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Everyone/All/No one

Just wondering if someone could give me some pointers regarding when to use "Alle/s/n vs. Jede/r/n" and "Niemand vs. Keiner"

I know I can say "Jede Katze mag Milch." Can I also say "Alle Katze mag Milch."? Is one more common than the other, or is it roughly like English, in which people interchangeably say "all cats drink milk" or "every cat drinks milk"?

Are "niemand" and "keiner" interchangeable?


EDIT: My second example should read "Alle Katzen mogen Milch."

August 19, 2017



'Jeder' means 'each' or 'every' and comes before the singular of nouns of things that are countable. It changes endings like 'der'. Just like in your first example.

'Alle' means 'all' and comes before the plural of nouns of countable things. So your second example would have to be 'Alle Katzen mögen Milch.'

'Allen' is the form of 'alle' in the dative plural.

'Alles' means 'everything' and takes a singular verb. 'Alles ist fertig' = 'Everything is done.' 'Everything' could be made up of several individual and therefore countable tasks, but here they're being viewed in bulk, so the verb is singular.

'Niemand' means 'no one', generally a person. 'Niemand kam' = 'No one came.'

'Keiner' as a pronoun means 'none' or 'not one' and can refer to anything countable, animate or inanimate. 'Ich mag keines dieser Autos' = (literally) 'I like not one of these cars' or 'I don't like any of these cars.' This example uses 'keines' neuter singular accusative to go with 'Auto'. 'Keiner' could replace 'Niemand' in the previous example. 'Keiner kam'.


right. I messed up in my second example, I meant to write "alle katzen mogen Milch." So everything is pretty much what I thought. Is there a norm regarding whether people usually say "Jeder katze mag Milch" vs. "Alle katzen mogen Milch"? In American English, I think usually people would say "all cats drink milk" when speaking generally, and use "every" either when 1. there is a specific group of cats being referred to, or 2. when emphasizing that it is EVERY one. Is it similar in German?

As for "keiner," your example "Ich mag keines dieser Autos" was very helpful. thanks!!!


It's similar in that Alle Katzen mögen Milch refers to the cats as a whole while Jede Katze mag Milch refers to them individually -- it's more emphatic that it refers to all individuals.


We need a native German speaker to answer your remaining question.

I agree with your description of the differences in English. My sense is it's the same in German, but let's see if anyone else comments.

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