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  5. "We do not know of the Rhine."

"We do not know of the Rhine."

Translation:Wir kennen den Rhein nicht.

January 13, 2013



Why is "Wir kennen nicht den Rhein" an incorrect translation?


Because if you’re negating the entire idea of the sentence, or the verb itself, then nicht should go as far toward the end as possible.

more about this: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/negationexpl.html


I think the solution above should be accepted in the context of: Q: Do you know the Rhein or the Danube? A: We do not know the Rhein (but we do know the Danube)


I think the German sentence would be "We do not know the Rhine", why is there a "of" ?


In German, "know of" and "know" are both simply "kennen". "Ich kenne den Mann nicht" could both mean "I don't know the man" and "I don't know of the man". In this case, since you cannot personally "know" a river, the English translation can only be "know of the Rhine".


Actually, In English, there is a distinction, even for a river.

"I know of the Rhine." = I have heard of this river [but may never seen it].

"I know the Rhine" indicates a familiarity; for example, "I have travelled the length of the river many times, and recognize every bend and twist."


Agree with this. It's exactly like I've heard of this song versus I've heard this song.


@ Soglio, I had one doubt: why ... "I know...of the Rhine". Thanks a lot for your explanation, which shows me the difference. Your comment made me curious to look what there is about a trip on the Rhine.

1840 veröffentlichte Victor Hugo seine Rheinreise. / 1840 Victor Hugo published his Rhine journey.

Source: in German.: wikipedia Rheinromantik https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinromantik ...//...

In English : Rhine romanticism

(Text in German) ....Victor Hugos Rheinreise (Rhine journey) von Dagmar Aversano-Schreiber http://www.regionalgeschichte.net/fileadmin/Superportal/Bibliothek/Autoren/Aversano-Schreiber/Rheinreise-Victor-Hugos.pdf

Here Victor Hugo describes his Rhine journey in French: "Le Rhin : lettres à un ami" (380 pages) http://booksnow1.scholarsportal.info/ebooks/oca10/10/lerhinlettresun02hugo/lerhinlettresun02hugo.pdf

I hope that it is possible to open the long links, if anyone has interest.


Thank you... but then what is the difference in English between "know" and "know of", and how can I guess from the German which it is ? thx.


"to know of something" means to be aware of its existence. "to know something/someone" means to be personally aquainted with. Example: "I know him" = "He and I are friends", "I know of him" = "I am aware that he exists". In German, the context decides which meaning is inferred.


"wir weißen den Rhein nicht" could be right?


Absolutely not. First of all; it's "wir wissen", and secondly the verb "wissen" is not used like that. It only deals with knowledge of facts.

"Wir wissen, dass der Rhein ein Fluss ist" (we know that the rhine is a river) would be an example of how to use it.

Or "Ich weiß, dass du den Rhein kennst" (I know that you know the Rhine) :P

In sentences like "I know him", "I know of him", "I know about him", the verb "know" corresponds to "kennen" in German.

An easy rule to separate the two is that if you can say "I know THAT bla bla", (sometimes the "that" disappears in speech and casual writing) the German verb is "wissen", and in all other cases it's "kennen".


I put "wissen" because in English, knowing "of" something automatically indicates a factual knowledge, much like wissen, as opposed to the more vague knowing a place, which could be factual knowledge or emotional. Is "wissen" actually gramatically incorrect in this context, or is it just odd?


It would be "wissen von" (dem Rhein), not just "wissen", since it is about knowing of something rather than just knowing something.


Duolingo does not accept "Wir wissen vom Rhine nicht."

But it does accept "Wir wissen vom Rhine nichts."


Nicht and nichts do have a distinction. A quick Wiktionary search shows that:

Nicht = not; and

Nichts = nothing.

How that relates to this sentence, in its isolation from any context, who knows?


Very helpful explanation fuzzy889.


Why would it be 'nichts'? I put 'Wir kennen nicht vom Rhein' Duo gave me 'Wir wissen nichts vom Rhein'. Also I thought 'Wissen' was to know a fact, that doesn't work here does it? Danke schön.


Actually, I guess it would be 'We know nothing of the Rhine'.


Ich habe die gleiche wie du beantwortet, und hatte dieselbe Frage!

I have to agree with your guess. I do wish more context was provided in these exercises.

Liebe Grüße.

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@deomonkiler1 : The Rhine is a river in Europe. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhine


Would "Wir kennen nicht von dem Rhein" be acceptable?

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