Negative words in Spanish are often used in double, and sometimes triple and quadruple, negative sentence structures. While in the English language, it is incorrect to say “I don’t never go to the movies”, in the Spanish language this is grammatically correct. More specifically, if the negative word is before the verb, only the one negative word is used; however, if the negative word comes after the verb, there will also be a “no” before the verb. This no is the equivalent of “not” in English. In Spanish, there may even be more than two negative words in the sentence, for example, “Mi hermano no va nunca al cine tampoco.”
This double negative concept can take some getting used to, especially as students work from English to Spanish. In this activity, students will write original sentences to practice negation and double negatives. Using the grid layout, students will write English sentences in the first column, underlining the negative word(s). In the second column, have students write their sentence in Spanish with the negative word before the verb. In the third column, students will attempt the double negative, placing the negative word after the verb with a “no” before the verb. For each row, students should focus on using a different negative word. For further advancement, students can dedicate a row to a sentence with three or more negative words.
Grade Level --- N/A ---
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual
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Create a storyboard that illustrates the use of the double negative in Spanish, placing the negative before and after the verb. Use a variety of different negative words.
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