Lições Espanhol

Temas

Nada: Nothing or Anything?

Most of the time, we use the word nada in Spanish as an indefinite pronoun that can be translated as either "nothing" or "anything." In this lesson, we will examine how to use this word to mean one vs. the other. Let's take a look.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Using Nada with Adjectives

Before we jump into the "nothing" vs. "anything" uses of nada, it's important to state the following: When an adjective appears next to nada, the adjective must be masculine. Let's look at a few examples:

 

No es nada malo, es algo natural.

It's nothing bad, it's something natural.

Caption 12, La Cocaleros Personas y políticas - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Tenemos que devolver a la madre y esperamos que la madre no encuentre nada raro en su cachorro.

We have to return it to the mother and hope that the mother doesn't find anything strange with her cub.

Captions 90-91, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Que haya jóvenes que realicen pequeños hurtos no es nada nuevo.

That there are young people who commit petty thefts is nothing new.

Caption 16, Los Reporteros Crecen los robos en tiendas - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Nada as "Anything"

If nada comes after a verb, it must be expressed in a negative form with either no or some other negative element such as jamás/nunca (never) or nadie (nobody). Although such "double negatives" are incorrect in English (for example, you can't say "I don't have nothing"), in such cases in Spanish, nada becomes the positive "anything" in the English translation. Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

Juan no ha comido nada desde que llegó al aeropuerto.

Juan hasn't eaten anything since he arrived at the airport.

Caption 41, Carlos explica El pretérito Cap 3: Perfecto compuesto II

 Play Caption

 

No, no como nada frito.

No, I don't eat anything fried.

Caption 40, Cata y Cleer En el restaurante

 Play Caption

 

In the example above, you can see how the adjective frito is masculine (just to check whether you remember our aforementioned rule!). 

 

me encanta también cocinar. Nunca me has hecho nada, ni un plato.

I also love to cook. You have never made anything for me, not even one dish.

Captions 74-75, Cleer Hobbies

 Play Caption

 

Nada as "Nothing"

On the other hand, if nada goes before a verb, the verb does not need to be accompanied by a negative element. In this case, nada functions like the word "nothing" in English. Let's take a look:

 

Mi primo vive en una casucha en donde nada funciona bien.

My cousin lives in a "casucha" [awful house] where nothing works well.

Caption 54, Carlos explica Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 2: Definiciones generales

 Play Caption

 

Nada me detendrá

Nothing will stop me

Caption 32, Ednita Nazario Después De Ti

 Play Caption

 

Nada as a noun

Finally, keep in mind that when nada is used as a noun meaning "the void" or "nothingness," it is a feminine noun:

 

Era el frío de la nada

It was the cold of nothingness

Caption 41, Acercándonos a la Literatura José Asunción Silva - "Nocturno III"

 Play Caption

 

Notice how in this case, the word nada is preceded by the definite female article "la."

 

That's all for this lesson. We invite you to keep these rules in mind, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments

Talvez você goste também de