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  5. "Wenn ich nicht koche, esse i…

"Wenn ich nicht koche, esse ich nicht."

Translation:When I do not cook, I do not eat.

March 14, 2013



i think nicht always comes before the verb , so why esse ich nicht?


Also, why "ich nicht koche"?


These kind of questions show that you're still thinking in English.


German has way more grammar flexibility regarding word order than English.

Sometimes nicht is used in a similar manner as in English but sometimes it is at the end of a statement. Sometimes you will see nicht used in both manners, like in this sentence. :)

The key to get used to (and understand) this is to practice it. If your native language has the same grammar flexibility, it can help.


German has a lot pf flexibility but that's not the reason why koche comes at the end of Wenn ich nicht koche, it's because of the conjuction wenn


If you've read the conjunction chapter, you'd know. Wenn (if/when) is a conjuction which pushes the verb at the end of the sentence: wenn ich nicht koche

Everytime when there's a conjunction in the first part of the sentence, the second part of the sentence after the comma will always start with the verb: esse ich nicht


Would a good translation be: If I don't cook, I don't eat?


This person is REALLY picky.


What is wrong with this translation: I do not eat when I do not cook?


The way I learned it, "wenn"doesn't mean "when;" it means "if." Although their translation says it does mean "when," so take my advice with a grain of salt :)


I think both translations "if" and "when" are possible for "wenn". I have seen it many times.


I think the only difference is where the emphasis is being placed


could someone explain me the difference between Wann and Wenn in German


This is always a problem for us English speakers, because we have one word which covers multiple concepts, for which German has individual words!

Wann is the when we use interrogatively: ,"wann ist dein Geburtstag?" or any other When...?, such as "when do the shops close?"

"Wenn" is a conditional when, so the simplest way to work out if you should use "wenn" is to try substituting "if". If "if" doesn't work in the sentence(Wenn ,,if" nicht funktioniert...), then "wenn" isn't appropriate. For example, "if I don't cook, I don't eat" -does- work.

A third one is "als" which is -when- in the past. "When I was younger, I had a dog", etc.


Thank you so clear and comprehnsible. I took notes.


I thought that nicht always follows the conjugated verb, in this sentence "ich nicht koche" .... Now I'm lost. It always counted as wrong for nicht to come before the verb, now it is before the verb !!!!!!!!!!! what's going on ?


I'll try to break it down for you. The most important thing in a German sentence is the position of the verb. Your priority is always to get the verb in its natural place, and then the rest of the sentence follows.

Very simply (I'm over-simplifying!), German verbs either need to be the second idea/concept (not the second word) in a clause or last in a clause. The latter is what we are dealing with here. German conjunctions/connectives are divided into co-ordinating conjunctions (examples: und, aber) which simply join clauses and sub-ordinating conjunctions which drive the verb to the end of the clause.

'Wenn' is a subordinating conjunction, so the 'koche' has to go last in the clause. So nicht simply couldn't follow the conjugated verb, and so it precedes 'koche' instead.

Before you ask, the reason why 'esse' takes the first position after the comma is because 'wenn ich nicht koche' is a subordinate clause, i.e. a sentence fragment.


If you begin a sentence with a fragment that wouldn't make sense on its own, you need a [verb],[verb] arrangement. I always think of sentence fragments as very long subjects in a sentence that follows the most common [subject] [verb] [object] arrangement.


Thanks, that was very helpful.

So normally they are " Ich koche nicht" and " Ich esse nicht" if they were separate phrases. But the presence of "Wenn" as a "subordinator" generates the "Musical chairs game" with the words :)

BTW: thx for the link it helped a lot


This should be posted at the beginning of this lesson so everyone can read it. So helpful, Danke!


Why is "esse ich nicht" and not "Ich esse nicht"?


It's a main clause, following a sub-ordinate clause. This explains it well, I think. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/german/grammar/conjunctionsrev2.shtml


Can someone please help me: do we need to use dativ with the verb kochen or akkusativ? For example, i cook the fish, would it be "ich koche den Fisch" or "ich koche dem Fisch" ? Same question about the verbs warten and kommen, do we need to use dativ or akkusativ with them?


Please DL, make the choices a little clearer to read -- how about "bolding" them? When I challenge myself on speed dial, it is hard to distinguish "hot" from "not".


That's my story :(


that cant be healthy for you...

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