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  5. "Wir sprechen kein Deutsch."

"Wir sprechen kein Deutsch."

Translation:We do not speak German.

October 10, 2015



Would "Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch" or "Ich esse nicht Orangen" also be correct? When does one use kein/e/n and when does one use nicht?


Taken from someone on this site, kein for nouns and nicht for verbs


I've just watched a video where it's said that you can also say "Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch" because in this case nicht would be negating the verb. But it's more common to negate the noun (when there's the possibility to negate either one), so it's preferable to say "Wir sprechen kein Deutsch". Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJYb4L7S6vw


can "Wir sprechen Deutsch nicht" be possible ??


I think the correct way would be to say "Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch" because nicht is negating the verb. Although, it's more common to negate the noun so "Wir sprechen kein Deutsch" is preferable. Check this video out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJYb4L7S6vw


I cannot think of any scenario where that would be correct, to be honest.


Why is it "kein" and not "keinen" ?


please answer this ^ shouldn't this be in the accusative case?


Think of kein as ein. You would use ein because deutsch is neuter in both nominative and accusative cases. Therefore, kein would be used here as well.


Because its Das Deutch


Yes, it's the accusative case but Deutsch is neuter: "das Deutsch". So you have to use "kein" because it's the declension of it in the accusative case, neuter gender.


I am not English speaking nor German, what is diference between talk (incorrect answer here) and speak.


Both mean to "say words" and "communicate with words". "Speak" is more formal than "talk".

In English, when referring to languages, we use "speak": I speak German, NOT I talk German

Here are some (English) webpages that discuss the difference between "speak" and "talk":


In this case just remember, "I talk in German" is never correct (at least I've never seen it in use). It's always, "I speak German" or "I spoke English"


Whenever you think you have a choice between "nicht" and "kein", use "kein".


Can you also say: we can not speak German (Wir kans nich Deutsch sprechen) ?


I think that to say this you would say "Wir können kein Deutsch sprechen"

Kein should be used here because German is a noun. In general, kein is used with nouns and nicht is used with verbs.


Yes, everyone keeps saying kein with nouns, nicht with verbs, but your sentence we can speak no German, has both, as all sentences do, so is there a more precise definition. Or, can you give an example of nicht with a verb? Thanks in advance...


Check this video out, it helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJYb4L7S6vw In this video she says that you can use either kein or nicht when you have both a verb and a noun, but it's preferable to use kein (and negate the noun).


Why not 'We speak little German.'? Kein also means small, right?


Kein is used to negate things, similar to "nicht" and "nein", you are probably thinking of "klein" which does mean small.


Just curious - is there some way to distinguish "We don't speak German" from "We don't speak any German"?


I don't think so, but you could say "Wir sprechen keinerlei Deutsch." which means "We don't speak any German whatsoever."


Is "Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch" also correct, based on the general rule that if 'not' is used in English, 'nicht' is used in German?


I’d say “Wir sprechen kein Deutsch.” means “We are not able to speak German.” If you say “Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch.” that would rather mean you’re not speaking German at the moment. As in, someone hears you speaking a foreign language and gets curious and asks you “Are you speaking German?” And you answer: “We’re not speaking German, we’re speaking Dutch.” = “Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch, wir sprechen Niederländisch.”


So, why is it kein here, and not keine? If Deutsch is neuter, is the default position going to be masculine? I also have been answering these questions as I speak no German, and it is accepted...


yes, it does help, I see ein for neuter, so kein would be the negation. Is there somewhere to see a very simple explanation of what these 4 cases mean- nominative, accusative, etc, I think that is part of my confusion.


I'm maybe not as good at explaining dative and genitive, but the two more basic ones are nominative and accusative. Here's my best go at it:

Nominative case: When the noun is the subject of the sentence, meaning it is the thing doing the action. In the sentence, "The girl eats the apple", the subject is 'the girl', so the article for "girl" will take the nominative case.

For the nominative case, die is for feminine and plural nouns, der is for masculine nouns, and das is for neuter nouns.

Accusative case: When the noun is the direct object of the sentence, meaning it receives the action. In the earlier sentence, 'the apple' is the direct object, so it will take on the accusative case.

For the accusative case, die is for feminine and plural nouns, den is for masculine nouns, and das is for neuter nouns, meaning the only change is der goes to den.

"Das Mädchen isst den Apfel" and "Den Apfel isst das Mädchen" BOTH mean "The girl eats the apple", as the article 'den' implies that the apple is the direct object of the sentence.

"Das Mädchen isst der Apfel" and "Der Apfel isst das Mädchen" BOTH mean "The apple eats the girl", as the article 'der' implies that the apple is the subject of the sentence.


wow, it is even more difficult than I was thinking. I thought one sentence would have one case, but you are describing two. I thank you very much for that clarity..


That is quit an explanation, good job.

P.S. Arabic speakers should find this easily understandable!


Can't the translation be: We speak no German?


did you have that answer rejected? I am very sure my same answer was accepted. some time ago, also, see above.


Please when can i use kein,keine and keinen?


But hopefully we will


I can't pronounce this Sprechen


haha, how do you like machst, I have a lot of trouble with that one. Seems like speaking German involves a lot of spitting and throat clearing, with all the guttural sounds.

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