Lesson 082

Double negation in Russian


Unlike English, where double negation is used sometimes in the conversational speech but still considered to be a wrong way of speaking, in Russian this is exactly how the Russians speak. Today we’ll learn about Russian double negation and look at some examples of its use.

As you’ll see from the examples below, the negative particle не is never omitted and always precedes the word it negates:

Никто́ не приходи́л.
Nobody came. (Lit. – Nobody didn’t come)

Я никогда́ об э́том не ду́мала.
I never thought about it. (Lit. – I never about it didn’t think)

Ничего́ не произошло́.
Nothing happened. (Lit. – Nothing didn’t happen)

Мы нигде́ не успе́ли.
We were late everywhere. (Lit. – We nowhere weren’t in time)

Remember this negative Russian pronouns:

Russian Pod 101

никто́ – nobody, no one
ничто́ – nothing (ничего́ in the Genitive)
нигде́ – nowhere
никако́й – none

As you can see, these words are derived from interrogative pronouns we learned before + prefix ни.

Before finishing the lesson, practice today’s examples with the audio track and try to memorize the new vocabulary.

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