Languages › English as a Second Language Italian Double Negatives: How to Conjugate and Use Them The rule 'no double negatives' doesn't apply in Italian Share Flipboard Email Print ©Mai Pham English as a Second Language Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Business English Resources for Teachers By Michael San Filippo Italian Expert M.A., Italian Studies, Middlebury College B.A., Biology, Northeastern University Michael San Filippo co-wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture. He is a tutor of Italian language and culture. our editorial process Michael San Filippo Updated January 29, 2019 Your grade school English teacher probably told you repeatedly that you couldn't use more than one negative word in the same sentence. In Italian, though, the double negative is the acceptable format, and even three negative words can be used together in a sentence: Non viene nessuno. (No one is coming.)Non vogliamo niente/nulla. (We don't want anything.)Non ho mai visto nessuno in quella stanza. (I didn't see anyone in that room.) In fact, there is a whole host of phrases made up of double (and triple) negatives. The following table includes most of them. Double and Triple Negative Phrases non...nessuno no one, nobody non... niente nothing non...nulla nothing non...né...né neither...nor non...mai never non...ancora not yet non...più no longer non...affatto not at all non...mica not at all (in the least) non...punto not at all non...neanche not even non...nemmeno not even non...neppure not even non...che only Here are some examples of how these phrases may be used in Italian: Non ha mai letto niente. (She read nothing.)Non ho visto nessuna carta stradale. (I didn't see any street signs.)Non abbiamo trovato né le chiavi né il portafoglio. (We found neither the keys nor the wallet.) Note that in the case of the negative expressions non...nessuno, non...niente, non...né...né, and non...che, they always follow the past participle. Observe the following examples: Non ho trovato nessuno. (I haven't found anyone.)Non abbiamo detto niente. (We haven't said anything.)Non ha letto che due libri. (She has read only two books.)Non ho visto niente di interessante al cinema. (I didn't see anything of interest at the cinema.) When using the combinations non...mica and non...punto, mica and punto always come between the auxiliary verb and the past participle: Non avete mica parlato. (They haven't spoken at all.)Non è punto arrivata. (She hasn't arrived at all.) When using the expressions non...affatto (not at all), non...ancora (not yet), and non...più (no more, no longer), the words affatto, ancora, or più can be placed either between the auxiliary verb and the past participle or after the past participle: Non era affatto vero. Non era vero affatto. (It wasn't true at all.)Non mi sono svegliato ancora. Non mi sono ancora svegliato. (I hadn't woken yet.)Non ho letto più. Non ho più letto. (I no longer read.) Negative Structures in English Italian Verb Conjugations: 'Rispondere' What are Some Verb Conjugations for the Italian Verb Servire? Italian Verb Conjugations: Suonare What are the Conjugations for the Italian Verb Iniziare? How to Conjugate the Verb 'Salire' Are You Using Italian Possessive Adjectives the Correct Way? Italian Verb Conjugations: 'Spedire' A Guide to Asking Subject and Object Questions in English What are Some Conjugations for the Italian Verb Cantare? What are the Conjugations for the Italian Verb Rompere? There's No Need to Be Indefinite About Italian Pronouns Conjugating the Italian Verb Seguire Conjugate the Italian Verb Correre How to Conjugate the Italian Verb Tenere Do You Know When to Use 'Already' and 'Yet' in English?