Humanities Languages How To Say 'Never' in Spanish 'Nunca' and 'Jamás' Are Usually Interchangeable Share Flipboard Email Print Nunca olvidaré Madrid. (I'll never forget Madrid.). Felipe Gabaldón/Creative Commons. Languages Spanish Grammar Basics History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Writing Skills English as a Second Language French German Italian Japanese Mandarin Russian English Grammar View More by Gerald Erichsen Gerald Erichsen, Spanish language expert, has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. Updated September 29, 2017 Spanish has two common adverbs that mean "never" and they can almost always be used interchangeably, the words nunca and jamás. Most Common Way to Say Never The most common way to say "never" is nunca. It comes from the Old Spanish word nunqua, which entered the language from the Latin word for "never," numquam. Spanish Sentence English Translation Nunca olvidaré Madrid. I'll never forget Madrid. Brittany y Pablo nunca fueron amigos. Brittany and Pablo were never friends. El presidente no ha hablado nunca a favor de imponer sanciones. The president never has spoken in favor of imposing sanctions. Nunca quiero que llegue ese día. I never want that day to come. Slightly More Emphatic Way to Say Never Less used, and perhaps a bit stronger than nunca, is the word jamás, also meaning "never." Jamás could be substituted in place of the word nunca. Spanish Sentence English Translation Es el mejor libro jamás escrito. It's the best book never written. Jamás pienso en la muerte. I never think about death. Jamás imaginé que llegaría este día. I never imagined this day would come. Quiero dormirme y no despertarme jamás. I want to fall asleep and never wake up. When Never to Use Jamás One of the very few times you cannot substitute jamás for nunca is in the phrases más que nunca and menos que nunca, which mean "more than ever" or "less than ever." For example, Mi hermano gasta más que nunca, which means, "My brother is spending more than ever." Double Negative Never Spanish is very comfortable with double negative sentence construction, unlike English, which shuns it. When nunca or jamás follows the verb that it modifies, use a double negative sentence construction. Spanish Sentence English Translation No he visto a nadie jamás tan malo. I have never seen anyone so bad. No discutas nunca con un imbécil, te hará descender a su nivel. Never discuss anything with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level. Never Ever in Spanish Also, nunca and jamás can be used together to reinforce their meanings, or strengthen the feeling, much like "never, never" or "never ever" in English. Spanish Sentence English Translation Nunca jamás vayamos a aceptar una dictadura militar. Never, ever are we going to accept a military dictatorship. Nunca jamás hablé con nadie de esto. Never, no, never have I spoken with anybody about this. Colloquial Expressions That Mean Never There are several figurative expressions that mean never that do not use the words nunca or jamás. Spanish Phrase English Translation ¿en serio?; ¡no puede ser! Never! or You never did! no llegué a ir I never went no contaba con volverlo a ver I never expected to see him again no importa; no te preocupes Nevermind ni uno siquiera Never a one ¡no me digas!; ¡no me lo puedo creer! Well, I never! no dijo ni una sola palabra Never a word [did he say] Continue Reading Double Negatives? They're OK in Spanish Do You Know the Various Ways You Can Say "Then" in Spanish? Different Ways to Say "Might' in Spanish Say it Again ... in Spanish! How Do You Use the Spanish Conjunction 'Ni'? How Do You Say 'What' in Spanish? How to Say No in Spanish How Do You Say Maybe or Perhaps in Spanish? 6 Ways of Saying You Want It in Spanish 4 Ways You Can Say "It" in Spanish 13 Ways of Saying "You" in Spanish By the Way, Here's How To Say Just That in Spanish 9 Ways You Can Say ‘Let’in Spanish 7 Ways To Use the Spanish "No" 12 Ways of Saying in Spanish Why Something Happens How Do You Us "Here" and "There" in Spanish?