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  5. "I do not like their chair."

"I do not like their chair."

Translation:Ich mag ihren Stuhl nicht.

March 2, 2013



We do we put "nicht" right after the verb and when do we put it at the end of the sentence? Is there some kind of general rule?


The rules are a bit confusing here. I noticed that Duolingo has added an explanation for the usage of "nicht" as thus: "Usually 'nicht' follows the conjugated verb and adverbs of time" but this is obviously not the case here.

Declarative sentences seem to be the reason why. http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/The-Position-Of-Nicht.htm


It was my understanding that nicht in this case could be either after the verb or at the end of the sentence - such is the flexible nature of German... I guess that's not the case then!


Does seem like there are strict rules for it.

From my understanding from looking on the internet:

"nicht" always follows:

  • finite verb ( Ruth arbeitet nicht. ) ( Sie läuft nicht. )
  • nouns used as direct/indirect objects ( Sie macht ihre Arbeit nicht. )
  • pronouns used as direct/indirect objects ( Ich glaube es nicht. ) ( Er hilft mir nicht. )
  • specific adverbs of time ( Warum arbeitet sie heute nicht? ) ( Sie ist gestern nicht mitgekommen. )

It is also at the end of a question with a simple yes or no answer too: ( Gibt der Schüler dem Lehrer die Leseliste nicht? )

"nicht" precedes most other kinds of elements:

  • predicate nouns ( Gerd ist nicht mein Freund. ) ( Ich trinke nicht meine Limonde. )
  • predicate adjectives ( Er ist nicht nett. )
  • adverbs ( Ich arbeitet nicht gern mit ihm zusammen. ) ( Simone fährt nicht langsam genug. )
  • general time adverbs ( Ich sehe ihn nicht oft. ) ( Er wird nicht sofort kommen. )
  • prepositional phrases ( Ich fahre nicht zu ihm. )
  • separable prefixes ( Er kommt auch nicht vorbei. ) ( Wir gehen heute nicht einkaufen. )
  • infinitives ( Ich kann ihn nicht verstehen. ) ( Du sollst nicht schalfen. ) ( Du wirst jetzt nicht schlafen gehen. )
  • past principles ( Warum hat er nicht angerufen? )

If several of above occurs in the sentence, "nicht" usually precedes the first element.

We're just going to have to hammer these rules in our heads until it becomes automatic. In a way, though, I think it is helping me understand German sentence structure a little better.


I still don't get it: what is the difference between "Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade" and "Ich mag ihren Stuhl nicht"? Why does "nicht" come before "meine Limonade" but after "ihren Stuhl"?


Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe the difference is the ownership of the noun. The sentence "Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade." Is someone saying that they didn't drink their own lemonade. They are still referring to themselves and don't involve others. Also, in this case, meine Limonade is nominative.

The sentence "Ich mag irhen Stuhl nicht." On the other hand implies that it was someone else's stool. In this case, ihren Stuhl is accusative.

I'm guessing that the ownership of the direct/indirect object changes the position of nicht as well as the case of the direct/indirect object.

Someone please correct me If I'm wrong.


Thanks, but I don't think this is correct. To my understanding, Limonade and Stuhl are accusative in both sentences.


After doing some research, I am certain, first off, that in "Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade", meine Limonade is not a predicate noun as trinke isn't a predicate nominative.

What's more, is I have found multiple websites that say that the first sentence they give in the article that he pulled this from, "Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade" is wrong and it should be "Ich trinke meine Limonade nicht." as "meine Limonade" is a direct object, so it follows the first rule.

I am confident that this is correct and that I was completely wrong in my first statement. I'm just glad that you told me so.


Hmm... Yes, you are correct. They are both accusative. I seem to have mistook this situation for another.

It is still possible that the ownership has to do with it (and I remember, perhaps incorrectly, that there was an instance where pronouns were treated as accusative when it's a different owner than the original subject) but it certainly seems more fallible.

Does anyone have any clarification?


Really useful summary - Thanks for taking the time to set it all out!


you should post this on discussion part of lesson.


Why can't this be "Ich mag nicht ihren Stuhl?"


Because the word order is wrong, the nicht has to be at the end of the clause.


Could anyone explain why it's "ihren" please?


Because "Stuhl" is the object of the verb, so "ihr" has to be in the accusative masculine form, "ihren", I think.


I like their chair not. it works for me when i think this way before translating to german


Is there a reason that "Ich habe ihren Stuhl nicht gern" isn't accepted? I thought that was a proper construction.


deren or Ihren. So "their: in the accusative form is :"deren". It seems correct "deren" and not "Ihren". "Ihren" is not for your???


Why did Duolingo give me wrong when i wrote "ihre" for their?


It would be nice if we had been given a list of possessive pronouns prior to Duolingo using them.

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