"He has not given me anything."
Translation:On mi niczego nie dał.
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What is the difference between "nic" and "niczego"? is nic = nothing and niczego = anything?
no, they are the same word, niczego is one of the declinations of nic. There is a table of declinations in this site: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nic
Also, both are valid Genitive forms, although sometimes one will sound better than the other (I guess it's just what we are used to).
Yea I notice some phrases that I remembered by hearing used "nic" despite being genitive. As in "nic nie ma". So I assume it one more of the subtleties that give away a non-native :D
Well, "żaden" (and its forms) is like "none", "not any", "not even one" etc. "no" is also often an appropriate translation.
"nic" is simply "nothing" (although sometimes the English translation is "anything").
"Żaden policjant mi niczego nie dał" = No policeman has given me anything.
What is the order/case of this sentence and why? Seems broken up to me
"dać" takes a direct object (the object given, here: nothing) in Accusative, and an indirect object (the receiver, here: me) in Dative. The negation changes Accusative to Genitive, but Dative stays.
So that's about cases. As for the order, if you wanted to go with "He gave me NOTHING", that would probably be "On nie dał mi niczego". Feels natural enough, emphasis on "nothing" sounds probable. The sentence here isn't that strong, it's just "well, ya know, he ain't given me anything, simple as that", so it doesn't put "niczego" at the end. "mi" definitely can't be at the end (that would be "He has not given ME anything, he gave a lot of things to her!", plus even if you wanted to say that, you'd need the emphasized pronoun "mnie"), so the author of this sentence put it at the second place in the sentence, but "On niczego mi nie dał" seems to mean the same and feels natural, if not better.
I wrote "Niczego nie mi dał", which I confess is a Russian type construct, does that pass at all?
Nie usually precedes verbs. If you choose to negate a pronoun instead, you create strong emphasis. Mi is a non-emphatic pronoun by definition, thus nie can't precede it. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure, when there's another pronoun like niczego involved, such a "negative pronoun" construction is impossible anyways.
Ничего не мне дал is definitely wrong in Russian, too.
Hmm. It's been a while so I will confess I don't remember Russian so well. What would it be then if I wanted to say "He didn't give ME anything"?
Mnie nic nie dał - for example.
Mnie is the emphatic version of mi and should be placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Also, why is "Nic" acceptable at all since the negation, if I understand the rule correctly, requires the genitive?
I'm not sure whether this is in line with the linguistic consensus, but I claim that an accusative form of nic does in fact not exist (except after prepositions), because it's a negated direct object by default. Nic and niczego are alternative genitive forms that are the same in terms of meaning and grammar, but there may be a difference when it comes to stylistics. As you can see in my other comment, I chose the shorter form nic, because it felt more natural in the middle of a sentence. I guess you could say that niczego feels a bit more emphatic.
Note that after prepositions, which require the genitive case, you should always use the longer form (e.g.: bez niczego, do niczego).
And after prepositions, which require the accusative case, the shorter form is mandatory (e.g.: na nic, o nic).
Thanks for your very informative explanation. I chose to use "nic" instead of "niczego" and was marked correct — not knowing why. The reason is now clear, both "nic" and "niczego" are genitive! It's also good to know that one should always use the longer form after a preposition! Thanks for the extra information!
I'm sorry, I've just realised that my statement regarding the post-prepositional forms was quite inaccurate. I've updated my comment, so it should be correct now.