Nicht / Keine

  • 507

Hello everyone!

As you can see, I'm a newbie German "student".

I was studying plurals when I saw the word "keine".

What's the difference between Keine and Nicht?

When you use each one?

Do exist other words like those?

Thanks a lot!

June 14, 2012


In English, the word “no” is often the same as German «kein», but we use it infrequently:

  • Ich esse keinen Fleisch = I eat no meat (literally) or I don’t eat meat (commonly)

In German, whenever you have a noun, you will tend to negate that (using kein) instead of the verb (using nicht): you don’t say «Ich habe Hunger nicht», but «Ich habe keinen Hunger».

June 14, 2012

so how should i distinguish the gender of hunger in german whether its feminine or masculine or neuter !

August 16, 2017
  • 507

More precisely to the answer: "nicht" is a word to express a negation on a verb. "Keine" is the negative declension of an undefined article. Undefined articles in English are "a/an". In German (nominativ): ein (Maskulin), ein (Neutrum), eine (Feminin), eine (Plural). Negative versions are, respectively, kein, kein, keine, and keine. Sometimes you can distinguish the gender of words from them, sometimes you can't. For Hunger it is possible, since "Ich habe keinen Hunger" uses KEINEN, which is the Accusative Masculine declension of "Kein".

I totally forgot about this post and it's really nice to feel that an old question of mine is for me now something totally obvious, lol.

Good luck!

August 16, 2017

very useful posts. thanks. (I'am a beginner.)

May 2, 2018

Kein is used with nouns: Ich habe kein Haus. (I don't have a house). Nicht is used with verbs: Ich schwimme nicht. (I don't swim).

The interesting thing is that "kein" is used in place of ein/eine/ein, AND it has a plural version- kein/keine/kein/keine. It is actually an adjective- meaning "no" or "not any".

Other words like it would be other adjectives that describe quantity, like "viel" (numerous) or wenig (less, least).

June 14, 2012

merci bien

December 27, 2015

Omg thank you so much for this the struggle is so real right now D:

July 19, 2018

This was really helpful. Danke schon!

August 5, 2018
  • 507

Thanks a lot!

June 15, 2012
April 20, 2019
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