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Grammar - Working with the Negatives

In this Spanish Difficult Review quiz you will be rediscovering how to make words become negative in Spanish. Language and grammar contain both positive and negative speech. For example, if you were to say: I will help you, then that would be considered to be a positive reaction or action. If, on the other hand, you were to say: I will not help you, then that would be considered to be a negative reaction or action.

Positive reactions or actions mean the response of 'yes' is being indicated and a negative reaction or actions means that a 'no' response is being indicated. As you learned back in the Spanish Medium Review quiz titled Grammar: Affirmative and Negative Commands, the English words of not, don’t, doesn’t and didn’t do not exist in Spanish.

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No!

So how do you show the negative in Spanish? You simply use the word NO in the given sentence. The word NO is placed before the verb. As we did in the Spanish Medium Review quiz titled Grammar: Affirmative and Negative Commands, let’s now take a look at a couple of examples of affirmative sentences followed by how those same sentences would be used in the negative.

AFFIRMATIVE

ENGLISH SPANISH
They play. Ellos juegan.
She manages the store. Ella dirige la tienda.

NEGATIVE

ENGLISH SPANISH
They don’t play. Ellos no juegan.
She doesn’t manage the store. Ella no dirige la tienda.

Because you only need to remember one word in Spanish, i.e., NO, making a sentence or statement negative is really very easy. All you really need to do is to remember the placement of that one word. So, with that in mind, this quiz is a practice quiz for making a positive statement/sentence into a negative or making a negative statement/sentence into a positive. Therefore, read each of the following ten sentences and then locate the opposite form of that sentence. In other words, if the sentence is negative, you must find the positive form and if the sentence is positive, you must locate the negative form. Easy enough – NO? Oh, one last thing – all of the given sentences are in Spanish! Practice makes perfect after all!

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  1. José es un profesor.
    The given sentence reads: Joseph is a teacher. This is a positive sentence. You must now find the negative of that sentence. The first and third answers have not correctly placed the word NO making them wrong. The last answer is not in the negative and it has misspelled the Spanish word for teacher. The second answer reads: Joseph is not a teacher. It is correct.
  2. Madre quedará en casa.
    The given sentence reads: Mother will stay at home. This is a positive sentence. You must now find the negative of that sentence. The second and last answers have not correctly placed the word NO making them wrong. The third answer, although in the correct order, shows the incorrect verb form for 'will stay' as it is missing an accent mark. The first answer reads: Mother will not stay at home. It is correct.
  3. El muchacho no bateó la pelota.
    The given sentence reads: The boy did not hit the ball. Notice that the verb is in the past tense. It is a negative sentence. You now must find the positive form of this sentence. The first answer shows a positive sentence, however, it changed the boy to he boy. That is not correct. The second answer reads: The boy hits the ball. That shows the present tense so it is not correct. The third answer reads: The boy will hit the ball. That shows the future tense which, again, is wrong. The last answer reads: The boy hit the ball. It is correct.
  4. Los bomberos no acabaron el fuego.
    The given sentence reads: The firemen did not stop the fire. Notice that the verb is in the past tense. It is a negative sentence. You now must find the positive form of this sentence. The first answer shows a positive sentence, however, it contains the verb pronoun form for he stopped and not for they (the firemen) stopped. It is, therefore, no correct. The second answer shows the improper word order for a negative sentence and as it is negative, it is not the proper form. The last answer reads: The firemen stop the fire. That is in the present verb form making it incorrect. The third answer, on the other hand, reads: The firemen stopped the fire. It is correct.
  5. La arena es violeta.
    The given sentence reads: The sand is purple. This is a positive sentence. You must now find the negative of that sentence. The first, third and last answers each show the improper placement of the word NO making them each incorrect. The second answer reads: The sand is not purple. It is correct.
  6. Nathan no montará su bicicleta.
    The given sentence reads: Nathan will not ride his bicycle. Notice that the verb is in the future tense. It is a negative sentence. You now must find the positive form of this sentence. The first answer shows a positive sentence, however, it changed his bicycle to the bicycle. That is not correct. The second answer reads: Nathan will ride our bicycle. That shows the wrong possession. The third answer reads: Nathan will ride your (singular familiar) bicycle. That, too, is not the correct possession. The last answer reads: Nathan will ride his bicycle. It is correct.
  7. El pianista jugó el piano.
    The given sentence reads: The pianist played the piano. Notice that the verb is in the past tense. It is a positive sentence. You now must find the negative form of this sentence. The first, second and last answers have each improperly placed the word NO making them each incorrect. The third answer reads: The pianist did not (or didn’t) play the piano. It is correct.
  8. El granjero plantará maíz.
    The given sentence reads: The farmer will plant corn. Notice that the verb is in the future tense. This is a positive sentence. You must now find the negative of that sentence. The second answer simply repeats the given sentence making it wrong. The third answer shows an improper verb form as the accent mark is missing. The last answer has misspelled the word for corn as the accent mark is missing over the 'i'. The first answer reads: The farmer will not plant corn. It is correct.
  9. Roger traslada en viernes.
    The given sentence reads: Roger moves on Friday. Notice that the verb is in the present tense. This is a positive sentence. You must now find the negative of that sentence. The first and second answers show the improper placement of the word NO. The last answer does not show a proper sentence. (The word NO appears to be linked onto the verb which is not correct.) The third answer reads: Roger does not (or doesn’t) move on Friday. It is correct.
  10. El gato no comió al ratón.
    The given sentence reads: The cat did not (or didn’t) eat the mouse. Notice that the verb is in the past tense. This is a negative sentence. You must now find the positive of that sentence. The first answer shows the base form of the verb to eat making it incorrect. The third answer shows the future form of the verb. That, too, is not correct. The last answer shows the present form of the verb which also is not correct. The second answer reads: The cat ate the mouse. It is correct.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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