What is the difference between these 2 sentences ?

1) - Ich mag Katze nicht

2) - Ich mag nicht Katze

November 8, 2015


For starters, the plural is Katzen with an n. If you do want singular, you would need an article (eine/die Katze).

Regarding the word order, your first sentence is the most natural sounding. The second one sounds a little funny. If you wanted that word order, it would be better to say, "Ich mag keine Katzen."

Wieso magst du Katzen nicht?

November 8, 2015

Thanks for the reply !

Why did you used "keine" with "katzen" ?

I thought "keine/kein" couldn't be used with anything plural ?

From duo -

"Simply put, "kein" is composed of "k + ein" and placed where the indefinite article would be in a sentence. For instance, look at the positive and negative statement about each noun: "ein Mann" (a man) versus "kein Mann" (not a/not one man), and "eine Frau" versus "keine Frau.""

November 8, 2015

You can absolutely use keine in plural. But I can see how duo's explanation is confusing. It would be clearer if they said that kein/e is used in place of an indefinite article, or when there is no article, BUT not in place of a definite article.

Here is a really helpful article that explains it more clearly:

November 8, 2015

I've heard that "kein" is used only for negating nouns (plural and singular both). And "nicht" for others, but mostly verbs.

From what I understand, if we take your example,

Ich mag keine Katzen -- This might literally translate to "I like no cats"

Ich mag Katzen nicht -- "I don't like cats" (here, "like" is negated, instead of "cats")

November 8, 2015

What they didn't tell you, to use an animal in singular without an article most likely refers to the taste of the meat.

Magst du Katze? Katze mag ich nicht, ich bevorzuge Rind.

November 8, 2015

I would argue that is really only really true for beef (Rind), pork (Schwein), chicken (Hühnchen) and turkey (Pute). If someone said "magst du Katze" I think most people would just assume it was misspoken for "magst du Katzen".

November 8, 2015

Magst du Katze? Danke, aber ich würde lieber Rind essen

Though, as far as I know, it would sound better "Schmeckt dir Katze?" (Arme Katzen)

November 8, 2015

No, that' s the usual way to say that in southern Germany.

Magst du -- litterally, "do you like" is often used in the sense of "do you like the taste of", or "do/would you like to eat".

I'd rather ask Magst du Erdbeeren? to Schmecken dir Erdbeeren?. The latter is too abstact to me, there is passion missing.

Whereas with a given meal i'd prefer schmecken. Schmecken dir die Erdbeeren (, die du gerade isst)?

My first thought encountering the sentence "Magst du Katze" really is Do you like to eat cat? Unless the person speaks ugly broken German.

November 8, 2015

Thank you.

November 9, 2015

1) This sentence literally states "I do not like cats", the "nicht" is associated with the verb of sentence. Since German is a V2 language, the nicht has to go at end of the sentence. In more complicated verbal constructions, like passive or past tenses, the "nicht" precedes the infinitives at the end of the sentence. Example:

Die Haltung von Katzen in der Wohnung ist nicht gestattet -- Cats are not permitted in the apartment.

2) This sentence is not valid in its current. You likely wanted something along the lines of

"Ich mag keine Katzen" -- Literally translated would be something like "I like no cats" or "I do not like any cats". Practically this means pretty much the same thing as sentence 1 above, but I would say this is the more common way to express that you do not like cats.

However there is another way this sentence could be correctly completed:

"Ich mag nicht Katzen sondern Hunde" -- I don't like cats but dogs. In short you need a conjunction for the sentence to be correct.

November 8, 2015

A good example where rather nicht than kein is used.

November 8, 2015
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