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"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.

[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.


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


    This is super helpful tyvm

    [deactivated user]

      thank you so much


      It does seem odd at first but now I think it makes as much, or more, sense than our system.

      [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.


        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.


        Spanish speakers also.


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


        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.


        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.


        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.


        CarlArgen was referring to the English (but it's triple).


        same in polish


        "Никогда" and "ничего" are not true negative words. They don't work without "Не" which is the only a negative word here. You can't say "Я никогда ничего открываю" because it makes no sense.


        Could they be used without не in a poetic sense?

        In the book I found nothing.
        So I read the nothing, and learned something interesting.


        Yes and no. Compare: «Книга оказалась ни о чём. Но я прочёл это «ничто» и узнал кое-что интересное». If you translate the first of your two sentences literally, though, you will have to use не: «В книге я ничего не нашёл».


        Triple negative = negative in english and russian


        The phrase looks crazy. :O

        By the way, portuguese uses double negatives, too:

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

        [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).


          That depends... If you put the adverb "ninguém" in front of the sentence, you don't need the "não", but if you move it after the verb, you can say perfectly "não viu ninguém o carro". That happens also in italian "non ha visto nessuno la macchina", spanish "no vió nadie el coche", and I guess that french and other languages latin languages have that particular thing. But usually the adverb is placed at the start of the sentence so you don't have to do that double-negative sentence. Not sure if in russian you can say the adverb change "не видел никто машины" or if it sounds weird.


          I'm a native Portuguese speaker, and "não viu ninguém o carro" is wrong, it doesn't have the same meaning, sounds like a weird way to say that "the car saw nobody" (in which case you would put a comma after "ninguém"): "não viu ninguém, o carro".


          Your Portuguese is not correct indeed. Nobody says that thing of não viu ninguém o carro. Ninguém viu o carro is the right way of saying it in Portuguese.


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

          [deactivated user]

            Please report it.


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


            There ain't nobody out there to force you.


            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.)


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


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


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


            Not even presents


            I ain't never open nothing

            [deactivated user]

              What is wrong with " I never open nothing"


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


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

              [deactivated user]

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


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


                Triple negative ? Bruh...


                I guess Ничто is almost never used, right?


                Why, ничто is always used for ‘Nothing’ when ‘nothing’ is the subject of the sentence:

                Ничто не вечно под луной. (Nothing is everlasting under the moon).

                Ничто его не беспокоит (Nothing worries him).

                Ничто нас так не радует, как успехи наших детей. (Nothing makes us so happy as our children’s success).

                As you can see, in all such sentences the verbs are used with the negative particle «не».


                Triple negative happens also in Greek: Εγώ(I) ποτέ(never) δεν(don't) ανοίγω(open) τίποτα(nothing).


                Is я necessary here?


                Not that it matters much, but in English, we would never say that sentence ;)


                Eu nunca não abro nada))


                That's one hell of a paranoid person.

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