Negation in German
You use negations to form negative sentences in the German language. There are two different ways of forming these sentences by using "nicht" or "kein".
- Sie geht nicht ins Kino - She does not go to the cinema
- Du hast keinen Hunger. - You are not hungry
Negation with "nicht"
We use "nicht" for negation of verbs, nouns, names, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and place, time and manner.
Nouns: "nicht" comes before the definite article
- Ich habe nicht das Paket von Lisa, sondern von Luisa. - I don't have the package from Lisa, but from Luisa
- Das ist nicht die Flasche von Mara. - That is not the bottle from Mara
Verbs: "nicht" comes at the ending of a phrase in simple tenses. With compound tenses it is located before the full verb at the end of the sentence.
- Sie trinkt nicht. - She does not drink
- Er hat gestern morgen nichts getrunken. - Er didn't drink anything yesterday morning
Names: "nicht" is located right in front of the name
- Ich habe nicht Maras Flasche. - I don't have Maras bottle
- Ich habe nicht Lisas Paket. - I don't have Lisas package
Pronouns: "nicht" stands before the pronoun.
- Du hast nicht mich angeredet, sondern meine Freundin? - You didn't talk to me, but my girlfriend?
- Wir haben nicht euch gerufen! - We didn't call you!
Adjective: "nicht" comes before the adjective
- Losen ist nicht gerecht! - The lottery is not fair
- Das Bild ist nicht schön! - The picture is not pretty
Adverbs: "nicht" stands right in front of the adverb
- Du gehst nicht gerne ins Meer tauchen. - You don't like diving in the sea
- Ich sehe das nicht genauso wie du - I don't see it the same way as you
Place, manner, time: "nicht" stands before the preposition that goes with the indicator of place/time/manner
- Wir leben nicht in Deutschland. - We don't live in Germany
- Der Bus kommt nicht um 15 Uhr. - The bus does not come at 3
- Deine Mama hat den Kuchen nicht mit Mehl gebacken - Your mother didn't bake the cake with flour
Negation with "kein"
We use "kein" for masculine and neuter things and "keine" for feminine things. "Keine" has to be declined according to the case of the nouns it is standing with.
There is no milk in the fridge. - Es ist keine Milch im Kühlschrank.
|nominative||keine Banane||kein Apfel||kein Kind||keine Bananen|
|genitive||keiner Banane||keines Apfels||keines Kindes||keiner Bananen|
|dative||keiner Banane||keinem Apfel||keinem Kind||keinen Bananen|
|accusative||keine Banane||keinen Apfel||kein Kind||keine Bananen|
Now, that you have learned about "nicht" und "keine" in German and how to use it you can test your skills with our fun and interactive exercises.
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