Is there any difference in meaning or usage between "negar" and "denegar" when they mean "to deny something which was requested" ? Both meanings in DLE seem identical to me.


  1. tr. Decir que no a lo que se pretende o se pide, o no concederlo.


  1. tr. No conceder lo que se pide o solicita.


Me negaron/denegaron la entrada a la suite presidencial porque les parecí sospechoso.

  • @Diego - That makes sense to me. I agree that it's a difference of tone, more than of meaning. I would upvote that if you want to make it an answer. // Alan, if you look at a bunch of examples (e.g. in Linguee) I think you'll get a feel for the difference. // For the hotel suite, I guess I'd choose "negar" because there's no formal process for asking for a hotel suite. Jan 25, 2020 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


"negar" can be transitive or ditransitive, while "denegar" is always ditransitive because its use involves that somebody's right is denied.

The extent of use differs: while "negar" is more general, "denegar" is more technical (legal field).

  • Niegan la verdad. (transitive)

  • Le han negado la excarcelación. (ambiguous: (1) They have denied him/her somebody's release [They have told him/her that somebody was not released] / (2) They have denied him/her his/her release [They have objected to setting him/her free]). (ditransitive)

  • Le han denegado la excarcelación (only possible interpretation: (2) above). (ditransitive)

  • 1
    @Diego Simplemente no me gusta tomar como propias palabras de otros sin reconocer la fuente. De todos modos, la idea principal está: "negar" es más general, "denegar" es más jerga técnica. Como en este caso estás de acuerdo, puedo reformularlo.
    – Gustavson
    Jan 25, 2020 at 20:51
  • @Diego - y Gustavson - yo pienso que se puede incluir en una respuesta "I agree with Diego's comment that "negar" is more general, while "denegar" is more technical (legal field)." Así se entiende que hubo un comentario, aportado por Diego, que decía que un término es más general y el otro más técnico. Si el comentario se quitara, la respuesta todavía se entendería bastante bien. Jan 25, 2020 at 23:02

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