According to "Alcuno" vs "nessuno" in negative sentences , both adjectives "nessuno" and "alcuno" are correct in negative sentences when they mean "any", although the former is more usual.

Can "alcuno" also be used instead of "nessuno" as a pronoun when it means anybody/nobody ? Is it usual? Example:

  • Non è venuto alcuno/nessuno (= Nobody came)
  • Non vedo alcuno/nessuno in questa oscurità (= I don't see anybody in this darkness)

WR dictionary says that no, but I'd like to confirm with native speakers.

  • The difference between what you are asking here and the previous question you linked to is that in your previous question "alcuno" and "nessuno" were adjectives, whereas in this question they are pronouns.
    – Charo
    Nov 20 '19 at 21:12
  • @Charo I know, I have only mentioned the other question for contextualization. Anyway, I already know that both words can be used as pronouns when they mean "any" (eg. Hai delle camicie pulite? Non ne ho alcuna/nessuna). My question refers specifically to the case when they are pronouns AND mean "anybody"/"nobody". Nov 20 '19 at 21:27

As Treccani.it suggests, “alcuno” can be used only in the singular form in negative sentences as a synonym of nessuno:

Il pronome e aggettivo indefinito nessuno si usa sia in frasi positive

  • Nessun dubbio lo ha mai sfiorato

sia in frasi negative, insieme a un’altra negazione

  • Non ho nessun dubbio

Solo al singolare, il pronome e aggettivo indefinito alcuno può essere usato nelle frasi negative come sinonimo di nessuno

  • Non ho alcun (= nessun) dubbio

Sulla sua adeguatezza al ruolo non è stata espressa alcuna (= nessuna) riserva.


L’uso di nessuno insieme a un’altra negazione non era ammesso nel latino classico, ma trova ampi riscontri nel latino tardo ed era perfettamente accettabile già nell’italiano antico

  • già non è nessuno / cui non posse di botto / dicere (B. Latini, Il tesoretto).
  • 1
    I think you have misunderstood my question. I asked about using "alcuno" as a translation of the pronoun "nobody"/ "anybody". You haven't answered that question at all. You have just confirmed what already was made clear in the other question I linked to. Nov 20 '19 at 15:04
  • 2
    Probably the answer could have been made clearer, but technically it answers the question, if fleetingly. The OP asks “Can "alcuno" also be used instead of "nessuno" as a pronoun when it means anybody/nobody?” and the answer says “...il pronome e aggettivo indefinito alcuno può essere usato nelle frasi negative come sinonimo di nessuno” (= the indefinite pronoun and adjective alcuno can be used in negative sentences as a synonym of nessuno). Or am I missing something?
    – DaG
    Nov 20 '19 at 21:06
  • I agree, @DaG, but, anyway, the sentences "Non è venuto alcuno" and "Non vedo alcuno" are used in modern Italian?
    – Charo
    Nov 20 '19 at 21:21
  • 2
    @Charo I don't think so, they sound archaic to me. But they do sound correct.
    – Denis Nardin
    Nov 20 '19 at 22:27
  • 2
    I agree with Denis, @Charo: correct but old-fashioned-sounding. In general, I'd say that the use of alcuno in negative sentences is declining.
    – DaG
    Nov 21 '19 at 7:52

According to Treccani , the adjective and the pronoun "alcuno" can be used instead of "nessuno" in any negative sentence. That includes the contexts in which they mean "nobody" or "anybody". However, using "alcuno" in such contexts sounds archaic and it is rare.

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