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  5. "Das Auto kostet nichts."

"Das Auto kostet nichts."

Translation:The car does not cost anything.

November 11, 2015



I put "The car cost nothing" which was marked as wrong. This basically means past tense as in the "The car did not cost anything" as opposed to "The car costs nothing" which is present tense. I accept that Duolingo means the present tense here but how does one distinguish in German and, indeed, what is the commoner phrase? - past ("cost") or present ("costs")?


present tense: das Auto kostet nichts

past tense: das Auto kostete nichts or das Auto hat nichts gekostet

Both are common; it depends on whether you are speaking about a car that is in front of you and that you are about to "buy"/"sell" (present tense) or that you "bought"/"sold" in the past.


Thank you. The image of standing with the car should help me remember.


Why do you use "nichts" instead of "nicht"? Is there a rule for that?


"Nicht" means "not", and "nichts" means "nothing", so "Das Auto kostet nicht" would mean "the car doesn't cost".

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