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  5. "I am not a boy."

"I am not a boy."

Translation:Ich bin kein Junge.

February 15, 2013

43 Comments


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

Interesting factoid: "kein" can be used to question the validity of someone's profession of their ability at something. We do the same thing in English, z.B., "He's no doctor." The speaker doesn't mean the person is literally not a doctor, just that they are not good at what they do, or perhaps don't practice medicine ethically. "He's no artist." He does get paid to paint; you just don't think much of his style or subject matter.


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

A 'factoid' means an incorrect fact. Not a small fact


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

No, that’s wrong. Most dictionaries give both definitions. Here: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/factoid


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

Shouldn't it be "Ich bin keinen Junge"? Or is Junge neuter?


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

No, "boy" (Junge) is masculine. But you have to use the nominative case after the verb "sein" (to be), not the accusative case. That's why it's "kein" (masc. nominative) and not "keinen" (masc. accusative).

See also: "Predicate nouns" (= use of the nominative case after the verb "sein") http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_cases_nominative.htm

Forms of "kein": http://goo.gl/BRVhK


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

hey, thanks for that...I hadn't thought of sein in terms of predication before you pointed it out!


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

I was just about to ask about this. It's the same in English "It is I." Although most people say it wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BinduMohan3

Drat. Fell for this one again--the group of verbs with which you use the nom. case and not the acc. case. Thanks for pointing this out.


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

Same as you would say "Ich bin ein Junge"


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

How about "Ich bin nicht ein Junge."


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

Consider "kein = nicht+ein" and so forth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yucca-Moh

We use kein to negate nouns without articles or with indefinite articles


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

When you negate a noun, you use 'kein', otherwise 'nicht'.


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

That is a nice rule but in a case like this you could argue I'm negating the verb "bin", not the noun "Junge". The rule does seem useful with the following examples. "Ich liebe nicht Gretel." or better: "Ich liebe Gretel nicht". Then: "Ich liebe keine Gretel." And, of course, here they clearly mean two different things.

Anyway, thanks for that rule. I learned most of the German I know by ear, no by rules. I'd like to learn more rules.


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

I suppose that is a German rule that combination of negative and indefinite article is always in the way "kein/keine". So here it has to be "Ich bin kein Junge."


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

When should I use "kein" and when "keinen"?


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

Why in this case I can't use keinen (object complement?


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

"Keinen" is used for masculine nouns in the accusative case. "Junge" is a masculine noun, but after the verbs "sein" (to be) and "werden" (to become), you do not use the accusative case, but the nominative case. That's why it's "kein Junge" (nominative case) and not "keinen Jungen" (accusative case).

See here ("predicate noun"):

http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_cases_nominative.htm


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

Why i can't say: "Ich bin Junge nicht" ?


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

The word order is wrong. If you were to say it that way it would be "Ich bin nicht ein Junge" However, the more correct way would still be to say "Ich bin kein Junge"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SammanBikr1

'ich bin kein junge' because we use nominative after "sein"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crispybacon4

Why not "Ich bin ein Knabe"?


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

Why is it "kein" and not "keiner"? The tips for this lesson doesn't even mention "kein" on its own. So how do you know when to use "kein" vs "keiner?


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

Why "Ich bin keinen Jungen" is wrong? is akkusativ...


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

You have to use the nominative case here, not the accusative. See my previous post immediately above yours.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crispybacon4

I mean kein Knabe


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Afid4

What about: ich bin nicht junge, is that correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/p2r.rox

Ich bin ein junge nicht??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

No. It needs to be Ich bin kein Junge. Whenever a sentence is saying “not a /an X”, or “no X” or “not any X”, where X is a noun, use kein/keine/... before that noun. Meine Freundin hat jetzt keine Katze. (my friend now has no cat).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/p2r.rox

When do we use the nicht at the end though?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

When you are negating a verb, or an entire statement. For example, Ich mag diesen Film nicht. Er arbeitet nicht. Sie liebt mich nicht.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph724955

Except in this case, and any case where a sentence is saying "not a/an X", because that's when you're negating the verb.

If you say "I am not a boy", you are negating the verb "to be". If you say "I am no boy", or even "I am a not-boy", you are negating the noun "boy".

When you say something like "That is not a cat", you are saying what it isn't, hence you are negating the verb. But when you say "That is no cat", you are saying what it is, and negating the noun.

English negates verbs typically by following the verb with "not", or preceding it with "does not" (which is really just a negation of the auxiliary verb "to do"). There are actually very few cases where "not" is used to do something other than negating a verb; compound nouns such as "not-boy" above are the only exception I can think of at the moment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph724955

I'm trying to figure out these negations. "nicht" is used to negate verbs and "kein" (in its various forms) is used to negate nouns; is that correct?

I think what's confusing me is that sometimes the negation is switched in translation, and sometimes it is not. For instance, here, we're negating the noun Junge, so the sentence is really a positive statement, "I am a not-boy", which is actually quite different from "I am not a boy", which is a negation of the verb. "I am not a boy" should be "Ich bin ein Junge nicht", if we weren't switching what gets negated in the translation, that is.

So, what I'm really saying is, is there any way to tell when to translate something literally versus switching whether it's the noun or the verb that gets negated? Obviously, practice and familiarity, but are the any clues about what tends to get negated?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

Yes, that rule is correct. Consider it like this—

Are you negating a verb (she doesn’t swim, read, come from Kiel, etc.)? Use nicht: Sie schwimmt nicht; sie liest nicht. Sie kommt nicht aus Kiel.

Or are you saying that you have, or you eat, none of something (we have no coffee, no money, etc.)? Use kein + noun: Er trinkt kein Kaffee. Wir haben kein Geld.

Or are you saying that thing X is not thing Y? Use kein + noun. Ich bin kein Junge. Das ist keine Rose.

Where you’re getting tangled, I think, is that the verb sein (bin, bist, ist, sind, seid) isn’t REALLY a verb in the way it functions with nouns in the predicate. It’s more like an = sign. It’s not an action verb.

The other thing that is getting you confused is this idea of “switching” something. That’s not how it actually works. English and German are different languages with different rules, and different ways to say things. And you can’t usually map translated sentences word for word one to the other. Instead, it’s better to think of it as, “this is how this language expresses this idea.” (Literal translations that work are pretty rare, actually, except in very simple sentences like *I have a blue jacket.”).

As a rule, if you are saying that someone has none of something, eats no X, or A is not B, use kein.

Aha— one other thing comes to mind: English of earlier periods used a structure much more like German in this respect. Think of “Jack Sprat would eat no fat, his wife would eat no lean”. Exactly the same as German structure. But in modern English, especially in the USA, we express that concept as “doesn’t eat fat” rather than “eats no fat.”


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

What is the nominitive masculine form of k(ein)?


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

Der changes to den likewise kienen Junge must be right... "but kein?" like not man not woman but object.. couldn't understand this one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

No, there is no action verb (sein is not an action), thus no direct object. Therefore, we need kein, NOT keinen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tspark1071

einer Junge. der Junge. So I thought it would be "Ich bin keiner Junge". Please let me know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom116207

I am not a man. But neither am I a boy.


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

Oh come on with your homo - trans agenda.. it's just a lesson and not a place to promote your pervasive worldview.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krueg456

Why isn't is keiner Junge.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

Seriously? How about:

I may be small, but I am a grown man. I am not a boy.

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