"I don't have a fence."

Translation:Ich habe keinen Zaun.

June 11, 2017

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TomerSegal1

Why is it keinen and not kein?

bonus question, if instead of Zaun we had a feminine noun, would it be keine?

September 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

Zaun is masculine and the masculine accusative form is keinen. kein would only be correct if the noun were neuter (at least in a position where accusative is required like here).

As for your bonus question: That’s correct. For example: Ich habe keine Mauer. (I don’t have a wall.)

September 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TomerSegal1

Thanks!

October 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/D-SprichtDeutsch

Wand is also wall and Mauer is also wall?

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

Correct. We distinguish between walls which divide an inside from an outside or rooms within a building (Wand) and walls which stand free and simply serve to divide a bigger area into distinct parts (Mauer).

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kiersten_Moon13

Why can't someone say "Ich habe ein Zaun nicht"?

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/quis_lib_duo

1) The fence is the direct object, hence in accusative case – and the article needs to correspond: ... einen Zaun...

2) "If what you are negating is a noun, "nicht" or "kein" (or "keine," "keinen" etc.) will precede the noun. Use "kein" if what you are negating is a noun preceded by ein/eine."

( https://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/101/Mehr_Vorsprung_Grammatik/Kapitel_2.html )

3) If you say Ich habe nicht einen Zaun..., many German speakers will expect you to continue with ... , sondern (number > 1), because one would take the nicht to negate the number (which can look like the indefinite article) and not the (article +) noun.

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hannibal-Barkas

If you say"ich habe nicht einen Zaun" you are saying something like "I don't have even a single fence" like "I need to install ten fences, but I don't even have a single one

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

I wonder, does it accept “Ich habe keinen Hehler” (Hehler being “fence” as in “person who buys and sells stolen goods”)?^^"

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ughngugn

In English the two words are homonyms, but they aren't in German, so you can't... Every language wil have different homonyms.

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

Exactly, so “Ich habe keinen Hehler” should be a valid translation of English “I have no fence” (although in the other direction it is unambiguous as you said). But I’m not sure if the moderators thought about that possibility.

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ughngugn

ohh I see what you're saying. I have no idea! Let me know if you try it.

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

I would if I were taking the course myself rather than just browsing the forums for whether anybody has questions that need answering ;)

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/fb56653

why not ich habe nicht einen Zaun accepteble as better grammar

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

nicht ein (in whatever case) is almost totally non-existent in German; we use kein (in that case). You can do the same thing in English as well, although it sounds somewhat antiquated: “I have no fence.”

There are only two cases where I might say “nicht ein” and both of them involve unusual emphasis due to special contexts:

  1. If I want to stress the number for contrast: “Ich habe nicht einen Zaun, sondern zwei.” (I have not one fence but two.) – But this is not a possible interpretation in our sentence above because the English version has “a” rather than “one”.
  2. If I want to put special emphasis on the noun for contrast: “Ich habe nicht einen Zaun, sondern eine Mauer.” (I have not a fence but a wall.)

And even then nicht einen is only obligatory in the first of these contexts. In the second, even though nicht einen is acceptable, I would still prefer keinen.

TL;DR: It’s safest to just use kein instead of nicht ein at all times and reserve nicht ein for when you want to say “not one [but another number]”.

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cinderella0985

What makes a word masculine?

August 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1002

the gender :-)
Every word has a gender (masculine, feminine, neuter). There is generally no rule why which word is which gender. You just need to learn it together with the word.

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EzeEjiogu

warum nicht: Zaun habe ich nicht?

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
Mod
  • 125

You’re missing an article there: einen Zaun. If you add it, it should be accepted, though this word order places a lot of emphasis on Zaun: “I don’t have a fence* (but I do have…)”.

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EzeEjiogu

Ah right. Thanks

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FE_1
  • 478

Ich habe ein Zaun nicht. Why is it wrong?

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/06Bec06

I have the same question. I wrote: Ich have einen Zaun, nicht. (Used einen for Masculine Zaun) Why is nich t at the end wrong?

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1002

Sentences with an indefinite accusative object (i.e. with an indefinite article or no article at all) are negated using "kein". So it is:
- "Ich habe einen Zaun" --> "Ich habe keinen Zaun"
- "Ich habe den Zaun" --> "Ich habe den Zaun nicht"

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen193330

I so struggle with ein/einen and kein/keinen...

January 5, 2019
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