Interrogative, negative, and affirmative sentences


An interrogative sentence asks a question. In English, you can form an interrogative sentence by

1. Adding a helping verb, like do, does, or did before the verb.

Do Sally and Bob eat meat?

Does Joe run everyday?

Did the children finish their homework?

2. Inverting the word order of a statement.

Sally is in Chicago. Is Sally in Chicago?

In Spanish, a simple statement can be made an interrogative by inverting the word order.

Bob habla español. Bob speaks Spanish.        ¿Habla español Bob? Does Bob speak Spanish?

Jack Johnson canta. Jack Johnson sings.        ¿Canta Jack Johnson?  Does Jack Johnson sing?

Notice the ¿ before the sentence. Think of it as a signal that a question is going to be asked.


A negative sentence states that a fact or situation is not true. It usually has negative words like, no, not, never, nobody or nothing. In English, to make a negative we add a helping verb to make a sentence negative even though the affirmative sentence has no helping verb.

Bob speaks Spanish.        Bob does not speak Spanish.

In Spanish, to make a sentence negative:

1. Place no in front of the conjugated verb.   

Bob habla español.    Bob no habla español.

2. If the verb is preceded by an object, no will be placed before that object.   

Lo quiero.    No lo quiero.

3. If the answer to a question is negative, no will appear twice. 

¿Te gustan frijoles? No, no me gustan frijoles.

4. Whenever the negative words nada, nadie, nunca, tampoco, jamás, follow the verb, no must precede the verb, which produces a multiple negative construction...which is taboo in English. No is not needed if it precedes the verb.

No estudio nunca los sábados.    I never study on Saturdays.

Nunca estudio los sábados.        I never study on Saturdays.

Some negative words

Negative English Example
nada nothing No hay nada para cenar.
nadie nobody Nadie está aquí.
nunca never Nunca como carne. or   No como carne nunca.
tampoco neither No me gustan insectos. Bob no le gustan insectos tampoco.

(Tampoco is an agreement to dislike something. I don't like bugs, and Bob doesn't like them either or also.)

jamás never Jamás comemos carne los viernes.
ninguno(a) no one Ningún libro es nuevo.
ya no no longer Ella ya no vive en Wilmington.
todavía not yet La profesora no está en clase todavía.



No canto ni bailo.

No quiero ni agua ni leche.



Here are some affirmative expressions

Affirmative English Example
Algo something, anything Quiero algo differente para cenar.
Alguien someone, anyone Alguien está aquí.
Siempre always Bob siempre come carne.
Alguna vez ever ¿Juegas con insectos alguna vez?
Algunas veces, a veces sometimes Algunas veces comemos carne los viernes. A veces comemos pescado.



any, some ¿Hay algún libro nuevo?

Ella necesita comer alguna comida.

La profesora necesita mandar algunas cartas.

También also, too Me gusta cantar también.
o...o either...or "This isn't very common. Most people don't use either, they say "I want this one or that one."

It's the same in Spanish. "Quiero éste o aquél." But you should know how to use o...o.

O como éste o como aquél.  Either I eat this one or that one.


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