A statement is negative when it specifies an action or event that has not taken place or will not take place. In this post, you’ll learn how to use NIENTE – NULLA – NESSUNO in Italian
Negative words or phrases turn a positive statement or question into a negative one. Expressing negation using Niente, Nulla and Nessuno:
- niente — nothing – Non desidero niente.
- nulla — nothing – Non compra nulla.
- nessuno — no one – Nessuno arriva.
➤ meaning nothing – (nessuna cosa)
Niente is invariable and refers only to things. It’s only singular and takes the default singular masculine form for the past participle in a compound verbal form.
⇒ When placed after a verb it requires a second negative NON before the verb.
Non c’è niente da fare (There is nothing to do)
NON + VERB + NIENTE
Non ho niente da dire – I have nothing to say
⇒ When NIENTE come first in the sentence, the NON is not needed.
✎ Niente è più bello di una giornata di sole (Nothing is more beautiful than a sunny day)
✎ Niente lo fermerà (Noting will stop him)
✎ Niente di grave (Nothing serious)
Expressions with NIENTE
- Non fa niente (it doesn’t matter)
- nient‘altro (nothing else)
- per niente (not at all)
- niente in contrario (no objections)
- niente male (not bad)
- per niente al mondo (at any cost)
- di niente (don’t mention it)
DETTI/PROVERBI con NIENTE
- Niente nuove, buone nuove (no news is good news)
- Tutto fumo, Niente arrosto (all talk no action)
➤ Nulla has the same meaning as NIENTE, there is no difference in meaning between niente and nulla
Nulla is less common than niente and is mainly used in writing and informal speech
Nulla lo preoccupa (Nothing worries him)
Expressions with NULLA
- Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe (Grasp all, lose all.)
- Non se ne fa nulla (it’s not going to happen)
- Nulla di fatto (nothing came of it)
- Nulla di male… (nothing wrong)
➤ is a negative pronoun
nessuno/a – (nobody) is only singular
Like niente and nulla when it comes after the verb it has to take a second negative NON before the verb.
IT has a masculine form “NESSUNO” (sometimes abbreviated to “nessun”) and a feminine form “NESSUNA“.
Nessuno is usually used with NON but if it comes first in the sentence, non is not needed.
As a pronoun, you use it with verbs in the singular and you choose the default singular masculine form for the past participle in a compound verbal form.
✎ Non è partito nessuno (No one left)
✎ Nessuno viene dopo le 16.00 (No one comes after 4.00 PM)
✎ A questo numero non risponde nessuno (Nobody answers on this number.)
✎ In casa non c’è nessuno (There isn’t anybody at home.)
✎ Nessuno conosce il futuro (Nobody knows the future.)
✎ Nessuna macchina passa a quest’ora (No cars come by at this time.)
Expressions with NESSUNO
- Non guardare in faccia a nessuno (answer to no one)
- Non essercene più per nessuno (be over for everyone)
- Nessuno ti si fila (be over for everyone)
⇒ When nessuno e niente are followed by CHE as a secondary clause is normally followed by a subjunctive.
✎ Non c’è nessuna guida che spieghi la storia in modo chiaro – There is no guide that explains the history clearly
✎ Non cè nessuno che sappia fare la pizza come mia madre – There is no one that can make pizza like my mother.
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