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  5. "Katzen mögen kein Wasser."

"Katzen mögen kein Wasser."

Translation:Cats do not like water.

January 5, 2013



Wouldn't "Katzen mögen Wasser nicht" a better way to say that in German?


One can only use nicht if there is an article. [the, an, a]


So you mean to say that I will be right if I rewrite this sentence as .. Katzen mogen das Wasser nicht?


That changes the meaning. Now, you're only saying cats don't like that specific water (maybe it's dirty, smells, too hot, etc.) and not water in general.

Kein - general (water, a ball)

Nicht - more specific (the water, his ball)


Could you say, "Katzen mögen alle Wasser nicht?"


This has cleared up my confusion! The joys of learning a new language :P


But in the tips section it says:


Use "nicht" in the following five situations:

  1. Negating the verb: "Sie haben nicht" (they/you do not have).

So why can't we negate the verb mögen with nicht?

Also when you state that "One can only use nicht if there is an article. [ an, a]", that is contradictory to the note that states "kein" is composed of "k + ein" and placed where the indefinite article would be in a sentence.

There must be another rule that Duolingo has not stated that justifies this phrases use of kein. Otherwise the notes section makes it seem that nicht would be appropriate here.


Keine must be used when negating an indefinite noun, and keep in mind that its always better to negate a noun when you can negate a noun and keep the same meaning as negating the verb


If "kein Wasser"=no water is allowed (and in fact preferred), does that mean one can say "ein Wasser"=a water? Does that make sense in German? (It doesn't make sense in English. I'm not ever sure what it would mean.)


When ordering "a water" at a restaurant it is fine.


This doesn't appear in the tips section now, not in the phone (android) app atleast.


Thank you for that little helpful tip


Best and easiest rule ever!!! A single rule that seems to work and is super simple. In contrast to the whole lists of complex rules given elsewhere...

Thanks so much!



Katzen mögen kein Wasser is the better way, I would say.

Katzen mögen Wasser nicht is possible, but I don't think it's the better way.


Having a hard time figuring out when to use kein vs keine. Aargh!


Shouldn't "kein" be the addition of "k+ein" an therefore the negation of "eins"=one. Hence the translation would be: "Cats don't like ANY water." Because ANY+NEGATION is the opposite of ONE. It seams peaky, but I think I've seen this principle before, so they have to stick to it. I'm I wrong?


Yes, you're wrong.

kein is also used as a negation of nouns that have no article at all, e.g. Ich trinke Wasser / Ich trinke kein Wasser.

So it's not only an equivalent of nicht + ein.


Could I say: "Katzen mögen nicht Wasser"?


As PorquePedo wrote above, you need an article to write that.

Kein is used for non countable nouns such as water, money etc...

Z.b Ich habe kein Geld - I don't have money. (or you could say I have no money)

For water, if you wanted to point out that you don't have some specific water, like a bottle of water, or a colored water, you would say Ich habe das Wasser nicht - I don't have this (kind of) water.


You can only say "Katzen mögen Wasser nicht", so must change positions of "Wasser" and "nicht". Believe. I'm german.


So the mod is telling us it is wrong to say "Katzen mögen Wasser nicht" but you are a native speaker.

I am wondering if there could be some regionality to explain why there is disagreement? From what I've read outside Duolingo, it seems that there are a lot of variations of German within the German-speaking world.


Wait, what is the difference between "kein" and "nicht" in this case again? What would be the literal translation of this? "Cats like no water"?


Yeah pretty much. There isn't much of a difference between "Cats don't like water" and "Cats like no water", but there is a subtle difference.

For a basic speaker (me), you get the idea. Cats don't like water. If you're more advanced maybe you can see the difference and make a joke or exaggeration using the differences.


Why wouldn't it be "keinen Wasser" because Wasser is neuter!? When would it be "kein" and "keinen"?


Kein is masculine and neuter (Nominative)

Keine is Feminine and plural (Nominative)

Keinen is Masculine in the accusative form (the others stay the same in accusative)

Keinen is also Plural in the Dative Case

Keinem is masculine and neuter in the Dative case

Keiner is Feminine in the Dative Case and Genitive Case

Keiner is also Plural in the Genitive Case

Keines is masculine and neuter in Genitive case


Why is it nominative? Water isn't the subject here


I think the answer is: Putting together the above, I see: 1) Kein is masculine and neuter (Nominative) 3) Keinen is Masculine in the accusative form (the others stay the same in accusative)

from 1): Neuter nominative -> kein from 3): others stay same in accusative (I'm guessing vs nominative), so neuter accusative is same as neuter nominative

therefore, neuter accusative is also kein.


This much I can say with certainty: The only difference between the nominative and accusative cases is the masculine singular. It is, in fact, accusative since it is the direct object, NOT nominative.


Wouldn't we use something like "nicht gern wasser"?

[deactivated user]

    "Gern/Gerne" is for verbs, "Mag" is for nouns.


    I did not know that. Thanks for the tip.


    Please, I really can't undertand, why sometime I make mistake because I use A/AN, sometime because I don't use A/AN. Is there any rule?


    Hi, Lindia. I assume you're a Slav. :) The rules are rather complex but here it's very easy: Where German uses 'ein/eine/eins' etc. you should use 'a/an' in English. The general rule (the complicated bit) is to use 'a/an' where the singular is used (i.e. not the plural or uncountables) and when you are not using 'the' or a determiner (e.g. 'my/your/his/some' etc.)


    Thank you, I hope I understand now much more than before :) thanks thanks bye bye :)


    Use "the" to make an English noun definite; use "a/an" if you want an indefinite noun.

    Now, the tricky part: When to use "a" and when to use "an." OK, it is a matter of identifying whether the next word starts with a vowel SOUND (not necessarily any vowel!!!). Listen to the first sound of the noun.

    So 'a', 'e', 'i', and 'o' normally take "an" before the noun: "An apple" "An orange" but not "an pear" ("p" is a consonant)

    "flower" does not start with a vowel sound. So just "a flower"

    The letter 'u' is trickier. You would write "A unified nation" but "An untied shoe" This is because "unified" starts with a /y/ sound (as in "yellow") but "untied" starts with a short u vowel sound.

    One can't simply say that all nouns starting with a vowel take "an" -- only if the noun following begins with a vowel SOUND. You'll get better I think as you learn the language.

    (Also, beware the occasional word that does not take an article in all cases, like "water" -- it is rare to hear someone say "a water" It is usually wrong.)


    Water is a mass noun not countable therefore not taking an article.


    What I figured out is you can actually use nicht where there is an adjective and kein for where there is noun. For instance, Das pferd ist nicht groß vs Das ist kein Pferd. Example 2- Das wasser ist nicht kalt vs Das ist kein wasser. I might be wrong, but I have generally found this to be useful this far. Any suggestions/corrections is most welcome.


    What I figured out is you can actually use nicht where there is an adjective and kein for where there is noun. For instance, Das pferd ist nicht groß vs Das ist kein Pferd. Example 2- Das wasser ist nicht kalt vs Das ist kein wasser. I might be wrong, but I have generally found this to be useful this far.

    A good start.

    Do note that kein only works for indefinite nouns.

    So it works for "that is not a horse" but you can't use it for "that is not your horse" or "that is not the horse (that you are looking for)", for example. Those still use nicht: Das ist nicht dein Pferd. Das ist nicht das Pferd, das du suchst.

    (Also, please pay attention to proper spelling: Pferd and Wasser must always be capitalised.)


    Why does Katze have an 'n' in this case?


    Because it's plural.


    It's like "cat" => "cats". In german it is "Katze" => "Katzen"


    'Cats dislike water' should be correct?


    Eh. Not really. Dislike doesn't exactly mean not like. But then again, I am just a semistarter.:-


    In many cases, that would be semantically the same.

    Some might argue that dislike implies a preference, whereas "not like" implies no preference; something like that. I find myself rather hard-pressed to make that distinction myself, though.


    How would we say "Cats never like water". I know it's a weird example; but was just a bit curious. Thanks


    Katzen mögen nie Wasser.


    I translated it nearly word for word to the albeit slightly archaic English "Cats like not, the water", since it seems that German is more closely related to old English. -so why was it marked wrong?


    Because the point of translation is to take something that sounds natural to a German speaker, and turn it into something that sounds natural to an English speaker.

    So don't use old English grammar and vocabulary -- use standard modern English.


    I tried that - was 'wrong' for using 'don't' instead of do not!


    Where is the different beetween "kein", " keine" and "keiner"


    When do you "conjugate" kein? I mean when do you use kein or keine?


    Hmmm, thought I understood this but now...there is no movement so why isn't kein in the Dative case which would be keinen?


    dative/accusative applies after a certain group of prepositions -- not in general.

    There is no preposition here.

    mögen is a regular transitive verb that takes a direct object -- and direct objects are essentially all in the accusative case.


    How can one find the different times to use "kein" vs "keine" "keiner" etc.


    The while time I was following the translation literally, at this level things got complicated


    How do you know when to use kein, keine, or keiner?


    When the gender of the noun is different.


    Gender of the noun der, die, das and case nomitive, accusative, dative, genative


    I understand the way kein and keine are used (as in masculine, etc) but what gender is keiner? Or is it kind of like 'nichts'?


    keiner is masculine nominative singular when used as a pronoun -- i.e. when it doesn't stand before a noun as a determiner but stands all by itself instead of a noun.

    For example, Auf dem Tisch liegen drei Löffel, aber keiner ist blau. "There are three spoons on the table but none of them is blue."

    So keiner means something like "none (of them)" when referring to something masculine. The feminine is keine and the neuter is keins or keines.


    It almost seems like "keiner" is being used (in your example) as a sort of ellipsis in terms of my own understanding of grammar. Here, "keiner" really means (if you will humor me) "keiner Loeffel" -- we drop the noun to avoid sounding clumsy and repetitive. So, to my way of thinking, I might not view "keiner" as a pronoun, per se.

    But, honestly, even English grammar has many ongoing internecine wars; there are many different "schools" or approaches, each with its own framework and theory. For instance, it has often been the lament of many an English grammar teacher that "a preposition is a bad word to end a sentence with" (yes, there's a joke intended there); in reality, English speakers do this all the time. Those who avoid it may be considered somewhat pompous or elitist, depending on the listener(s).

    I suspect German is similar, especially among academic types.


    In the example sentence used by Minizamo "keiner"= "none" which is correct being used as a pronoun.


    Are you right mizinamo? I always think of "keiner" as a genderless generalisation such as in a frase like " nobody is perfect" - keiner ist perfekt, keiner spricht etc. Am I wrong?


    Keiner can also be used like niemand -- perhaps as a replacement for kein Mensch, which is masculine.


    None is singular or plural pronoun, if used in the plural how would it be used in a German sentence? You specified keiner is used as a masculine, singular pronoun in nominative case. Short- is there a plural pronoun for "none"?


    When do you use 'keiner'?


    When it's a pronoun (standing by itself instead of a noun rather than in front of a noun) representing a masculine noun in the nominative case, or a feminine noun in the genitive or dative case, or a plural noun in the genitive case.

    For example:

    • Ich sehe drei Löffel. Keiner ist blau. "I see three spoons. None of them is blue." (masculine accusative)
    • Ich kenne drei Frauen aber ich traue keiner. "I know three women but I trust none of them." (feminine dative)

    It's hard to construct a reasonable sentence with genitive because pronouns are very rarely used in the genitive case.


    Ich sehe drei Löffel , zwei Tasse und ein Mädchen. Keiner ist blau. Masculine, feminin and neuter accustive but as I understand it you use "keiner" for them all. Am I completely confused or is there some hope for me yet !


    Using keiner there sounds wrong to me. I would say Nichts davon ist blau.

    Ich sehe drei Löffel. Keiner ist blau. is fine -- keiner is masculine like Löffel.

    Ich sehe drei Tassen. Keine (davon) ist blau. for feminine; Ich sehe drei Messer. Keins (davon) ist blau. for neuter.

    If you mix things -- even of the same gender -- then keiner, keine, keins sounds odd to me. For example, Ich sehe drei Hunde und vier Esel. Keiner tut, was ich sage. would sound to me as if the keiner applies only to the donkeys, not to the dogs and the donkeys together. I would prefer to say Keins der Tiere tut, was ich sage. if I want to include all of them.


    "Cats don't like water" was not accepted.


    I had the same issue. It should have been. I reported it.


    I am having same problem using Kein, Keine. I do not understand the rules. I read some of the explanations from other people. However is there an easy way to apply this rules


    How do you know if it is kein, keine, keinen, etc.?


    keinen : masculine, accusative ,plural dative only keine : feminine ,accusative ,plural ,nominative kein :neuter , accusative ,masculine

    however this sentence in particular is bugging me it doesn't follow any of it Katzen (feminine,plural) Wasser (neuter) that all points towards keine plus kein isn't a negation of ein in this case either so its not an article

    hope someone can clear up what I'm missing here


    Wasser is neuter and is the direct object of mögen so it's in the accusative case.

    kein is the neuter accusative form.

    It's true that German uses kein also for uncountable things: Ich mag keinen Wein, keine Limonade und kein Bier. "I do not like wine (masc.), lemonade (fem.), or beer (neut.)"


    Shouldn't it be keinen because water is used as an accusative term in this sentence and it's masculine?


    Wasser is neuter, not masculine.


    "Cats do not like the water." should be an acceptable translation.


    i put 'keine' cause i thought plural cats? or does it have to do with the water?


    The second. Wasser is neuter and so you need the neuter form kein in front of it.


    I said cats don't like water, as opposed to do not, and it came out wrong?


    When are we supposed to use either kein keine keiner nicht nichts....


    My answer was 'cats don't like water' but it was not accepted. Duo said I should have used 'cats do not like water'. This means exactly the same as my answer and its rather basic to know this.


    "Cats don't like water" is an accepted answer. Perhaps you made a spelling mistake without realising?


    Because Wasser is neuter (as in das Wasser), and keine is used before feminine or plural nouns.


    Dont or do not should qualify as an answer similarly


    "dont" is not an English word, but you should be able to use either "don't" (note apostrophe) or "do not".


    Why is it "kein" instead of "Keinen"? isn't water here accusative?


    Why is it "kein" instead of "Keinen"? isn't water here accusative?

    Yes, Wasser is accusative, but it's neuter, not masculine.

    Thus, masculine accusative keinen is not appropriate; you need neuter accusative kein.

    Only masculine words have a distinct accusative form in German; neuter, feminine, and plural ones look the same in the accusative as in the nominative.


    I put, "Katzen mögen keines Wasser" which is wrong. When would keines be used?


    When would keines be used?

    Before a masculine or neuter noun in the genitive case.

    Or when it's a pronoun (instead of a neuter noun in the nominative or accusative case): Ich habe Wasser aber du hast kein(e)s. "I have water but you have none."

    But keines Wasser is as wrong as "none water".

    It has to be kein Wasser "no water".


    I confused between keine/keinen


    I confused keine/ keinen


    I am right answer. Wy you say i make mistake


    Wy you say i make mistake

    Probably because you made a mistake.

    If you would like help finding your mistake, please show us exactly what you wrote -- take a screenshot showing the question and your answer, upload it to a website somewhere such as imgur, and put the URL of that image into your comment here.

    Otherwise nobody can answer your question, since nobody can see what you wrote.

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