"No, they do not have babies."

Translation:Nein, sie haben keine Babys.

March 8, 2013

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Are both plural forms "Babies" and "Babys" really used in German? I thought it was only "Babys".

March 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

Only "Babys" is correct. The same goes for "Partys", "Hobbys", "Ponys", etc. Note that many native speakers are not aware of this.

March 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya

Yes, I guess the problem arises partly because of marketing. Marketing people tend to use a lot of English phrases and prominently place their slogans everywhere. So, it's not uncommon to see 'Babies' written on a pack of disposable diapers. Many Germans adopt these spellings. But as christian already pointed out the correct German plural is 'Babys'.

March 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SasquatchFingers

In my version, it was presented as a multiple choice with only "babies" used. I also understand the only correct version being "Babys", but apparently Duo is ambivalent about it.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Saucelands

Nor is Duolingo, it seems. Only "Babies" is given as the spelling.

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Monkeylabs

Can someone explain why 'Nein, sie haben Babys nicht' is wrong?

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Because you use "kein" in German to negate nouns.

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Monkeylabs

But why was it correct to swap Babys and sie around?

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Why not? You only have to keep the verb second.

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Monkeylabs

'Nein, Babys haben sie nicht' is correct; but 'Nein, sie haben Babys nicht' is not? The verb is second in the second sentence too. I must be missing a point or sth, but I find it confusing right now.

January 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

I guess there is a subtle difference here: "Sie haben keine Babys" negates "Babys", and "Babys haben sie nicht" negates "haben". As if they had something, but not babies.

Normally, if you use the straight word order and say that someone does not have something (or has "no something"), you use "kein". In English, "no" is not so commonly used as "kein" in German.

Also, I believe it is a thing you learn by seeing it numerous times. After you get tons of "nicht's" and "kein's", you get a feel of which word suits better.

January 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cmorlotte

In the original sentence the negative modifies the verb. So why is nicht wrong? If the sentence was "They have no babies" I would get it, but if it's "don't have" shouldn't "nicht" be ok?

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

I guess that's just the way German is: they prefer saying "they have no babies" rather than "they don't have babies".

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cmorlotte

But is the sentence uncommon but grammatically correct, or uncommon and incorrect?

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

I'm not exactly an expert on this, but I'd say it is so uncommon that it is almost incorrect. Basically, "nicht" negates a verb, and "kein" negates a noun, but in this case you can negate both the verb (have) and the noun (babies). I can suggest a rule of thumb: if you can fit in "kein", use it (and negate the noun). If you can't, it's time to use "nicht".

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cmorlotte

Ok, thanks

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Levbed

"Ein" have no form for plural, but "kein" seems to have, right?

February 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

That's correct.

August 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JeremyBabcock

Ein doesn't have a direct plural in the same way that kein does, but the plural would be "welche."

February 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

For the pronoun, perhaps: Er hat keinen Löffel aber ich habe einen / aber ich habe welche.

But for the indefinite article, no. Er hat keinen Löffel, aber er hat eine Gabel / aber er hat *welche Gabeln -- welche simply sounds wrong to me here.

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JhansenC

Why not, "Nein, sie keine Babys haben"?

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/kevinkaplan

Verb always comes second.

October 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/A.S.Beg

Why not use keinen instead of kein?

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

keinen is masculine accusative singular (e.g. er hat keinen Zucker) or dative plural (e.g. er hilft keinen Pferden).

But here you need accusative plural, which is keine.

August 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Pronkman666

Why is babies used as the plural? It should be babys

May 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

In English, the plural of "baby" is "babies" with -ie-.

May 3, 2018
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