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  5. "No, they do not have babies."

"No, they do not have babies."

Translation:Nein, sie haben keine Babys.

March 8, 2013



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


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


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'.


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.


There appears to be no way to report "none of the answers are correct" for a multiple choice question. So, it is seven years later, and Duo's correct multiple choice answer is still "Wir haben keine Babies" not "Babys".


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


This question was asked because in multiple choice not a single choice had Babys option. Should this be reported or kept as it is?


in multiple choice not a single choice had Babys option

Do you have a screenshot you can show us?

Upload it to a website somewhere, please (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL.


Actually the word Kinder is used. Don't know why duolingo pushes Babys.


Babys = babies

Kinder = children

There's no reason to be inaccurate.

If you don't like the word "Baby", you can use "Säugling" instead, but you should know that "Baby" is used a lot more, and "Säugling" sounds really formal.


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


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


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


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


'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.


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.


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?


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


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


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".


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


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


@Pronkman666 means the German plural. In a muliple choice question, Duolingo asks us to translate "No, they do not have babies" to German, but gives us "Nein, sie haben keine Babies" as the only correct option (as at 06.05.2020). Picture here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yASj0l4wS-fhGYbTHYJ2LEApFeZCMKPf


@Pronkman666 means the German plural.

The lowercase probably threw me off -- the German word is, of course, Babys with a capital B.

gives us "Nein, sie haben keine Babies" as the only correct option (as at 06.05.2020). Picture here

Wow, that is bizarre. I'm not sure where that came from -- I can't see anything like that on the back end.

Lingot for the screen shot, though.


"Nein, sie haben Babys nicht." What have I made? Is that a proper sentence?


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


That's correct.


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


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.


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


Verb always comes second.


That form is only used after a subordinating conjunction.


Why not use keinen instead of kein?


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.


"Nein, haben sie keine Babys"

Why is this wrong? I have the verb here in second position. Isn't German a V2 language?


I have the verb here in second position.

No, you don't -- it's in the first position of haben sie keine Babys.

Nein is not part of that clause; it's on its own.


Only one answer is gramatically correct: Nein, sie haben keine Kinder. Therefore it is the only answer possible.

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