1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Je hebt geen appel."

"Je hebt geen appel."

Translation:You do not have an apple.

September 2, 2017



what is the different niet and geen?


Geen is used to negate indefinite nouns. Niet is used to negate everything else, like verbs and prepositions.


niet-not geen-no


We use niet to exile naturally from the act and we use geen to deny ownership of the thing


Why isn't there an "een" before "appel"?


It is already in the "geen"


''geen'' means ''not a''


geen = niet een = not (even) one (but zero)


Thats because i am an apple


Why is "you don't have any apples" acceptable? If you don't have at least one apple, that logically means that you don't have any apples.


"Je hebt geen appel" vs "Je hebt geen appels". Appel is singular, so it's best to translate it in the singular.



Why is "You have no apples" wrong? In English (as a native speaker) I wouldn't say "You have no apple" singular. It just sounds wrong. I'd say "apples" but this was marked as incorrect. Similarly, I'd say "You don't have any apples" rather than singular "You don't have an apple".


Imagine a situation where you are correcting someone. 'Nee, je hebt geen appel. Je hebt een sinaasappel.' (You have an orange) Or 'No, you don't have an apple. I already ate it.'


Agreed; the two sentences are pretty much identical in meaning, and "you have no apples" is a more literal translation.


Couldn't this also be translated as "You don't have any apples"?


I think it could. Have the same trouble though. But not sure


Why is it: "you do not have any apple" and not " you do not have the apple?"


Because the English sentence doesn't end with "... the apple".
One can assume that "heb/hebt/hebben geen" will be "do not have a/an". You do not have apples. = Je hebt geen appels. You do not have the apples. = je hebt de appels niet.

Another thing: 1.) "... een [object]" and "... a/an [object]" always becomes "... geen [object]."

2.) "... the [object]" will become "... de/het [object] niet." when negating a verb.

Generally speaking, "niet = not / do not" and "geen = no / not a/ not any (negating a quantity)"

Goed geluk, tot ziens!


Had a question about de/het vz een when no articles are present, thank you for answering.


Stop lying about it, Shirley.


I can't wait to find out what the Dutch word for Green is.


I don't have an apple is wrong??


I = ik, je = you. Je looking like French je and sounding like Spanish yo definitely doesn't help, but I'm assuming you (and I) will get used to it.

Also, nice 69 day streak.


when i click on geen its pronounced "gen" when i play the full sentence its pronounced "geen" y0 wtf


The translation that I was offered was, "you do not have any apple". It should be, "You do not have any apples". Even though we have singular "appel" in Dutch, in English "an apple" and "any apples" are both correct translation for this sentence, since "geen" translates as "negation + any" and "any" (like "many", "some", etc) takes a plural noun (or a mass noun), never a singular one.


Would "Je hebt een appel niet." be also correct?


No, for definite articles you must use geen


I hope you mean indefinite articles, geen is the negative of een.

niet would negate the verb, but that implies that you don't do that verb with an apple but you do something else with it, which doesn't seem possible if you don't have it. So this verb may not work so well with niet.

I think you could say :"I do not eat the apple." "Ik eet de appel niet." or "Ik eet niet de appel." So the apple is still there for someone else to eat or juggle.

If you said "Ik eet geen appel." then "I do not eat any apple." or "I eat no apple." So then, I don't eat this apple or that one either. Perhaps, I prefer oranges. So you see, the meaning is slightly different. You could say "I do not eat an apple." but you still need to know that it doesn't matter which apple. This is not a definite apple. It would not matter which apple you offered me, I am not going to eat it. Of course, in English this last sentence could also mean that I don't eat one apple, I could eat many of them, but not just one. I am not sure if that works in Dutch too?

Again, if someone says "you do not have an apple." that would be surprising if you have many of them, since if you have many, then you also have them individually.


I am also wondering this!


No, it would have to be 'Je hebt geen appel' or 'Je hebt de appel niet'


I wish the audio could be just a little faster..


Why not "you have not an apple"? Thanks


Try reporting the British version, but even they may be likely to say "You haven't any apple." or "You have no apple." I think they may also say "You have not got an apple." In American English we add "do" with "not" so it is "You do not have an apple." or "You have no apple." but we often say "You have no apples." using the plural, even though the amount is zero.


what is the difference between niet and geen?


what is the difference between niet and geen


Could one say "you have no apple" becuase that make more sense to me


Something I wonder about Dutch is why on earth does it sound like one continuous word when spoken, most letters just don't seem to be pronounced. This isn't exactly a complicated sentence yet I really struggled to understand it on normal speed because the voice lost most of the middle part of the words and it blended into something like "jehenapel"


The (automatic) pronunciation of this sentence is not ideal. (Dutch is my native language and I use it every day.)

De (automatische) uitspraak van deze zin is niet optimaal. (Nederlands is mijn moedertaal en ik gebruik ze elke dag.)

But in almost all languages the pauses between words in the spoken language by native speakers are very short and sometimes absent. When learning a new language, it almost always seems that sentences are one chain of sounds rather than individual words. Dutch is certainly not unique.

Maar in bijna alle talen zijn de pauzes tussen de woorden in de door moedertaalsprekers gesproken taal heel kort en soms afwezig.

Als men een nieuwe taal leert lijkt het bijna altijd zo dat zinnen een aaneenschakeling van klanken zijn in plaats van individuele woorden. Nederlands is daar zeker niet uniek in.


what about "you haven't an apple"


Are "hebt" and "hebben" interchangeable?



Ik heb

Hij heeft

Jij hebt / heb jij

wij/we hebben

jullie hebben

zij/ze heeft

Without context you can not know if the English 'you' means 'jij' or 'jullie'. So you can choose what to use when translating. But you always have to use the corresponding conjugation.


'You don't have an apple' is correct too.


I wrote jij, it is wrong. Jij and Je are the same thing... Jij must be accepted.


'Jij' en 'je' is not exactly the same. Ons is stressed, one is unstressed.

But in this sentence both should be accepted.


I meant they have the same meaning ;) Of course, stressed and unstressed are linguistically differents but I find it is not important in this case :)


You are 100% correct that it is not important in this sentence. Are you sure that 'jij' is not accepted?


Yes, but maybe is it because that was an listening sentence. So they ask probably the exact word...


You haven't an apple


Any advice on how to pronounce the "g" portion of geen? I'm a native English speaker and struggling a bit


Like the jota in Spanish or like a lion/tiger roar ;)

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.