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  5. "Do you not like water?"

"Do you not like water?"

Translation:Magst du kein Wasser?

October 22, 2017



Why can't I say: "Magst du nicht Wasser?" Sorry for the primitive question.


I used "Magst du Wasser nicht" and it was accepted. I've read somewhere that one can use kein(e) to negate nouns, and nicht to negate verbs. But I am not sure now what is negated in this sentence...as long as both negations are accepted. If Someone can clarify this it would be great. Dankeschön!


It is about the water, so "kein" is definitely correct. (You can ask: what don't you like ? Answer: water) Sometimes "nicht" is used with nouns in spoken language, especially in questions


Why is it about the water, not the liking? How do you tell?


??? What do you mean by that???


They're asking why it's about negating the noun (Wasser) and not the verb (magst). In my opinion, you can't tell which the speaker is emphasizing, so both 'Magst du kein Wasser?' and 'Magst du Wasser nicht?' should be correct. I could be wrong, though.



Both are accepted.


The above link is not helpful at all. It says that you should use "nicht" rather than "kein" when you want to negate the whole sentence, which is exactly the opposite of the expected answer in this exercise.


I agree. This example is left ambiguous. Why is there no lesson guidance from Duo? I'm sure there used to be...


I'd like more guidance on Duo too, but this is a free app, so I end up googling German language sites for clarity.


Doesn't get clearer when you pay for it either...


Her explanatory pages are beautifully done.


Thank you this gave me a deep understanding of the two negations


Thank-you for this!


Because we use kein(e) to negate nouns, not nicht. We shouldn't use nicht before nouns.... for example...(ich trinke nicht wasser)...this sentence is wrong...the correct form is...(ich trinke kein Wasser) or we can put the nicht to end of the sentence....like this...(ich trinke wasser nicht)


Small correction: you use "nicht" when the accusative object is not indefinite.
"i do not drink water" = "Ich trinke kein Wasser".
"I do not drink the water" = "Ich trinke das Wasser nicht".


I was thinking the same.


Flip the "nicht" to the end of the sentence; the word order was what was incorrect.


Shouldn't we use 'nicht' here because we are negating 'like' which is a verb and according to lesson nicht should be used for negating verbs and adverbs


Are you thinking in English?

We are saying that we like something, just not water - it is the water that we negate. To negate the verb is to say that the verb is the wrong verb.

Hope this helps.


I don't really see how that's unique to English, "i don't want (noun)" really always translates to "i want (not noun)" in German? Why can't you negate that class of verb instead of the object?


Because it is in fact not the verb that is negated logically, but the object.
If you say "I don't want water", the meaning is that it may be the case that you want something different, but definitely not water.
It dieoes not mean that you just don't want water but maybe instead hate it.
So in fact it is not the verb that is negated, but the object. Other languages esxpress that properly, English formally negates the verb, which is not logical.

If you say "Magst du Wasser nicht?" in German, which is possible grammatically, you expect some answer like "no, I hate it".


"Magst du Wasser nicht" was accepted and I'm not so sure why (?)


I would say you either deny the verb and with that the whole sentence (Magst du Wasser nicht?), or you specifically ask if it is water the person does not like.


Its't this sentence accusative​?


It is accusative, but Wasser is neuter, so it is "kein Wasser", as apposed to let's say "keinen Hund", or "keine Frau".


Reverso translates "Magst du kein Wasser?" by "Do you like no water ?" : this somewhat feels wrong : in wich situation would such a question occur ? ... :-/ At first, I thought this was a politeness issue, as in " would not like (to have)( some) water?", but then, the Reverso translation doesn't seem to make sense, except as slang! Furthermore, in which context would " Magst du ein Wasser ?" exist ??? ( since kein negates ein ! ) In the end, " Magst du nicht wasser ?" makes more sense to me : it sounds like a real question that could actually occur in the real world sort of !


It would be "Magst du Wasser nicht?" which is what I put and it was accepted.


You might say "I want a water" to a waiter at a restaurant in English. I don't know about German.


same in German. "water" becomes countable, because it stands for a bottle or glass of water.


Still in English you can't say a water. You say I want some water. Because water can't be counted. What you can count you use 'some'


What about "hast du Wasser nicht gern?" Isn't that also a possible translation? Any native German speakers care to respond?


Someone on another thread said "gern" tends to refer to verbs (and mag refers to nouns). As an example they said think of it as meaning "gladly" even though that is not an accurate translation. I am not very familiar with German yet and I cannot explain further.


I see what you're saying, but when I studied German in high school, my German teacher (who was a native speaker) encouraged us to always use "haben gern" to refer to nouns (as in, "Ich habe Katzen gern.") She almost never let us use "mag" at all! I wish I could ask her about this now.


In fact there are two different issues:

First of all, Carla is right, that "gern" refers to verbs and "mögen" to nouns. So "I like swimming" is "Ich schwimme gern". You don't say "Ich mag Schwimmen". On the other hand "I like potatoes" is "Ich mag Kartoffeln".

"gernhaben" is a different issue. "haben" is a verb, so "ich habe ... gern" does not contradict the first rule. On the other hand "gernhaben" and "mögen" are nearly synonyms, but there are small differences. I would say with respect to persons or animals they are indeed synonyms, though I personally think that "gernhaben" is a little more intensive, because it speaks not only about a preference, but about a relationship. You can say "ich mag Katzen" or "ich habe Katzen gern" (the latter is rather "I really like cats"). If you talk about inanimate things "gernhaben" sounds a little odd. For food e.g. I'd rather use "mögen".


That makes sense. Thank you.


Why not "Magst du Keine Wasser?"


Because Wasser is neuter, not feminine or plural.


I thought it is accusative.


It is, "Wasser" is neuter, hence it remains the same in the accusative case.


Is "Mögen sie Wasser nicht" correct? duolingo accepted it, but I'm still not sure.


Yes, you can say so (given that "Sie" is capitalized). But it is better to learn "Mögen Sie kein Wasser", because this is compliant to the rule "Sentences with indefinite accusative objects are usually negated using a form of 'kein', not 'nicht' ". For some sentences you can use both but it is hard to describe what characterizes the exceptions.


Would this be an instance where someone would respond with doch?


confused... why kein for das Wasser. surely kein is used for masculine nouns?


Using a form of "kein" has nothing to do with gender. You usually use "kein" when negating sentences with indefinite accusative objects. And this is the case here. It is not "das Wasser" ("the water"), which is negated, but simply "Wasser" ("water"). And the respective form of "kein" is "kein" for both masculine and neutral nouns in nominative and accusative case (it would be "keine**" for feminines).


oh crickey, I'm even more confused now ☹️ How on earth can I learn to get every type of "the" "a/an" "not" depending on what it is, who it is, how it is, when it is..... my head is exploding!!! Thanks for trying though, I appreciate it


For the declension tables of the articles see here: https://german.tolearnfree.com/free-german-lessons/free-german-exercise-48058.php

The good news is, that "kein" and all the possessive adjectives follow the same pattern as "ein" (but they have plural forms as well, which "ein" doesn't").



It's negating "like." Seems like it should be nichts.


No. "nichts" means "nothing". And sentences with an indefinote accusative object are negated using a form of "kein", not "nicht".


One of the rules is to use "kein" to negate a noun that has no article. I guess that would apply. Although you could also argue that it's negating the verb, "like."


The point is that this argumentation doesn't hold. It's a sentence with an indefinite accusative object.


Can someone explain to me where to use Kein and Keine.


When you negate sentences with an indefinite accusative object (with indefinite article or no article at all), you use a form of "kein", not "nicht". "kein" comes directly before the respective noun and is declined like the indefinite article "ein".


Hmmm - think you should double-check this one...

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Du magst kein Wasser? sollte auch akzeptiert werden


In the tips at the beginning of this lesson it says do not use nicht with nouns.


Why kein Wasser? Isn't it neuter? How would I know gender of the water lol


You have to learn the gender of every noun together with the word.
But "Wasser" is indeed neuter. That's why you use "kein". It would be "keinen" for a masculine and "keine" for a feminine noun.


Because you learned the gender of water in Basics 1!


The question is "Do you NOT like water? The tips were specific about the use of NICHT where NOT can be used, and where the question could also be posed as a statement: "You do NOT like water?!"...or as Essam asks: "Magst du nicht Wasser?!"


"Magst du nicht Wasser?" is not a correct German sentence. You can't simply translate word by word. Sentences with an indefinite accusative object are usually negated using a form of "kein", not "nicht".
If you use "nicht" in specific contexts it would be "Magst du Wasser nicht?". But this is a little odd, better use "Magst du kein Wasser?".
Using a statement with changed intonation it would be "Du magst Wasser nicht?" or better "Du magst kein Wasser?".


Progress!!! I can see the twain meeting here, you do agree to the possibility that the crux of this matter has to do with the concept of a person not liking water at all as opposed to not wanting water. I would still argue, not withstanding your reliance on the uber-forensic dissection of the German language according to some ever fixed, un-evolving, no exception allowed, notion that the concept of not liking water, AT ALL, can indeed be expressed as "Magst du nicht Wasser?"


No. This sentence is completely ungrammatical. This is not a possible position for the word "nicht".
And all the other sentences have the meaning of not liking water (at all). None of them speaks about wanting water, at leat not directly. You can use "Magst du kein Wasser?" here and will be understood metaphorically.
"Magst du Wasser nicht?" can only be used for not liking water at all.

And "magst du nicht Wasser?" is plainly wrrong, so itt doesn't mean anything.


Look at the English translation given here ^ "...not like...". "Water" is not what's being negated in the sentence. "Magst du kein Wasser?" translates to 'you like no water?' as if to suggest the listener is crazy because s/he won't drink water, won't bathe in water, won't swim in water and doesn't like any type of water.


Wjat does kein and keine relates to when to use kein keine keinen


"kein" is inflected (adapted to match the qualified niun in case, gender and number) just like any adjective. "Wasser" is neuter, and you need an accusative singular here, so it is "kein".

See all the forms here: https://www.verbformen.com/declension/articles/kein.htm


What about liebe,why can't i use that?


Because it means "love", not "like".


Mögen Sie wasser nicht? Is accepted


Why is it not accusative whereas in the previous one about the woman not liking cheese, they used the accusative?


It is accusative. But "Wasser" is neuter, and neuter nouns have the same form in noninative and accusative.


Do not you like water? Is it correct ???


No, that's not a valid word order.


Hi,How do we know when to use kein and keine by masculine and feminine???


"kein" is inflected (adapts to case, number and gender of the following noun ).
Here we need accusative neuter singular (because "Wasser" is neuter).

See the full table here:


Does nicht have to come after Wasser?


Yes, if you use "nicht" at all. You can say "Magst du kein Wasser?" as well, which is even better.


Kein(en) is in masculine Kein(e) is in feminine And kein is in Neuter noun


After having it drummed into me that in German the verb is [always] in the second position "du Magst kein Wasser?" is incorrect but "Magst du kein Wasser?" is correct. I don't understand why this rule does not apply in this case, what am I missing?


"verb in second positions" holds for sentences (main clauses) that are statements. For subordinate clauses, questions and commands there are different rules for word order. This is a question here!


I will further add that this one of the things about German that is the same as English; the Romance languages, on the other hand, frequently use voice inflection rather than word order to indicate a question. So embrace the English similarity!


I wish that DL would stop giving hover hints that we have either not yet learned or just completely omit the hint that is the correct answer after all. This is a very confusing teaching strategy.


The "hints" are not for cheating, butprovide additional information in the form of a dictionary.
If you don't consider them helpful, just don't use them. Nobody forces you to look at them, and it is even considered best to use them as seldom as possible.


And yet another Duolingo contradiction. Tips say one thing, exercise another.


That's not a contradiction at all. The "hints" refer to single words, which need not necessarily show up in the translation of the complete sentence at all. And not all potential translations of a word fit in a specific context.


Which does rather support my original point that the app is light on actual 'teaching'. People have different learning experiences. I should have pre-fixed my previous post with 'in my opinion'.


This is definitely so. Apart from the "tips and notes" written by course contributors, there is in fact no teaching at all within Duolingo. The method is completely based on trial and error (and repetition) and the discussion in the user forum.
I think Duo has its merits, but I would not recommend to learn a language based on Duolingo alone.

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