Here is a link that helps explain "nada vs ninguno":
Hint: it does not have anything to do with "anything vs anyone"
In Spanish you must use a double negative. Always. Here are some examples: I don't like nothing. No me gusta nada. (Transliteration: I don't like anything.) I don't like nobody. No me gusta nadie. I don't like neither. No me gusta ninguno. I don't eat nothing. No como nada. That's just the way Spanish is!
"Doble negación" isn't really a 'compulsory way to say' in Spanish. We say those indefinite pronouns (nada, nadie, ninguna/o) at the end of the sentence just for emphasise the negation or to specify that you are referring the whole, but it could perfectly be said without the pronoun if you know what is the object we are talking about:
No te gusta ninguno = no te gustan
Yo no amo a nadie = yo no amo
Si no queréis nada, me voy = Si no queréis, me voy.
Además puedes evitar la doble negación si empiezas la frase con el pronombre indefinido: nunca, nada, nadie, ninguno o similar. Tú puedes decir:
Nadie habla, o, No habla nadie.
Nunca he ido a tu casa, o, No he ido nunca a tu casa.
If double negation doesn't work like it does in English, how would you translate an English double negation to Spanish?
If, for example, you wanted to deny someone's claim that you like nobody, in English you would probably answer "I don't like nobody" (maybe with emphasis on "nobody" if you want it to mean "I might not like a lot of people, but I like at least some of them").
A literal translation to Spanish would make me say the opposite of what I meant...
We don't have these "double negatives" in english.....or at least we're not supposed to. However, people learning english, or native english speakers who are less educated end up using doble negatives ("I didn't see nothing", "I didn't do nothing"......etc, etc.) and I seem to understand them fine, although I like to screw with their heads.
"I didn't see nothing!!" ohh, so you saw something? "but I just said I didn't see nothing!" but if you didn't see nothing, then you saw something, right?
Yes, it is. Thank you very much for your correction. Couldn't I use "the whole of" instead of "all of"? Is it incorrect or does it mean a different thing?
The other question. In Spanish some masculine adjectives ended with o are always apocopated before the substantive:
Buen hombre = hombre bueno
Mal > malo
Gran > grande (valid for feminine too)
Un > uno
Ningún, algún > ninguno, alguno
Veintiún, treintaiún, etc > veintiuno, treintaiuno, etc
Primer, tercer > primero, tercero
and sometimes, not always: San > santo.
No problem! No, you wouldn't say 'the whole of persons' or 'the whole of things' - that's incorrect. It would be 'all persons', or 'all things'. I don't know the actual rule, but I think 'the whole (of the)...' refers to the entirety of something SINGULAR e.g. the whole (of the) watermelon, the whole (of the) tree. Does that make sense?
There are very slight differences between 'the whole of' and 'the whole' but they're so minor that I don't think I even know what they are. E.g. 'the whole watermelon was cut' means exactly what it says, but 'the whole of the watermelon was cut' might imply more emphatically that you took ALL OF THE WATERMELON AND CHOPPED IT up. :P But using 'of the' is less common and might make the sentence clunky, e..g you probably wouldn't really say 'I cut up the whole of the tree', just 'I cut up the whole tree'.
Re: ninguno, etc. Thanks, I knew that but I'm a little unclear on how they are used.
Ningun hombre = no man? Ninguno hombre = wrong? And then you just use ninguno by itself? (no me gusta ninguno)?
Thank you for your explanation about the whole, I am clear now.
As I tried explaining ningun is ALWAYS used before a masculine substantive (never feminine) and it here works as adjective and (like any adjective) you could use it alone whether you are mentioning before the substantive you are talking about. In fact alguno and ninguno are really pronouns and you can use it as it is, without any substantive:
Ningún hombre/caballo/coche me gusta = ninguno me gusta
Using of that pronouns as adjectives AFTER the substantive is totally obsolete, it was used in old castilian language:
Hombre alguno me ha de retar pues todos me temen.
I hope this helps. ;-)
I said 'I do not like either' and was accepted. In the answer it said an alternative answer is 'I do not like any of them'. Now, as far as I can see, my answer implies that there are two objects/people being spoken about, and the alternative answer implies more than two people/objects. Just an observation.
This is a handy reference
In English you would say "I don't like any of them."
"I don't like none of them" has the double negative people are talking about here with both the "do not" and the "none". If you really tried to wrap your mind around it in English, "I do NOT like NONE of them" would reduce to "I DO like AT LEAST ONE of them."
Here's another example. Let's say I really do have a key. You are trying to find out if I have any keys and I am joking around with you. You say, "Do you have a key?". I could truthfully say, "Well, I DON'T have NO key." In English this statement is true since I do have one or more keys. If I really didn't have a key it would be truthful to say "I have no key" or "I have none."