotros nunca comemos mariscos. (Simple statement) / Nosotros jamás comemos mariscos. (Clear aversion stated)
We never eat sea-food.

Juan nunca me dice que me quiere y yo tampoco le digo que lo quiero.
Juan never says he loves me and I never tell him that I love him.

Yo no le doy mi teléfono a nadie y tampoco hablo con extraños.
I don't give my telephone number to anyone and I don't talk to strangers either.

No me gustan los mariscos, pero tampoco la carne.
I don't like sea-food, but neither I like meat.

Fui a la farmacia, pero no pude comprar ni la medicina ni las jeringas.
I went to the drugstore, but could buy neither the medicine, nor the syringes.

¿No tienes ni café ni leche?
You don't have any coffee or milk?

Se nos hizo tarde y no fuimos ni al cine ni al teatro.
We were late and we went neither to the movies, nor to the theatre.

No tengo ni idea de cómo pudo pasar esto.
I have no idea on how this could happen.

Abrimos la llave pero no salía ni gota de agua.
We turned the faucet on but not a single drop of water was coming out of it.

Ni te imaginas lo bien que nos fue.
You can't even imagine how good we did.
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
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