Today we are going to explain the subtle difference between the two Spanish words: Nunca and Jamás. Take a look at the blog of our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, and start improving your Spanish right now! 😊
Do you know when to use the Spanish words: Nunca and jamás?
In most of the cases these two adverbs can be used interchangeably. Although both mean “never”, there is a slight difference in their use.
Therefore, at our Spanish school, teachers usually help student learn to use properly nunca and jamás with exercises that refers with daily life situations.
To begin with, both Spanish words are negative adverbs and mean “never”. They are used to talk about situations that did not occur in the past, that don’t usually happen in the present or will not happen in the future.
Nunca is the most common way to say “never” in Spanish.
- Nunca he estado en Valencia = I’ve never been to Valencia
- Nunca viajo en avión = I never travel by plane
- Nunca olvidaré el día en que te conocí = I will never forget the day I met you
Another way to say ‘never’ is nunca en mi vida or en mi vida.
- Nunca en mi vida he bailado Samba = Never in my life I have danced Samba
- En mi vida imaginé que conduciría un Bentley = I never imagined that I would drive a Bentley
Jamás is a less common word to say never in Spanish. It is used to add emphasis. It is a stronger version of nunca.
- Jamás viajo en avión = I never travel by plane.
- Juan jamás volvió a la universidad = He never went back to college
Nunca is also used in set phrases, like más que nunca (more than ever) and menos que nunca (les than ever). In this case, nunca cannot be replaced by jamás. The use of jamás would be totally wrong.
If you really want to stress the fact that “never ever” or “never again” you will do something, you can use the phrase nunca jamás.
Using nunca and jamás makes your statement stronger.
- No quiero verte nunca jamás = I don’t want to see you ever again
- No iré a este restaurante nunca jamás. La comida era un desastre = I will never go to this restaurant again. The food was horrible
Jamás de los jamases is also a colloquial expressions that means “never ever” or “never ever again”.
NUNCA and JAMÁS in a sentence
Finally, let’s take a look at the position of nunca and jamás in a sentence. We have two options:
1. If the negative adverb goes before the verb, we don’t use the negative no (nunca + affirmative verb): Nunca voy a la peluquería = I never go to hairdresser’s
2. However, if the negative adverb goes after the verb, we have to use the negative no (negative verb + nunca): No voy nunca a la peluquería = I never go to hairdresser’s
We really hope that this blog on Spanish words: Nunca and jamás helped you master these adverbs and make you sound like a native when speaking Spanish.
As always, we encourage you to make the most of your Spanish lessons and keep practicing the language inside and outside the classroom.
Finally, our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem in Valencia wishes you a nice day!