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  5. "The farmer does not have a h…

"The farmer does not have a horse."

Translation:Der Bauer hat kein Pferd.

January 22, 2013



Is "Der Bauer hat ein Pferd nicht" wrong?


What would be the equivalent of this mistake in english, because I understand when sentences are negated in english with "not" and that not even how we use negatives.

If a foreigner tells me :

I know english and have a lot of money not.

I will understand perfectly, (though its obvious they are foreign.)


An equivalent is hard to express because German speakers use "kein-" to negate nouns. If a German does not own something, they say "I have no object." If they were to say "I don't have an object," that just sounds strange to them. English is reverse, as we say "We don't have that object."

So even though "Der Bauer hat ein Pferd nicht," TRANSLATES to "The farmer does not have a horse," it would sound kind of like "The farmer has no horse." Again, it translates the way we would think, but it's incorrect.

A German would say "Der Bauer hat kein Pferd," which TRANSLATES to "The farmer has no horse," which sounds strange to an English speaker, but it means "The farmer does not have a horse."

Do I make sense?


But "The farmer has no horse." is perfectly fine English, not strange at all.


I agree, but I think Arktischgespenst's point is well made apart from that.


Yes, and a German will understand "Der Bauer hat ein Pferd nicht." just fine, but it will still sound wrong.


Why does "kein" here not have an ending? If the Ajektivendungen table for unbestimmten (indefinite) Artikeln is to be followed, we get "keines" as it is Akkusativ case and Pferd is neutral.


When I saw Bäuerin, I thought it was the plural form and not the feminine form (the umlaut threw me). I typed "die Bäuerin" into Google translate and it came back with "the farmer's wife". Is that a possible translation? I read somewhere that informally native speakers sometimes don't use the genetive form these days.


Don't use Google Translate for this, it can have some really screwy and odd translations. Use it to get the gist of a large amount of text, or to translate German you write yourself back into English to make sure it isn't too screwy, but never, ever trust it as a dictionary.

My own favorite dictionary site is the open source dict.cc, at http://www.dict.cc/ One nice thing it does is show usage rates for various meanings of words. If you look up Bäuerin there, you'll see that by far the most common translation is simply "farmer." "Farmer's wife" occurs, but is very rare.

Another good dictionary site is http://pons.de And http://linguee.com is great because it will show you a bunch of originals and their translations, side by side, so you can get a sense of how words are really used. (It also might give you a sense of where Google gets its more peculiar translations, since some of the translations just don't match up with the originals.). Anyway, much more than you asked, hope it's helpful.


Why would this be wrong to use the male noun? Danke! :)


It isn't wrong. "Der Bauer hat kein Pferd.“ was accepted for me.


sondern ein Traktor


Why now " Der Bauer habe kein pferd"?

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