"Я никогда ничего не открываю."

Translation:I never open anything.

November 18, 2015



This sentence is crazy, it seems like there's a triple negative to it. Makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to think in Russian, because to me, instinctively, this sentence is like "I never don't open anything." It's so weird to me. Yikes. I guess what I can't wrap my head around is the не here. Why is it needed? It seems like никогда already establishes the negative, and не is redundant.

November 18, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Right, there’re three negative words. We can easily create sentences with four, e.g. Я никогда́ никому́ ничего́ плохо́го не де́лала 'I've never did anything bad to anyone'.

    I hope you’ll understand this in time.

    If the sentence is negative, all the words that can be replaced with a negative counterpart get replaced (кто-то 'someone' — никто́ 'no one', что́-то 'something' — ничто́ 'nothing', всегда́ 'always' — никогда́ 'never', etc.). There's a limited number of such words, so hopefully this is not too hard.

    November 18, 2015


    Я никогда никому ничего нехорошего не делал. - для полного комплекта.

    June 7, 2016


    This is super helpful tyvm

    April 29, 2017


    thank you so much

    July 6, 2017

    [deactivated user]

      and не is redundant.

      It's redundant indeed, but since negatives are so important (few words change the meaning in such a drastic way!), it makes sense to repeat it to make sure you’re understood correctly. People might mishear you (e.g., «не» sounds like «мне»), and using double negatives helps to get the message through.

      November 18, 2015


      This aspect may be a little difficult for English speakers, because you cannot negate more than one time in a sentence. However for Portuguese speakers, it is not hard, we can negate more than one time just like in Russian.

      April 18, 2016


      Spanish speakers also.

      April 23, 2017


      Think of "It aint' nothing to do with proper English grammar"

      May 19, 2016


      Actually it's "I never don't open nothing", so it is even more crazy in the ears of english speakers and people whose native language does not have double negative.

      July 4, 2017


      To be fair, that would still mean the same thing in english. An even number of negative words cancel out the negative meaning, but an odd number makes it a negative sentence. So this still means the same thing.

      October 20, 2018


      It doesn’t matter whether the number of “negative” words in the sentence is even or odd, because the only really negative word in the Russian sentence is «не», all the pronouns and adverbs with the ни- prefix simply being enhancements of negation. You can’t make a negative sentence in Russian with the verb without «не». At the same time, «Я когда-то чего-то не открываю» means “Sometimes there are things that I don’t open”. Compare: «Он ничего не читает» (=He doesn’t read anything) and «Он чего-то не читает». The latter sentence can be interpreted in two ways: (1) “There are some things he doesn’t read” and (2) “For some reason, he doesn’t read anything”, because, in a casual conversation, чего-то or что-то may replace отчего-то.

      October 22, 2018


      same in polish

      August 28, 2018


      The phrase looks crazy. :O

      By the way, portuguese uses double negatives, too:

      Eu NÃO estou vendo NADA. I am not seeing anything.

      February 15, 2016

      [deactivated user]

        Yes, but there are some differences: Никто́ не ви́дел маши́ны = Ninguém viu o carro 'Nobody saw a car' (in this sentence, we use «не» in Russian but don't use «não» in Portuguese).

        February 16, 2016


        Any reason that "I don't ever open anything" should have been rejected, our should I report it?

        January 3, 2016

        [deactivated user]

          Please report it.

          January 3, 2016


          If you wanted to say "nobody ever negated anything" in Spanish it would be "Nunca nadie negó nada." xD

          April 30, 2016


          What's wrong with "I am never opening anything." It's present tense, imperfective just like открываю.

          February 23, 2016


          "I am" suggests that the actions happen now; "never" suggests that the actions are in the past or the future or both.

          March 4, 2016


          For some reason I was assuming while translating it that this sentence referred to jars, cans, and other food packaging. (...or doors?) It was only after I got confirmation that I had it right that I realized it was not such a weird remark in the context of e.g. mail. (Or email attachments.)

          September 2, 2016


          Not even presents

          February 4, 2017


          I don't never not want to never not forever learn Russian.

          December 23, 2017


          There ain't nobody out there to force you.

          December 23, 2017


          Am I hearing it wrong or is "не открываю" pronounced as "неткрываю"?

          March 6, 2017

          [deactivated user]

            Well, it’s technically two separate sounds /nʲɪɐtkrɨˈvaju/, but since both sounds are reduced, it can be pretty difficult to distinguish them.

            March 6, 2017


            "не о" in "не открываю" sounds close to 'near', so it's only natural that you hear what you hear.

            March 6, 2017


            Eu nunca não abro nada))

            December 6, 2017


            I ain't never open nothing

            October 25, 2018


            What is wrong with " I never open nothing"

            November 10, 2018


            The speaker is mistaken. What about eyes? Mouth? :-)

            April 20, 2019
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