Grammar Lesson 83:

The negative adverb

The negative adverb "no" is used when answering a question:
- “Gli hai parlato? “No.” (“Did you talk to him?” “No.”)
When introducing a doubt / an alternative:
- Vieni o no? (Are you coming or not?)
- Un giorno sì uno no. (Every other day.)
In certain cases, when preceded by the preposition di no replaces a that-clause:
- Pare di no —> Pare che non sia così. (It doesn’t look like it.)
- Direi di no —> Direi che le cose non stanno così. (I’d say things are not like that.)
- Speriamo di no —> Speriamo che non ciò non accada. (Let’s hope not.)
No can be used in rhetorical questions:
- Te l’avevo detto, no? (I told you, didn’t I?)
- Anna è simpatica, no? (Anna is nice, isn’t she?)
Note that to reinforce its meaning, no can be either repeated, or preceded / followed by another adverb:
- No, no, no, e poi no! (Absolutely not!)
- Proprio no! (No way!)
- Assolutamente no! (Absolutely not!)
- No di certo! (Certainly not, of course, not!)
No can also be used as a noun (in that case it is always preceded by an article or an adjective):
- Anna lo ha messo a tacere con un no chiaro e tondo. (Anna silenced him with a clear no.)
- Il mio no è definitivo. (No, and that’s final.)
In particular expressions no can also function as an adjective, adding a negative value to the following noun:

- Oggi è una giornata no. (Today has been an off day.)

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