Understanding how to use “each, both, all, any, either, neither” is crucial to mastering the Spanish language. These words help express various kinds of quantities or selection. In Spanish, they translate to “cada, ambos, todo, cualquier(a), o este o ese/cualquier(a), ni esto ni eso/ninguno”, respectively.
- Each (Cada): This term is an adjective or adverb translating to “each” or “every” in English. It is used to express an action or quality relevant to each member of a group. For instance, “cada día” means “each day”, and “cada estudiante” means “each student”. An example sentence is, “El costo de cada producto es 10 dólares” translating to “The cost of each product is 10 dollars.”
- Both (Ambos): “Ambos” is an adjective or pronoun that translates to “both”. You can also use “los dos” for the same. Examples include “ambos somos colombianos” meaning “we are both Colombian” and “ambas somos maestras” translating to “we are both teachers”. An illustrative sentence is, “Ambos hoteles ofrecen los mismos servicios”, meaning “Both hotels offer the same services.”
- All (Todo): This term can be used as a pronoun, adjective, or adverb, translating to “all”. It refers to every member of a group, and its form changes to reflect the number and gender of the referenced objects or people. Examples include “toda el agua” (all the water), “todos juntos” (all together), and “todos mis amigos” (all my friends). A sample sentence is, “Todos mis amigos están aquí”, translating to “All my friends are here.”
- Any (Cualquier/Cualquiera): This term translates to “any” in English and indicates a variety of choices. It’s used as an adjective before a masculine or feminine noun. For example, “cualquier día” means “any day”, and “cualquier persona” means “any person”. A relevant sentence is, “Busco cualquier libro de Harry Potter”, meaning “I look for any Harry Potter book.”
- Either (O este o ese/Cualquier(a)): “Either” is used as a conjunction when providing a choice of two or more things and is often used with “or”. Examples include “quiero comer pan o pastel” meaning “I want to eat either bread or cake” and “podemos ir tu o yo a pedirlo” meaning “you or I can go ask for it”. An instance in a sentence is, “Puedes elegir entre ir a la playa o a la montaña”, translating to “You can choose either to go to the beach or the mountain.”
- Neither (Ni esto ni eso/Ninguno): This term is used as a conjunction to express a negative choice between two or more things, often paired with “nor”. For example, “No quiero comer ni pasta ni hamburguesa” means “I don’t want to eat neither pasta nor a burger”. An example sentence is, “Daniel no está trabajando ni estudiando hoy”, translating to “Daniel is neither working nor studying today.”
By understanding the usage and function of these terms, learners can significantly enhance their Spanish fluency and comprehension, enabling more complex and expressive communication.
Check out our series of Complete Spanish Grammar articles – everything you’ll ever need to know about Spanish grammar.
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