negation of "there to be/exist" or "to have"

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Senior Member
In English there is no antonym of "there to be/exist" - we just add "not" to form "there not to be/exist" or "no" to form "there to be/exist no". Example:
  • There is no rain.
  • There is not any stranger.
  • He does not have any money.
However, in Literary Chinese we use 無 and in Cantonese 冇 as antonym of 有 (there to be):
  • 我冇散紙。 I do not have any change.
  • 呢度冇人。 There is nobody here.
In spoken Mandarin there is no antonym for 有 though. We just use 沒有(沒 negation; 有 there to be).

Does your language have an antonym of "there to be/exist"?

EDIT: In Mandarin 沒 by itself can mean "there not to be/have": 他沒錢。 He does not have any money.
  • Rallino

    Turkish has two completely different words for 'there to be' and 'there not to be'.

    Burada çok ağaç var. = There are many trees over here.
    Burada çok ağaç yok. = There aren't many trees here.

    Arabası var. = He has a car.
    Arabası yok. = He doesn't have a car.


    Senior Member
    In Welsh different forms of the verb "be" are used, along with the negator dim "no, not" in the negative.

    Mae llawer o goed yma
    "There are many trees over here"
    Does dim llawer o goed yma "There aren't many trees here"

    Mae car 'da fe
    / Mae gynno fo gar "He has a car (There's a car with/by him)"
    Does dim car 'da fe / Does gynno fo ddim car "He doesn't have a car (There isn't a car with/by him)"

    Welsh has different negative verbs depending on whether the subject is definite or indefinite:

    Does dim bwyd yn y tŷ "There isn't any food in the house" (indefinite)
    Dyw'r/Dydy'r bwyd ddim yn y tŷ "The food isn't in the house" (definite)

    And has separate question forms:

    bwyd yn y tŷ?
    "Is there food in the house?" (indefinite)
    Does dim bwyd yn y tŷ? "Is the food in the house?" (definite)

    These patterns are similar to other Celtic languages:

    there is ~ there isn't ~ is there? ~ isn't there?

    Cornish: yma ~ nyns eus/usi ~ eus/usi? ~ ?

    Breton: zo, ez eus ~ n'eus ket ~ ? ~ ?

    Irish: ~ níl ~ an bhfuil? ~ nach bhfuil?

    Scottish Gaelic: tha ~ chan eil ~ a bheil? ~ nach eil?

    Manx: ta ~ cha nel ~ vel? ~ nagh vel?

    Some examples from Manx show that the patter can be quite simple sometimes, compared to English:

    Ta bee 'sy thie "There's food in the house"

    Cha nel bee 'sy thie "There isn't food in the house"

    Vel bee 'sy thie? "Is there food in the house?"

    Nagh vel bee 'sy thie? "Isn't there food in the house?"


    Senior Member
    In German you can negate the indefinite article:
    Da ist ein Auto -> there's a car
    Da ist kein Auto -> there's no car
    Of course you can use nicht (not) but that would change the meaning
    Da ist nicht ein Auto -> there's not one car
    Greek uses the adverbial clause «δεν έχει» [ðen ˈeçi] --> it hasn't, introduced with the negative particle «δεν» [ðen] (used in clauses with indicative mood), aphetic of the Classical adverbialised neut. pronoun «οὐδέν» oudén --> none whatever, not even one, nothing, not any, contraction of «οὐδέ ἕν» oudé hén --> not even one, not any (parallel to the Lat. ne + ūllum > nūllum), followed by the impersonal «έχει» [ˈeçi] which is the 3rd p. sing. Present Indicative form of the active v. «έχω» [ˈexo] --> to have, possess < Classical v. «ἔχω» ékʰō --> to possess, retain, have (PIE *seǵʰ- to hold, have cf Skt. सहते (sahate), to bear, endure, tolerate, Proto-Germanic *segaz > Ger. Sieg, Eng. sig, Dt. zege, Swe. seger).
    A couple of examples:
    «Δεν έχει αυτοκίνητα» [ðen ˈeçi aftoˈcinita] --> it doesn't have any cars (lit. it hasn't cars) i.e. the road/passage/avenue is empty of cars, so it's safe to cross it.
    «Δεν έχει ήλιο» [ðen ˈeçi ˈiʎo] --> it doesn't have sun (lit. it hasn't sun) i.e. the sun hasn't come out, the sky is overcast.


    Senior Member

    uses the verb има (ima) "has" and its negative form нема (nema) "doesn't have" for "there is" / "there isn't".

    Има дожд. (Ima dožd.) lit. "Has rain." = "There is rain."
    Нема дожд. (Nema dožd.) lit. "Doesn't-have rain.", "Hasn't rain." = "There is no rain."
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