"The girl drinks neither water nor milk."
Translation:La niña no bebe agua ni leche.
Why would "la nina bebe ni agua ni leche' be wrong? I don't get why you translate the 'doesn't' when it's not there in the first place.
Because in english we dont use double negatives but in spanish you have have to negate the verb then say your next negative word ... ex. I don't want anything... no quiero nada. .. no and nada are the double negative words
Because the construction of the sentence in Spanish differs from its construction in English, it's that simple.
A little too simple for me and I'm not convinced that ni…ni is not correct. We need a native speaker to chime in…please.
In English, double negatives are grammatically incorrect. In Spanish, double negatives are not only grammatically correct, but often required. You CANNOT become fluent in Spanish by analyzing it like English; they are two different languages.
«ni...ni» it's ok but it requires "no" La niña no bebe ni agua ni vino. Eg. "Juan no es ni flaco ni gordo"
In English, it is acceptable to put a negative AFTER the verb it refers to, as in "drinks NEITHER..." . In Spanish, the negative (no) must come BEFORE the verb it refers to, as in "NO bebe". It is therefore incorrect to say "La nina bebe ni", but must be translated as "La nina no bebe". I gathered this much from the lessons in DL so far, so there may be more to it than I have yet learned...
I agree, "ni .... ni" seems to fit the "neither... nor" construction much better.
It's because the "no" has to come before the verb (bebe). In your construction you've put it before the noun.
DL says "ni" means "not". Seems to me it means either "nor" or "or". e.g. La mujer no bebe cerveza = the woman doesn't drink beer. La mujer no bebe cerveza ni vino = the woman doesn't drink beer or wine. Any comments would be appreciated.
In this case ni is more appropriate. tampoco is more like: el no comió y yo tampoco. It makes a separated sentence: yo no como carne porque soy vegetariano. Tampoco como pescado.
There's a lot of frustration on this thread. And I wish another native speaker would chime in, but from what I understand when there is a verb negation in Spanish the "No" would go in front of the verb "bebe". "Ni" is used as a conjunction between the two objects being negated. The girl does not drink neither water nor milk. But from what I've read online "ni" may be used as well.
La niña no bebe ni agua ni leche. But it would translate in English as "The girl does not drink either water nor milk."
And as an English speaker I've been taught that double negatives are wrong, but as it turns out, the English language is not your algebra class. From what I understand an English mathematician one day found it grammatically incorrect. And it carried on through the English cannon ever since which is funny. You never see a linguist correcting the grammar of an algebraic equation. Regardless a vast majority of languages (not to mention dialects of English) use double negatives as intensifiers. They do not cancel each other out.
For example in Russian "'Ya ne mogu skazat nikomu'
' I can’t tell nobody' = 'I can’t tell anybody'"
Often times with languages you have to throw out what you know. Other times you incorporate it. But that doesn't mean that just because it's not right here that it isn't right out in the real world. Double check.
I used this site as a reference for use of double "ni". Just because I don't think it's wrong doesn't make it right.
First tip: Never learn a language by translating from your native language (or any other language) Diegoleona is right here. Spanish has plenty of dialects but in castellano, one of the official languages, you need the double negation: ... no bebe ni agua ni leche.
Try thinking of it as, 'the girl doesn't drink either water or milk.' And as others have said, it is Spanish, not English, direct, word for word translation won't always work.