How to negate a Spanish verb

The negation in German and the resulting difficulties for German learners with Spanish as their mother tongue


1 The negation in German and the resulting difficulties for learners of German with Spanish as their mother tongue Jens Metz The negation proves to be a very complex area of ​​German grammar. However, it is not only the language itself with which we can deny something, but gestures and facial expressions as well as intonation can also do this. Within the purely linguistic inventory, to which we limit ourselves in the following, we can differentiate between implicit and explicit negation. Implicit negation occurs when there is no negation element in the sentence (no, not, never, etc.), but the semantics of individual parts of the sentence have a negative meaning. For example, in the sentence He denies having killed the cat, we find no element of negation, but nonetheless a negative sense given by the meaning of the verb deny; consequently one could formulate the sentence differently: He says that he did not kill the cat. We also find implicit negation with subjunctions (without, etc.), prepositions (except, without) and immanent also with some antonyms that cannot be negated by prefixing (high <=> low, but: beautiful <=> ugly) . HELBIG & BUSCHA also include the use of the past subjunctive (a) and the past perfect subjunctive (b) in the protasis (HELBIG / BUSCHA 2001: 558): (a) If I had time, I would visit them. => I don't have time. (b) If there had been three of us, we would have played skat. => there were not three of us. Explicit negation occurs when a sentence has a concrete element of negation. Negation element, not negation word because, as will be shown, other elements can also give the sentence a negative sense. In the following explanations, we want to concentrate on the areas of negation that are primarily considered for German learners. In this respect, only those constructions that contain a specific negation element will be considered in the following.

2 1. Morphological negation 1.1 Prefixation The German as well as the Spanish language each have eight different negative prefixes, which, however, do not have a one-to-one relationship. In German these are: a-: atypical an-: inorganically dis-: disillusioned dis-: disproportionately in-: 1 inhuman bad-: 2 bad-tempered, failure, not fail-: unofficial, non-observance in-: impossible, incompatibility In Spanish acts it is the following prefixing elements: a-: anti-: des-: dis-: in-: mal-: no: 3 sin-: amorfo anticonstitucional descortés, desdecir discapacidad inesperado maltrecho no oficial, no proliferación sinvergüenza It turns out that some prefixes in German and Spanish are identical and in fact often correspond or set similar priorities (the German not often corresponds in Spanish to domestic, for example impossible vs. imposible). However, since there are individual differences (unofficial vs. extraoficial, fuzzy vs. desenfocado) that cannot be assigned to any regularity, it is essential to learn the correct prefix affiliation individually. In both languages ​​it is also important to use the semantic sub Almost exclusively for adjectives of Latin origin; Note: incompatible with adjectives of Germanic origin. Meaning: wrong, not; therefore often negative evaluative meaning. With very few exceptions, prefixes negated with no are not written together. 2

3 different individual prefixes to be aware of, because sometimes several can be combined with one adjective (Spanish: amoral vs. inmoral; German: abnormal vs. abnormal). 1.2 Suffixation Negative suffixes are only found in German, so that other options must be used when rendering them in Spanish. These are the following: -free: 4 -empty: -los: 5 heat-free, deserted, thoughtless learners with Spanish as their mother tongue do not only have problems with the German suffixes because of the lack of the source language, but also because they have an implicit semantic connotation that can lead to misunderstandings (see unemployed vs. unemployed). This is particularly important if the Spanish word has a prefix, i.e. it could tempt you to use a prefix in German as well (e.g. inoxidable vs. stainless). Most of the Spanish are separative expressions often with carente de, exento / a de, libre de, sin, whereby the following translation examples represent only one option among several: lead-free => sin plomo bloodless => sin sangre lastenfrei => exento de cargas painless => libre de dolor, sin dolor painless => exento de dolores, sin dolor (es) pointless => carente de sentido, sin sentido unscrupulous => libre de escrúpulos, sin escrúpulos The examples illustrate that the Spanish expressions are not consistent correspond to exactly one of the three German suffixes. Rather, we can look at these 4 5 Meaning: Something disturbing or undesirable is not present, that is, basically only positively assessed properties are referred to. Mostly without a positive equivalent; Meaning: negative (unrestrained) or positively connoted (faultless). 3

A few examples show that sin in German can correspond to all three suffixes -frei, - Leer and -los, while with carente de, exento / a de and libre de a tendency towards -frei and -los can be seen. In contrast to the prefixes, the negative suffixation shows a certain semantic assignment, although the connotation of the three German suffixes mentioned must be taken into account in individual cases.2 Lexical negation As will be shown below, the German language has fourteen lexical elements of negation, eight of which belong to the category of adverbs of negation. 2.1 Negation particle: no The negation particle no is used in German in the following linguistic contexts: Negative answer to a decision question (discourse particle or sentence equivalent) (STICKEL 2006): 6 Example: Did you take my book? No (, I didn't take it). Position: always start of sentence (in front of it) and separated by commas Interjection: Example: I didn't mean that, no, really not. No, that something like this has to happen to me of all people. Position: separated by a comma (ta) at the beginning of a sentence or the end of a sentence (subsequent field). Negation of a statement (STICKEL 2006): Example: Hans ordered pizza. No (, he didn't) => Contradiction of a claim to bring me a beer, please! No (, I won't do that) => Rejection of a request No, don't do that! => Statement of a prohibition or a warning Position: always start of sentence (leading up) and separated by commas 6 STICKEL describes this as a pro-sentence. 4th

5 2.2 Negation particles: not The distribution of the negation particles does not take place as follows: Negation of an individual word or part of a sentence, the so-called special negation or partial negation 7 (HELBIG / BUSCHA 2001: 545). Example: It wasn't me who laughed, but Franz. He doesn't work as a mechanic. I didn't throw the ball over the fence, but over the goal. Position: directly in front of the negated word (but often follows or but) 8 Negation of a whole sentence (as far as possible at the end of the sentence), so-called sentence negation. The negation element is added to: => Additions to the casus obliqui: 9th Gen .: He does not remember the teacher. Date: I'm not helping you. Acc .: We don't understand the text. => accusative (a) and objective (b) temporal information: 10 (a) He did not work for four days. (b) He's not coming today. => Modal words: We may / probably / probably not come. The negation element is presented in the following cases: => Directional and local information: You did not go home. He hasn't been home. => Modal information: The team did not play well. => Additions to the functional verb structure: He does not take up space. 7 Spanish: negación oracional (negation of sentences) and negación parcial (special negation). 8 Due to the obligatory position of the conjugated verb in sentence position II of the uninitiated main clause, it cannot stand in front of the verb and consequently retains its position as in the sentence negation even with word negation. Today he doesn't run to the bus, but runs to it. 9 However, this only applies if noun objects have neither the indefinite nor the null article with them. In these cases the negation is usually given with no (e). (I drink coffee I don't drink coffee / I drink the coffee I don't drink the coffee). However, there are 10 subjective temporal indications after the negation word (I won't come back late). 5

6 => Predicate nouns: 11 We weren't fair. She didn't become a saleswoman. => Second part of the verb (without exception): It does not arrive today. She didn't have breakfast yesterday. Occasionally, both after- and introduction is possible: => free prepositional causal (a) and temporal information (b): (a) He will not come in the next week. (a) He's not coming for the next week. (b) He didn't show up because of the appointment. (b) He didn't show up for the appointment. => prepositional objects: I don't think about your idea. I don't think about your idea. => numerous, non-valence-related adverbial provisions: I didn't meet him in the town hall. I didn't meet him in the town hall. After all, it is not also used when a positive answer is expected to a negative question (interrogative special negation): => Weren't we in France at this time last month? 2. 3 Negation article: none The negation article none is used in the following contexts: => Negation of the indefinite and null article (also in the plural): 12 My neighbor has (red) pepper. My neighbor doesn't have any (red) pepper. 11 Noun predicatives with a or null article + adjective are negated with no (she is not a good housewife). Otherwise there is an equation nominative of sein and will alternation with no and not (Hans does not / does not want to be an actor, he is not / not a professional soldier). Adverbial predicatives can come after or before the negation word (it is not there vs. it is not there). 12 None can be replaced in the sense of strong emphasis by not one or, in the case of null articles, by not (I didn't spend one {/ no} euro today {, but two}; I didn't drink / didn't drink schnapps, but beer). 6th

7 My neighbor has a (green) car. My neighbor doesn't have a (green) car. => Functional verb structures are sometimes not negated despite the null article: 13 The audience has not yet taken their seats. BUT: We couldn't stop him. => Negation of nouns with a bent adjective: 14 I'm very hungry. I am not very hungry. => In the so-called prominent top position (CARTAGENA / GAUGER 1989: 566), i.e. inversion, the negation of the indefinite and zero article does not take place: She has money. She doesn't have any money. 15 Hans has a ticket. Hans does not have a ticket Negating substantive indefinite pronouns: none / nobody or nothing The negating substantive indefinite pronouns each have a positive equivalent. Consequently, they serve to negate their counterparts in the affirmative and stand in their place: 17 Someone was here today. Today nobody was here. I ate something today. I didn't eat anything today. 2.5 Adverbs of negation The adverbs of negation also negate their positive counterparts, whereby it should be noted that the modal adverb of negation has no direct positive counterpart (* at least, * at least). In the affirmative form, it corresponds most closely to somehow (negative so not * nowhere); it is therefore advisable to draw the learners' attention to this special case. Like the substantive indefinite pronouns, the negation adverbs also take the place of their positive counterparts. 13 You can see fluctuations in use, for example when driving a car, taking revenge and showing consideration. 14 If the adjective belonging to the noun is not bent (usually when specifying quantities), it is not negated with: I drink a lot of coffee. - I don't drink a lot of coffee. 15 Colloquially none either. 16 Colloquially also no s. 17 They can be reinforced by at all or at all: I have eaten nothing / nothing at all. 7th

8 => directional: nowhere from nowhere We're not going anywhere today. It came from nowhere, but it was almost everywhere. 18 => local: nowhere, nowhere I haven't seen him anywhere / nowhere. => modal: by no means, by no means You cannot do that under any circumstances / by no means. => temporal: never, never I would never say something like that. In addition, the adverbs of negation can also be placed at the beginning of a sentence, whereby in these cases a strong emphasis is achieved: => We are not going anywhere today. => It came from nowhere, but it was almost everywhere. => Nowhere / nowhere have I seen him. => Under no circumstances / by no means can you do something like that. => I would never (ever) say that. 2.6 Coordinating conjunction Neither nor does it serve as a separating conjunction that negates two words or parts of a sentence separately: Neither the Müller nor we go to the event. Position: directly in front of the negated word We can therefore differentiate between two types within the lexical negation: a) Substitution negation, in which the sentence is negated by replacing a positive word with its negative counterpart, without the total number of sentence elements increasing. This type of negation is none, no, nobody, nothing and the directional, local and temporal adverbs of negation, each of which has a positive equivalent (special case: null article example: he has children <=> he has no children). b) Additional negation, in which the negative meaning is only created by adding an additional negative element, and consequently the meaning of the statement is reversed

9 3. Difficulties for learners with Spanish as their mother tongue Spanish has a negation element with the word no, which can correspond to three elements in German, no (e), no and not: (1) Vienes hoy? No. (=> No) (2) No estoy cansado. (I'm not tired) (3) No vi el coche. (I didn't see the car); but: No lo veo. (I don't see it) (4) No conozco a tu hermana. (I don't know your sister) (5) No tiene paciencia. (He has no patience) These few examples make it clear what the main problems for Spanish-speaking German learners are: a) First, the above-mentioned syntactic circumstances or regularities must be differentiated, which require correct reproduction in German, especially the examples (3) , (4) and (5) make this clear. Here, however, you can use the following trick: If the reinforcing no ... ningún / ninguno / ninguna + noun can be used in Spanish instead of no, there must always be no (e) in German. b) It is of great importance not to know the correct position of the word, because it often answers the question about sentence or special negation, because in Spanish the position of no is more rigid because it always comes before the finite verb or the casus obliqui of the personal pronoun, which must stand between no and the finite verb (Yo no lo sé); In Spanish, however, no can never come after the finite verb. In the case of German no, the position of no in Spanish is identical, that is, always separated by commas. c) However, if no is used as a special negation in Spanish, it must, in my opinion, be at the beginning of the sentence (Left Detachment) or it is separated from the part of the sentence that it negates (Right Detachment). In this case, the negated element is not immediately in front of the verb: No Pedro estaba aquí, sino Juan. (also: No estaba aquí Pedro, sino Juan). As in German, the statement can of course also be strengthened in Spanish in oral language use by intonation. In my opinion wrong 9

10, however, CARTAGENA / GAUGER (1989: 571) if they take the view that no ... is immediately before the negated term. This would erroneously mean that the sentence I will not come today but tomorrow could be reproduced with * Vendré no hoy, sino mañana. In Spanish, besides no, ni is the only other negation element that generally occurs alone and can give a statement more emphasis than no. As with no, we find three rendering options in German, which are distributed as follows: a) ni + indefinite article + noun => not e.g. Ni un alumno vino. (Not one student came) => Ni un (o) / a corresponds to the reinforcing not a (e) in German; no un (o) / a occurs only very rarely (No un hombre, sino una mujer me robó mi bolsa) b) ni + null article + noun => no (e) (mostly fixed expressions) 19 Example: Ni idea! (No idea!) C) ni + verb => not even Ex .: No bebe y ni fuma. (He does not drink and does not even smoke) 20 When used as a coordinating conjunction, when considering the contrastive language, it is important to ensure that in German there is neither (nor) at the beginning of the sentence (neither) nor at the beginning of the second negated part (nor), regardless whether a verb or a noun is negated. Nevertheless, due to inversion, there is neither or still in front of the negated element. Negation of two nouns: Neither Hans nor Karl went to the cinema. Negation of two verbs: Peter neither smokes nor drinks.Peter neither smokes nor drinks (not: * Peter neither smokes nor drinks). In Spanish, the word order when negating nouns corresponds to German (Ni Juan, ni Carlos se fue al cine), while when negating verbs the negation element usually comes between the subject and the verb: Pedro ni fuma, ni bebe. 19 However, if a verb is added in these cases, ni and no must be combined (No tiene ni idea). 20 Often reinforced by siquiera: ni fuma siquiera, ni siquiera fuma. 10

11 However, rendering the double negation typical of Spanish into German only appears to be difficult for learners at first glance. These are the following negation words: no ... alguno / alguna 21 no ... ni ... ni ni siquiera / ni ... siquiera no ... nada no ... nadie no ... ningún / ninguno / ninguna (and expressions like no ... de ninguna manera, no ... en ninguna parte, no ... en ningún lugar / sitio etc.) 22 no ... nunca / jamás no ... siquiera no. .. tampoco Since with these negation elements there is always the alternative of leaving out no and placing the second actual negation element in front of the finite verb, it seems sufficient to point out to learners that in German it is not no, but only the second element. In this respect, as a result of such a reference, these constructions of Spanish should not pose any problems for learners. Strictly speaking, it is therefore not a double negation, since under certain circumstances an element can be dispensed with without changing the meaning. Rather, it is, in my opinion, based on CARTAGENA / GAUGER (1989: 574), a discontinuous negation element. These use the term interrupted signifier. A double negation, however, exists when none of two negation elements can be left out without changing the meaning (Nadie nunca viene). Regardless of the double negation, nadie should point out that in German, in contrast to Spanish and despite all colloquial tendencies, it has to be inflected: I haven't seen anyone. However, more complex when rendering in German are statements that contain two or three negative elements in Spanish: a) Nunca saluda a nadie. 21 In contrast to no ... ningún / ninguno / ninguna, the second part of the negation is behind the noun: No ha leído libro alguno. 22 Ningún / ninguno / ninguna has no plural in Spanish, unlike in German. 11

12 => He never greets anyone. b) Jamás regala nada a nadie. => He never gives anything to anyone. c) En ningún sitio Finderé a nadie que me quería hablar sobre él. => Nowhere / nowhere did I meet anyone who wanted to talk about him. d) En ningún lugar / sitio nunca suchenré a nadie que quería hablar sobre él. => Nowhere / nowhere did I ever meet anyone who wanted to talk about them. => I never met anyone anywhere who wanted to talk about him. e) No le he dicho nada a nadie. => I haven't said anything to anyone. Based on the Spanish examples a) to c) and their translation into German, it can be stated that in these cases it is the local or temporal element that remains negative in German, while the other negative elements of Spanish in German are positive Shape appear. However, if a local and a temporal negation element occur together in Spanish, as in d), only one is given negative in German. In sentence e), which contains neither a local nor a temporal element, the negation of the thing becomes positive, while the negation of the person remains negative. However, if nadie is the subject of the sentence, it is always reproduced with the negative counterpart nobody or none (r / s), regardless of other negation elements, while all other negation elements become positive in German. Literature CARTAGENA, Nelson / GAUGER, Hans-Martin. Comparative grammar Spanish-German. Mannheim HELBIG, Gerhard / BUSCHA, Joachim: German grammar - a manual for teaching foreigners. Berlin / Munich STICKEL, Gerhard. Unpublished lecture manuscript