"Grandfather is not my father."

Translation:Großvater ist nicht mein Vater.

June 11, 2017

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/fenix_vulgaris

The placement of "nicht" can be difficult. The most useful idea that I have come across is this:

In short, "nicht" is always placed in front of the negated element. If the sentence as a whole is negated, this means that the verb is negated, but that has to always occupy the second position and cannot be moved further down. However, the verb is often split into a finite part (conjugated part) in second position and other things that are placed in the end of the sentence, which altogether has been simply named verb box. The "nicht" becomes a part of the verb and is placed in front of the verb box. Sometimes the verb box is empty, then "nicht" will be in end position.
In sentences of the structure "X is Y" (see Paralars1) Y is a predicative. In this case "to be" is only a copula verb that is completed by Y, which is part of the verb and placed in the verb box at the end of the sentence. In the example sentence the predicative is "mein Vater".

Ich sehe dich nicht. (empty verb box, "nicht" at the end)
I do not see you.

Ich sehe dich nicht an. (separable prefix "an" from verb "ansehen" in the verb box)
I do not look at you.

Ich habe dich nicht gesehen. (participle in the verb box)
I have not seen you.

Ich bin nicht dein Vater. (dein Vater is a predicative noun of verb "dein Vater sein")
I am not your father.

Ich bin nicht grün. (grün is a predicative adjective of the verb "grün sein")
I am not green.

I kann nicht schwimmen. (schwimmen is the infinitive full verb to modal verb können)
I can not swim.

More on this here:
https://yourdailygerman.com/2016/06/23/position-nicht-german/

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cambarellus

Luke, Ich bin deinen Vater.

March 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fenix_vulgaris

Almost. In sentences of the structure „a is b.“ a is the subject in nominative, is is a copula verb that is completed with the predicative noun b also in nominative. Here, the predicative noun „dein Vater“ should be in nominative not accusative. Hence,

Luke, ich bin dein Vater.

March 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NicolasS080815

Why is not "grossvater is nicht meinen vater" right? It should be in the accusativ case isn't?

January 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

No, the verb "sein" requires the nominative case. It is a copula verb (explanation on canoo.net: http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Wort/Verb/VollHilfModal/Kopulaverb.html?lang=en)

Please also note that in German, nouns have to be written with a capital letter: Großvater ist nicht mein Vater.

January 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/archedmandible

Hallo. So anytime the verb 'sein' is used, I should not use the accusativ?

March 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fenix_vulgaris

No, not anytime. You should use the nominative for predicative nouns like in the example sentence. You mostly find predicative nouns in sentences of the structure "A is B." Here, A is the subject in nominative, "is" is the copula verb that is completed with the predicative noun "B" also in nominative. You could say the completed verb is "to be B". This means you have two nominatives and no accusative in this kind of sentence.

You have the same thing in English, but it often leads to confusion, because the case systems got almost lost in English. Almost means that there are some remnants in the English pronouns. I/me, she/her, he/him....

This is he and I on the photo.
While this is very correct, it sounds unusual to hear nominative pronouns as predicative nouns in nominative.

This is him and me on the photo. This is very common and acceptable in English. The object case pronouns sound more in line with the feeling of having an object case after the verb. In German with a more flexible word order and rich case system, the same would sound simply wrong. German insists on the nominative.

Das sind er und ich auf dem Bild. (never ihn or mich)

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RageOnery

I got this right but I'm just want someone to explain to me, when do we place 'nicht' at the end of a phase?

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/quis_lib_duo

In a (simple) declarative clause, when you negate the (inflected) verb:

Er redet. – Er redet nicht.
Sie mag ihn. – Sie mag ihn nicht.
Wir lesen das Buch. – Wir lesen es nicht.

Cf. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-position-of-nicht-1444481 .

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MonaBenjamin

Thanks so much for that link; very helpful.

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Paralars1

It's not at the end here, because for sentences like "X ist Y", you put the nicht before the Y, which could be a noun, an adjective or an object phrase.

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Machmet

Can someone explain me, why the verb "to be" (seid), don't have the direct object in accusative case? Actually I'm always using the nominative case with the verb "to be", but never think that a negated sentence get it too. Just in case, there is other verbs like this one?

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/fenix_vulgaris

The grammatical concept you are looking for is "predicative noun". Predicative nouns are usually in nominative and they mostly but not exclusively occur with the verb "sein" in German and just as well with "to be" in English. However, since English doesn't have much of a distinction between nominative and object case, there is hardly any consequence for this. In German predicatives are not inflected (nouns in nominative, adjectives without inflected endings).

http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Satz/Satzglied/Praedikat/Praedikativ.html

https://www.merriam-webster.com/video/it-is-i-vs-its-me

December 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/YoussefLeo

Would "meiner" work in this case? I've seen some charts that show male nominative in first person singular = meiner/mein

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

No, "meiner" would not work in this sentence.

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fenix_vulgaris

The difference is if the possessive (my/mein) is used as a determiner or as a pronoun. The same goes for English with the forms (my/mine).

A determiner is connected to a noun (in place of an article).

Großvater ist nicht mein Vater.
Grandfather is not my father.

A pronoun stands in place of a noun.

Meiner ist nicht mein Vater.
Mine is not my father. (strange example)

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nowave7

"Opa is nicht mein Vater" not accepted for "Grandfather is not my father"?!

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod

    As mentioned in the tips & notes for this lesson:

    Just like in English, there are informal and formal words for "mother", "father", "grandmother", and "grandfather". Note that in German, the difference between formal and informal is a lot more pronounced than in English. The informal terms are pretty much only used within your own family.

    October 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/nowave7

    Thanks for the explanation. I have to admit, I didn't quite pay attention to the tips and notes.

    November 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jrg693239

    alabama people must be confused as hell by this.

    November 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/MonaBenjamin

    LOL!

    November 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/DawsonDarl

    Also: Billie Jean is not my lover!

    January 7, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/DoubleLingot

    Grossvater ist mein Vater nicht?

    February 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

    This word order is not correct in German.

    February 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/averytheloftier

    This may seem somewhat silly but it would be nice if putting "is" instead of "ist" was considered a typo and not an incorrect word.

    March 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/lethang001

    Mein Answort " Ope ist nicht mein Vater" sollt korrect sein

    June 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

    Das Wort "Opa" endet auf "a". Deine Antwort wäre sachlich korrekt, aber ich denke, dass "Opa" und "Grandfather" nicht dieselbe Sprachebene widerspiegeln.

    Die genaue Entsprechung von "Opa" wäre "Grandpa" oder "Grandad". Diese Ausdrücke sind eher familiär.

    Die genaue Entsprechung von "Grandfather" ist "Großvater". Beide Ausdrücke sind eher offiziell.

    June 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/lethang001

    so it is like "du" and "sie", isnt it?

    June 22, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

    It's not exactly the same as the distinction between the formal ("Sie") and informal ("Du") form of address, but similar.

    "Opa" would be used by a child when talking about their grandfather. The words "Opa" and "Papa" are on that same level of register.

    "Großvater" is on the same level as "Vater".

    That said, I agree that your answer "Opa ist nicht mein Vater" should have been accepted by Duolingo because it should be within the tolerance for correct answers. I just wanted to alert you to the difference between the two words.

    June 22, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/lethang001

    Thank you a lot. Viel Erfolg

    June 23, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jrg693239

    it is really more like "grandfather" vs. "gramps" or "grandpa" in english

    November 3, 2018
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