なん + でも+ negative verb

My problem is the following conversation, after a student suddenly shouts in the middle of the class:

Teacher: なんだ。
Student: な、なんでもありません。

  1. What is the meaning of なんでも with a negative verb? In every grammar book I read, all the examples are given with affirmative verbs, meaning ‘anything’ as in ‘anything goes’, ‘any one is fine’.
  2. Is なんでもsimilar to the English ‘anything’ when used with negative verbs, as in ‘I don’t want anything?
  3. Why not answering the teacher 何もありません, which was my first try?

Thanks for your help.

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なんでもない is an expression meaning “[it’s] nothing, not important, etc”. 何もない is not an expression, it’s just the words 何, も, and ない doing their usual thing, and means “There is nothing” which would work as an answer to a question like 忘れ物はないですか?, but not in response to なんだ “What is it?/What’s up?/What’s the matter?”.

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¡Thank you so much! I was making it more complicated that it was!!