"Ich will Ihre Giraffe aber nicht kaufen!"

Translation:But I don't want to buy your giraffe!

March 4, 2016

12 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toffe123

This German sentence does not seem to make sense, shouldn't it be something like "Aber, ich will nicht ihre Giraffe kaufen" instead of "Ich will ihre Giraffe aber nicht kaufen?" when it's being translated to "But I don't want to buy your giraffe"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Aber ich will Ihre Giraffe nicht kaufen! and Ich will Ihre Giraffe aber nicht kaufen! both work in German. They're roughly equivalent, I think. So it's useful to be exposed to both possible word orders.

Aber ich will nicht Ihre Giraffe kaufen! means something slightly different: putting the nicht before Ihre means that you do want to buy a giraffe, just not the one belonging to the person you're speaking to. (Or if you consider the nicht to negate the whole Ihre Giraffe, then you do want to buy something, but the thing you want to buy is not the listener's giraffe.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allison273512

Oh thanks i didnt know that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uberling

Could this possibly mean, "I want your giraffe but not to buy"? Would that translation work if you added "zu" before "kaufen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I think I might say aber nicht zum Kaufen, with zu + definite article + verb turned into a noun -- a bit more literally "but not to/for (the) buying".

But it would be clearer as something like Ich will ihre Giraffe aber ich will sie nicht kaufen.

The zum + verb construction is better for indicating a purpose, e.g. Ich will Ihre Giraffe, aber nicht zum Reiten "I want your giraffe but not in order to ride it" (i.e. the reason I want it is not because I want to ride it, but instead there is a different reason).

So aber nicht zum Kaufen would mean something like "I want your giraffe, but I don't want your giraffe in order to buy it" which is a bit odd because once you have it, you don't need to buy it any more, so "obtaining the giraffe in order to buy it" makes little sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilentEyeTV

Thanks. Putting the "but" in the middle means extra work for native English speakers. Its hard for us not to think of the 2nd half as a condition of the 1st, put like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uberling

Nicely explained. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonVBlack

Why isn't it "I want your Giraffe, but not to buy" correct?

I'm assuming because a comma would be necessary. Would adding a comma after Giraffe completely change the meaning in German? Like the person wants the Giraffe but doesn't want to buy it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why isn't it "I want your Giraffe, but not to buy" correct?

Because that's not what the German sentence means.

Would adding a comma after Giraffe completely change the meaning in German?

Yes. Ich will Ihre Giraffe, aber nicht kaufen would mean "I want your giraffe, but [I don't want] to buy". What you don't want to buy is completely unclear, though. Saying "I don't want to buy" without an object is rather unusual; at least "I don't want to buy anything" or "I don't want to buy it" would be expected.

Like the person wants the Giraffe but doesn't want to buy it.

That would be Ich will Ihre Giraffe; ich will sie aber nicht kaufen. "I want your giraffe, but I don't want to buy it" or Ich will Ihre Giraffe aber ich will sie nicht kaufen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyuYan

I thought that as well at first, but then I realised "kafen" here doesn't work like that. The reason we use "kaufen" in this sentence is because it's under control of "will", and if it gets out of the clause, it must become "kaufe". This is how I analyze this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pellucidon

What is wrong with "I don't want to buy your giraffe however"

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