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"Nein, ich trinke kaum Alkohol."

Translation:No, I barely drink alcohol.

January 28, 2013

38 Comments


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

In English the words "barely" and "hardly have subtly different meanings sometimes.

e.g.

"it is barely enough money for a bus ticket" (it IS enough to buy the ticket, but only just enough).

"It is hardly enough money for a bus ticket" (it is NOT enough money to buy the ticket, not by a long-shot).


e.g.

"I barely saw him" (it was difficult to see him).

"I hardly saw him" (I didn't see him very often).


e.g.

"He is barely walking" (he is walking, but with great difficulty).

"He is hardly walking" (he is not walking very often).


Sigh... it's difficult to think of examples because these words are only very subtly different; and one can probably argue a case for using either to mean the same thing.

Is there such a distinction between "barely" and "hardly" in German?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oli0808

In all your examples the words can be swapped. Especially the bus ticket example. If you've hardly enough money for a ticket, you've still got enough for a ticket.


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

With the bus ticket, "barely" would unambiguously mean there's enough money, "hardly" would depend more on tone of voice.


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

Not for most English users -- "hardly" would have a clearly negative sense -- as in not close at all (an ironic understatement). Whereas though"barely" may just make it, it does not fall short.


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

"No, I barely drink." should also be accepted, since just saying, "I drink" or "I don't drink" always carries the connotation of alcohol in English. It's a strong connotation because you wouldn't ever say "I drink" to mean "I am busy drinking something".


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

Can I use the word 'kaum' as a simple and short answer, whether I'm drinking or not (if someone is asking me)?


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

I beleive so.


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

Is "No, I hardly ever drink alcohol" different in meaning?

*not a native speaker of English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krazy19Karl

Your sentence has the same meaning. It also sounds better in English because 'hardly ever' relates to time better than 'barely' does. Rarely would also work better than barely.


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

I got caught out on this - I put "barely ever" simply because barely sounds too short on its own, and Duolingo didn't appreciate it...


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

"No, I hardly ever drink alcohol" would be grammatically correct. However, I entered this and it was rejected by DL. Instead, they wanted "No, I hardly drink alcohol"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janus8536

'Hardly ever' means the same as 'almost never'. The latter was (also) not accepted. DL also didn't like 'No, I drink almost no alcohol.'


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

It would also sound much better. “Barely“ sounds very strange, if not even wrong in that context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bry888

"No, I hardly ever drink alcohol" should be accepted.


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

I seldom drink alcohol. is dandy English. Should be acceptable as a translation


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

dandy English?


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

Like high-brow talk. Seldom is seldom used nowadays.


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

Going by the second sentence, I took it to mean that it is a fine way to speak as in "fine and dandy" meaning good, or appropriate, rather than the way a dandy would speak since "I seldom drink alcohol" is a perfectly good sentence (and translation).

Although, you could be right since the comment is ambiguous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanBran3

Seeking to catch the spirit in a translation, I would like to put out there for consideration, "I drink little alcohol." Knowing that it isn't a literal translation, but again captures the intent.


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

"No I drink hardly alcohol" is not correct English. "No I hardly drink any alcohol" would be preferred.


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

It could also fairly easily be misheard as "I drink hard alcohol".


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

If "kaum" is more indicative of the extent to which the action is performed (e.g. like English scarcely, hardly, barely), and not the frequency with which the action is performed (e.g. like English seldom, rarely), then is "kaum" the best choice for a sentence like this? Because the English "I barely/hardly drink alcohol" sounds odd--does the German really mean something like "I can't hold my liquor very well"? In English, it seems a sentence like this would be more natural in having the speaking comment on the frequency e.g. "I seldom/rarely/almost never drink alcohol" (the "I hardly ever drink alcohol" is only OK because "hardly" modifies "ever," which is commenting on frequency).


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

Bothered me,too, even though English isn't my first language. By the way, you missed one more possible interpretation "..drink barely/hardly any alcohol".

Judging by my dictionaries, kaum definitely means the extent, quantity of the action or thing. It can also be used with verbs in the temporal "barely" meaning, like in "We had barely come in when Gary sent us back to do the groceries." I wonder if it is somehow understoof differently with objects.


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

"No, I drink barely alcohol" is not correct English, and it's a little confusing seeing it as a suggested translation...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe12345678Joe

There are so many ways to say the different things I thing that means. Mine was 'No, I drink very little alcohol', which semantically I believe is pretty close.


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

"I barely drink alcohol" could easily be taken to mean, "I can just get the stuff down." I much prefer "I hardly ever...."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

Yes it has the connotation of trying but failing in the attempt.


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

I wrote "I seldom drink alcohol" . I'm confused about the meaning of 'kaum'.


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

The word "seldom" has its own word in German, "selten." (Pretty convenient, as it sounds so similar).

Hope that helps :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane-Baker

barely/hardly , alcohol /liquor this is an especially poor sentence. if you drink alcohol you may be drinking stuff from the biology lab or a cleaning supply... liquor is alcoholic beverage. "I rarely drink" is what one would probably announce. But of course you do ingest liquids like water; you just meant nada with alcoholic content.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargaretGi274614

You can say in English....I rarely drink alcohol, but never barely


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

The pronunciation of kaum sounds a bit off to me, so I checked with Forvo

https://forvo.com/word/kaum/#de


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

Kann ich auch sagen: "Nein, ich trinke Alkohol kaum"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan-61321

Maybe rarely but never barely. Never heard that one in UK English. Not sure how you can barely drink alcohol, you either do or you don't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shiela559872

I tried 'No I barely touch alcohol' which was rejected. It's a less literal translation (touch rather than drink) but is the way a lot of English speakers would say it. Should I submit it as an alternative answer?


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

I would say no, don't submit. As you said, it isn't really a direct translation.


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

"I don't drink much alcohol" not accepted? Barely is not much right? One is much more likely to hear or say this (at least in America) than most of the other accepted translations...

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