"There is nothing to cultivate."
Translation:Non c'è niente da coltivare.
I've heard that one way to think about it is that you use 'di' to signify a characteristic whereas 'da' signifies a use or intention. Roughly speaking, if you could translate the preposition as 'with', you would use 'di', but if as 'for', you would use 'da'. Hence, 'carte di credito' = 'card with credit' (the credit is a characteristic or feature of the card), but 'niente da coltivare' = nothing for cultivating (very rough and awkward translation, I know, but hopefully helpful - the point is that cultivating is not a characteristic of nothing).
I'm sorry but I'm still not getting the distinction. Do you have any useful links?
you probably mean the 'to' which goes with infinitive, while here we need a 'to' which points to an activity/object
That's only in English. Though it may not make perfect logical sense, in most languages, especially Romance languages, double negatives are still negative and actually considered proper grammar.
Just a further point: If the niente comes after the verb you need the non before the verb to qualify it as negative. If the sentence structure has niente before the verb you don't need the non.
Why is this sentence in a lesson on future tense. How is future tense reflected in this sentence. Coltivare is an infinitive. Does the negative non niente construction imply future tense?
No, i guess it's because "to cultivate" refers to an action that can (or cannot in this case) be done in the future