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Spanish tip of the month. También and tampoco

Although it is not difficult to understand how these two Spanish words are used, when trying to use them in a conversation, some students usually use “también” instead of “tampoco”.

Let’s first review ”también” and “tampoco” meanings and how they should be used, and then, some examples to clarify ideas.

If you look for these words on the dictionary, you’ll find these translations:

Both, “también” and “tampoco” are adverbs.

“También” corresponds to the English: “as well”, “too”, “also”.
“Tampoco” means: “neither”, “nor”.

You can find uses and examples of these two adverbs here:

También: También - WordReference.com
Tampoco: Tampoco - WordReference.com

In Spanish, we use “también” in affirmative sentences, or as an answer or confirmation to an affirmative sentence.

And “tampoco” is used for negative sentences, or as an answer or confirmation to a negative sentence.

Let’s see some examples:

Mi hermano vive en Argentina. El mío también.

mi = my
hermano = brother
vive = lives
en = in
el mío = mine
también = too, also

In this example, the first sentence (Mi hermano vive en Argentina.) is affirmative. That’s why the second one (El mío también.) includes “también”.

But let’s work now with a negative sentence:

Mi hermano no vive en Argentina. El mío tampoco.

As you can see, the first sentence is negative, so the second one (El mío tampoco.) uses the word “tampoco”.

Here’s a list of affirmative and negative sentences, as examples on how to use both, “también” and “tampoco”:

Tengo sed. Yo también.
No tengo sed. Yo tampoco
.
(Tengo sed = I am thirsty)

Mi hermana es alta. Yo también.
Mi hermana no es alta. Yo tampoco
.
(hermana = sister; alta = tall (fem.))

Juan quiere ir a China. María también.
Juan no quiere ir a China. María tampoco
. (quiere = he wants; ir = to go)

Quiero comer espaguetis. Nosotros también.
No quiero comer espaguetis. Nosotros tampoco
.

(Quiero = I want; comer = to eat; nosotros = we)

As you can see, affirmative sentences are connected to “también”, and negative sentences (sentences with negative meaning) are connected to “tampoco”.

As said above, Spanish language students tend to use “también” as an “answer” to negative sentences, although they already know it shouldn't be that way. For example:

Juan no quiere bailar tango. Yo también no quiero bailar tango. --> Wrong.

Juan no quiere bailar tango. Yo tampoco quiero bailar tango. --> Correct

You can visit our Spanish language forum, where I have just created a new topic about “también” and “tampoco”: También and tampoco. Here is where we can talk about these two adverbs, ask/answer questions concerning “también” and “tampoco”, and, if you want to practice, post a sentence or two using these two words.

The book E-Z Spanish Grammar (Barron's E-Z Series)style=border:none can be a good way to learn more about Spanish grammar rules.

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This content was written by Angeles Fernández. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Angeles Fernández for details.



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