"He does not like the families."

Translation:Er mag die Familien nicht.

January 30, 2013

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why is this word ordering wrong: "Er mag nicht die Familien"?


I have the same question and that didn't help me at all. It shows the sentence "Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade" which I think it is pretty similar to this one and I don't see why it is wrong here. If you mind to explain it I'd be glad.


You're onto something. That example sentence would have been better as "Ich trinke meine Limonade nicht". One of the confusing things about "nicht" is that it can negate either an entire sentence or just a part of it, depending on whether it is placed at the end or after the verb. While "Er mag nicht die Familien" might be said under some rare circumstance (emphasis on not liking families but perhaps liking something else) it is awkward. We try to teach the most natural word order where we can. Maybe this resource makes more sense: http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Satz/Negation/Kontrastierend.html


This is the site I used: http://www.class.uh.edu/mcl/fll/Germ/order.html#Position of ....and this is the site I used to remember what all the silly english grammar terms meant :P http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/

If I understand correctly, nicht essentially goes at the end here because mag is an action verb, not a linking verb. If it had been linking verb, nicht would have gone before the object.

Action verb (like): "He does not like the cat" - "Er mag die Katze nicht"

Linking verb (is) "He is not the cat" - "Er ist nicht die Katze"

There are of course other rules for other situations. (Couldn't be entirely simple, right?)

Annoyingly that directly conflicts with the example sentence you pointed out from about.com. "Trinke" is definitely an action verb in that sentence. However, since that site seems to conflict itself ("Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade" is a declarative statement if ever I've heard one :P), for now I'm going with the example sentence being wrong. Could be there's a rule I don't know about that makes me wrong, but if there is I don't know about it.

If a fluent German speaker would like to correct me, please do. This is a pretty frustrating subject and I'd strongly like to understand it better.


"Nicht" goes at the end of the sentence to negate the whole thing or before a word to negate that part. If the example were "Er mag nicht die Familien" it would mean the same, "He doesn't like families", but also implying that he likes something else.


In that case would it be used in sentences like "He likes not families, but ....." ?


Er mag nicht die Familie... Why is this wrong...


Die Familie is singular. Die Familien is plural.


it used nicht after the Familie... how we can find right place 4 nicht


I don´t understand the position of Nicht...


Same comment as the others - why is nicht at the end of the sentence and how were we supposed to know this/


Er mag es nicht, die Familien should be correct rt?


u have used es which means it..so sentence is not completed properly..its like ""he does not like it, the families""


When do I put 'nicht' at the end, and when at the beginning


I've got a different question. When does one use "mag night“ and when "hat nicht gern". (The latter was not accepted.)


I thought [verb] gern meant you liked doing the verb, so in that case the sentence would translate to "He doesn't like having families"


You are correct about "gern“ modifying verbs. However, “haben gern“ means "to like". I think of it as, "to have gladly".


Ok so if you were to say "he does not like studying, he likes playing" Then Nicht would be after the verb it negates eg studying in this case, is that correct?

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