In English and Norwegian, the negation of existential quantification can be expressed through negative quantifiers (e.g. nothing) or negation + indefinite quantifiers (e.g. not + anything). The aim of this thesis is to find in what context each of the two types is preferred and what the underlying reasons might be. I compared the two types of negation to each other, and in addition I conducted a cross-linguistic comparison between English and Norwegian. For the biggest part, the findings in this paper are based on a corpus study and analysis. The source of the main empirical data was the Norwegian – English – German parallel corpus. This is part of the Oslo Multilingual Corpus and contains original texts from Norwegian, English and German and their translations to the other two languages respectively. Roughly 700 examples containing either of the two negation types were examined which resulted in a list of several syntactic conditions and pragmatic effects. The syntactic conditions include a restriction/dispreference against negation + indefinite quantifiers in subject position and elliptical constructions; a difference in scope between the two constructions in sentences that contain modals or idioms, and finally, Norwegian (but not English) sentences include a restriction on the use of negative quantifiers in sentences containing modals or auxiliaries and a main verb. I argue that in English, negation + indefinite quantifiers are blocked in subject position altogether whilst in Norwegian, they are highly marked. I argue that the semantics of negative quantifiers and a negation + indefinite quantifier is the same, but there is a difference between the Norwegian negation + indefinite quantifier construction and the English one, in that the English indefinite quantifiers (anyone/anybody/anything) are NPIs whilst the Norwegian corresponding quantifiers are not NPIs. In object position, the difference between the two ways of negating existential quantification lies in the pragmatics. Here, negative quantifiers are the marked type, meaning that they carry nonstereotypical M-implicatures, whilst negation + indefinite quantifiers carry stereotypical I-implicatures. I also argue that indefinite quantifiers are more open to contextual restriction of their domain, i.e. they tend to quantify over a limited set, whilst negative quantifiers have a higher tendency to quantify over an unlimited set. Partly anchored in this, negative quantifiers often carry emphasis, negative value, or the lack of hope. I conclude that there are syntactic and pragmatic conditions and that they are similar but not equal in English and Norwegian.