"Fish don't drink orange juice!"

Translation:Fische trinken keinen Orangensaft!

January 6, 2018

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Have been learning English for more than ten years, don't know the plural form of fish is fish not fishes till this moment. ( Facepalm


The plural of fish is usually fish, but fishes has a few uses. In biology, for instance, fishes is used to refer to multiple species of fish. For example, if you say you saw four fish when scuba diving, that means you saw four individual fish, but if you say you saw four fishes, we might infer that you saw an undetermined number of fish of four different species.



You are not alone with this. :D


Your English very good, keep practicing!!

Fish is both singular and plural. The only use for the work fishes in when the infinitive of "fish" is conjugated. Ex- He FISHES, she FISHES. Fishes can be used when describing different types of fish, but it is perfectly fine to use fish.


You and many native English speakers. See also: deer, sheep, and elk.


Is orange juice plural? Or why is it keinen?


It's masculine singular and, in this sentence, in the accusative case (as it's the direct object of the verb trinken).

Thus the masculine accusative singular form keinen is used in front of it.


Very good explanation


Thank you for this explanation


You must admit that Duolingo has created some very interesting sentences for us to use in conversations


yeah, i'm going to be saying some weird stuff "Hello, my name is Quinn and fish don't drink orange juice, nice to meet you" ... LOL!


it would be less awkward to say that than the sentence I have just come across: Ich trage keine Kleidung (I do not wear clothes).


As I understand it, Freikörperkultur is accepted as something quite healthy and natural in Germany.


Well, learning a language should be like putting together a puzzle... learn this sentence and instead of saying FISH, say JUNGEN, FRAUEN, MÄNNER, etc, and now you get the idea... instead of ORANGE JUICE, say APFELSAFT, WASSER, WEIN, BIER, KAFFEE, etc... you get the idea


Yeh why would a fish drink orange juice anyway and cows wear hats? Makes it very interesting


Why are both "keinen" and "nicht" possible? Viele danke!


Fische trinken keinen Orangensaft! -> Fish drink no orange juice Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft! -> Fish do not drink orange juice


I wrote Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft and Duo said it was wrong!?


Yes, it's wrong.

It would be used when you are contrasting something: Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft, sondern Apfelsaft "It's not orange juice that fish drink but (rather) apple juice".

But without a contrast, it sounds wrong or unfinished.

WilliamDuren above seemed to be trying to map German grammar onto English grammar; I don't think the result matches the way German people think and English people think.


I would appreciate you explaining this another way. I used ‘nicht’ because in the Tips and Notes it says ‘nicht’ is used for, “Negating the verb”. I thought that would apply because it is ‘do not drink’ rather than ‘drink’. The Tips and Notes say about ‘kein’: “Simply put, kein is composed of k + ein and placed where the indefinite article would be in a sentence.” Would the positive statement really be “Fish drink an orange juice”? I thought it would have been “Fish drink orange juice”. I really do not understand this AND am really struggling with the negative in German in general.


One thing you must understand is that "nicht" is used for adjectives after the "verb" and "keine" is used for nouns after the verb. I hope this will be helpful


You don't negate the verb "trinken" but the noun "Orangensaft". Fish might drink all sorts of things, but they don't drink orange juice.


So 'nicht' in front of a noun is only used when some more info about contrast is added...?

"Ich bin kein Mädchen." - "I am not a girl."

"Ich bin nicht ein Mädchen, ich bin ein Junge." - "I am not a girl, I am a boy."

I can't say: "Ich bin nicht Mädchen," because I would either need to switch the 'nicht' to 'kein' OR add an indefinite article 'ein' before the 'Mädchen' (and add more info on contrast)... right?

When I say: "Ich bin nicht das Mädchen," does it mean "I am not the girl," as in 'the kind of girl who likes pink'...

Is my thinking correct?



Yes, you are right. Just to sum up, the rules are:
In sentences with an indefinite accusative object (i.e. having either an indefinite article or no article at all) or (as in this case, predicative complement), you use a form of "kein", not "nicht":
"Ich bin kein Mädchen".
The exception is, if the sentence is followed by a continuation that presents a contrast:
"Ich bin nicht ein Mädchen, sondern ein Junge".

Other sentences, i.e. those with definite accusative objects or without an accusative object (resp. predicative complement), are negated by "nicht".
"Ich bin nicht das Mädchen".
"Ich schlafe nicht".

When I say: "Ich bin nicht das Mädchen," does it mean "I am not the girl," as in 'the kind of girl who likes pink'...


I can't say: "Ich bin nicht Mädchen," because I would either need to switch the 'nicht' to 'kein' OR add an indefinite article 'ein' before the 'Mädchen' (and add more info on contrast)... right?

yes, just like you can't say "I am not girl". Think of "kein" as "not a" or "not any".


Would "Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft" be similar to, "Fish don't drink, orange juice?" If there's one thing learning German has taught me it's that I never really learned English.


"Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft" is not a correct German sentence, if standing alone. Sentences with an indefinite accusative object are negated using a form of "kein".
You can use that sentence only if it has a continuation: "Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft, sondern Wasser" ("Fish don't drink orange juice, but water").

What should "Fish don't drink, orange juice" mean? That would be "Fische trinken nicht, Orangensaft" in German, but what should "orange juice" mean then?


I wrote «Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht!»
Duo corrected me to «Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft!»
This seems incorrect to me. If one uses keinen, then of course it goes before "Orangensaft", but ifnicht is used, it should go at the end of the sentence — nicht wahr?


Yes, you're right.

And your sentence works as a translation. It's less common, however, depending on the context. You'd normally use this phrasing to emphasise the verb, e.g. "Wir essen die Pferde nicht, wir reiten sie" - "We don't eat the horses, we ride them"; as opposed to "Wir essen keine Pferde!" = "We don't eat horses!" = "Horses are not something we eat".


Danke! "Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht" is as much wrong as to be unaccepted?


I so look forward to saying "Apfelsinensaft" and when my chance comes I misspell it. duoLingo is just looking for a reason to nix "Apfelsinensaft". If a fella can't enjoy saying "Apfelsinensaft" why bother learning German?!


I say it should be" Fisch trinke keinen Orangensaft" - what is the difference in the spellings?


Since the English "fish" is a plural here, you need the plural in German, too: singular "der/ein Fisch", plural "(die) Fische".

(In case you're not familiar with this: in some contexts, the English plural of "fish" is "fish", in others it's "fishes". In German, we just use "Fische" in every context, except when it's food, e.g. as a headline in a restaurant's menu: "starters, pasta, fish" = "Vorspeisen, Pasta, Fisch"; "I don't eat fish / pork" = "Ich esse keinen Fisch / kein Schweinefleisch".)

So you need third person plural for the verb as well: "they drink" = "sie trinken" - which gets you: "Fische trinken keinen Orangensaft."

"trinke" is first person singular: "I drink" = "ich trinke".


So why is keinen used instead of keiner? I can't seem to figure out dative vs. accusative vs nominative etc.


"Der Saft": masculine singular nominative (subject); "den Saft": masculine singular accusative (direct object); "dem Saft": masculine singular dative (indirect object).


If you you use Fisch it would be trinkt not trinke. That is probably why it was wrong. Plural would be Fische trinken.


Why is it keinen and not keine?


Because Orangensaft is masculine (like der Saft).

keine would be appropriate for a feminine noun or a for a plural one.


As the word Saft is masculine (der).


Shouldn't "Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht!" be accepted?


Why is 'Fische nicht trinken Orangensaft' incorrect? In this form, I'm using nicht to negate the verb (trinken) instead of using keinen to negate the noun (Orangensaft) -- and I believe this should be correct. Am I wrong?

Thanks in advance.


If you want to use nicht, it would have to be Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht. (And because you're negating the verb, it would imply that they do something else to the orange juice -- spill it? smoke it? sell it?)

Since the verb has to be the second thing in the sentence, Fische nicht trinken is impossible since you would have both Fische and nicht in front of it, pushing the verb to the third position.


Das ist auch gut so!!


can it be fische trinken oragensaft nicht ?


Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht! would usually mean that you're negating the verb -- what they do to the orange juice is not DRINK it, but instead they do something else to it.


that is a very good and helpful explanation, Danke!


Why Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht is incorrect?


If the negated sentence has an indefinite (i.e. with indefinite article or no article at all) accusative object, negation is done using a form of "kein", not "nicht".
So the negation of
"Ich will den Orangensaft" is "Ich will den Orangensaft nicht." but
"Ich will Orangensaft" becomes "Ich will keinen Orangensaft".

There are two exceptions of this rule:
1.) If you move one part of the sentence to the beginning, in order to emphasize it, "nicht" is used again:
"Orangensaft will ich nicht."
2.) If you want to particularly negate a specific part of the sentence, in order to contrast it with a different alternative, then "nicht" is used in a position directly before this part of the sentence. But in this case the sentence must have a continuation. E.g.
"Ich will nicht Orangensaft, sondern Apfelsaft."


Hi, I answered a question that was similar to this one. What´s the difference between your last sentence and this one: https://ibb.co/p16JCHT In that image you can see there is not a continuation, despite that Duo marked it as correct.


There are indeed some exceptional cases where you can use "nicht" even in cases where there's no continuation. The sentence you quote belongs into this category. Unfortunately I can't give you a good rule here (besides a "gut feeling").
But you are definitely on the safe side if you adhere to the rule not to use "nicht" without a continuation. That's the reason why Duo chose to offer the "kein" solution in your sentence as the "main solution".


Thanks for replying. I didn't expect your answer so fast.


Duo Tips explain this: Negating a noun that has a definite article like der Junge (the boy) in Das ist nicht der Junge. (That is not the boy). Negating a noun that has a possessive pronoun like mein Glas (my glass) in Das ist nicht mein Glas. (That is not my glass).

Why in the example you gave us ["Ich will den Orangensaft" is "Ich will den Orangensaft nicht." ], "nicht" is after "den Orangensaft"? Shouldn´t it be before "den" according to what Duo Tips explain?

I thought in a hypothesis: Maybe you have to put "nicht" right after the verb just when you use "sein" or when you just want to use a short phrase without a verb like "nicht das Buch!". Otherwise, it is needed to use "nicht" after the accusative object. Please tell me if my hypothesis is correct.

There is something else I would like to ask:

"Ich trinke den Wein mit meinen Freund ins ein Restaurant". (Let´t guess that someone in the past told me about a specific wine and I'm telling him by phone what I am doing)

If I wanted to negate that sentence where should I put "nicht"? After "den Wein" or before? Is there only a correct position for "nicht" in this case? If not, then what would be the effects of using "nicht" in different parts of the sentence?


OK, now I have to go into the details.
You can negate either the complete sentence (or rather its verb) or particular parts of the sentence.
In the first case the correct place for the word "nicht" is basically at the end of the sentence (there are still some things that go after it, e.g. infinitives, participles, second parts of separable verbs, predicative complements), given that you use "nicht" at all, because you have to use a form of "kein" when the accusative object is indefinite (i.e. with either an indefinite article or no article at all).
So the negation of "Ich trinke den Orangensaft" ("I drink the orange juice" is "Ich trinke den Orangensaft nicht" ("I don't drink the orange juice"), but the negation of "Ich trinke Orangensaft" ("I drink orange juice") is "Ich trinke keinen Orangensaft" ("I don't drink orange juice").

But if you want to negate only "Orangensaft", thus saying that of course you are drinking, but not orange juice, you always use "nicht", and its place is directly in front of the element negated. "Ich trinke nicht Orangensaft". But in this case the sentence needs a continuation.

Concerning your second question:
"Ich trinke den Wein mit meinen Freund ins ein Restaurant" is not a correct German sentence. It should be "Ich trinke den Wein mit meinem Freund (or: mit meinen Freunden, in case you wanted the plural) in einem Restaurant".
Where you put the "nicht" depends on what you want to say. If you simply want to negate the complete sentence, the "nicht" goes to its usual end position. But note that both "mit meinem Freund" and "in einem Restaurant" are so called adverbial determinations, which belong to the things that even go after the "nicht". "den Wein", however, is an ordinary direct object. So it is
"Ich trinke den Wein nicht mit meinem Freund in einem Restaurant".
If you want to specifically negate "den Wein", "mit meinem Freund" or "in einem Restaurant", the "nicht" would go directly before the respective element. But most of these sentences would sound rather weird, if they had no continuation.
Example: "Ich trinke den Wein mit meinem Freund nicht in einem Restaurant, sondern in einer Bar", meaning "I drink the wine with my friend. But I don't do this in a restaurant, but in a bar instead".


Dude... It was a really good explanation. I'm sending you a virtual hug :). I have a couple more questions about adverbs, but I don´t want to saturate you today. I really appreciate your answer. I'm saving it to use it until I get used to the use of "nicht".


I think the nicht would have to next to the verb, but they prefer keinen. Let's say the fish did something else with the orange juice. Then maybe you'd use nicht. I was hoping the reason was they preferred Apfelsinensaft


Is "Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht" acceptable? In conversation?


It sounds odd to me. Use kein- before indefinite nouns.


I thought nicht reverses the whole sentense if it's last? So I wrote "Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht", "Fish drink orangejuice, NOT" but apparently I am wrong? People have said the verb must be second? Well, the verb is second? So I am at a loss as to why I am wrong.


The rule about "nicht" in the end reversing the sentence doesn't exist.
The problem with your sentence is not the position of the verb, but the usage of "nicht". If the sentence to be negated has an indefinite accusative object (i.e. one with either an indefinite article or no article at all) you don't use "nicht", but a form of "kein", which always stands directly before the word.
So it is "Fische trinken keinen Orangensaft".


I thought that would make it, Fish don't drink an orange juice?


kein is used to negate both countable and uncountable nouns.

Orangensaft is usually used uncountably, so keinen Orangensaft is "no orange juice" or "not ... any orange juice" or just "not ... orange juice".

kein is not necessarily "not a(n)" -- only before countable nouns. For example, Ich habe keine Schwester would be "I do not have a sister".


Thank you. I am getting to grips with reading German, still struggling with constructing a German sentence. But it taken me til after I left school to get to grips with how to understand "you're", "it's" and stuff like "dogs vs dog's" in English, and I am English. So I am sure I will get there with German, EVENTUALLY


think of "kein" as "not a" or "not any"


I dont know when we must use Keinen....for example der apfelsaft should be kein apfelsaft but keinen ist true....


You need accusative case here. And "keinen" is accusative masculine ("kein" is nominative).


Does the Latin term "masculinum" not exist in English?


Does the Latin term "masculinum" not exist in English?

I've never heard the term used in its Latin form in an English context -- only in the anglicised form "masculine".

Similarly with "feminine, adjective, verb, adverb, conjunction, (pro)noun" etc. (never femininum, adiectivum, verbum, adverbum, coniunctio, (pro)nomen, ...).


Thanks. In German Grammar books the Latin forms are commonly used for the genders (not for all the others you mentioned, however).


"Fische saufen keinen Orangensaft" ??


Why is it not keine?


Because Saft is masculine (singular), and therefore so is Orangensaft.

keine would be for a feminine or a plural noun, but here you need masculine accusative singular keinen.


Why is it keinen and not keine or kein, it's eine orange so it'd be keine orange or since you usually take the second part of the conjunction to decide from it'd be kein orangensaft because its ein saft so, kein saft and as I said before kein orangensaft......


As you wrote, the gender of a compound word is determined by the gender of the last component - so the gender of Orangensaft is the same as the gender of Saft: masculine.

Orangensaft is the direct object of the verb trinken, so it has to be in the accusative case in this sentence.

Thus you need masculine accusative here: keinen.

kein would be masculine nominative (or neuter nominative/accusative).

And finally, saft and orangensaft are not words in German -- you have to capitalise them.


O-Saft sollte auch gehen


I don't understand why it is keinen instead of keine. If we say die Orangensaft why use keinen? Does someone can explain me please? Thank you in advance.


We don't say die Orangensaft.

Saft is masculine (der Saft) and therefore so is Orangensaft: der Orangensaft.


What is wrong with …"Fisch trinkt keinen Orangensaft"? It could be that I am referring only to only one fish - not to a plural number of fish.


It could be that I am referring only to only one fish

No, it could not.

“Fish don’t” can only refer to multiple fish.

If it had been one fish, it would have been “a fish doesn’t” with a different verb and with an article before the word,


Why isn't it: ''Die Fische trinken keinen Orangensaft!'' ?


Because die Fische is "the fish" -- it refers to a specific group of fish.

But the English sentence has just "fish" without an article, referring to fish in general.


Why was I wrong when I translated "Fische trinken keinen Orangensaft" as "Fish don't drink any orange juice"?


It sounds a bit odd to me, but I've added a version with "any" now.


keinen.....is it for plural? i mix all the time kein keine and keinen....help


"kein" takes the same endings as the indefinite article "ein" and all the possessive adjectives. So "keinen" is accusative masculinum singular. (it could be dative plural as ell, but that doesn't fit here).


Is there any way to say the same using 'Nicht'?? Or is that impossible here? Vielen Dank!


Normally this is not the usual way in German. It is only possible to use "nicht" if the sentence has some kind of continuation that presents an alternative. E.g. "Fische trinken nicht Orangensagt, sondern Bier" ("fish don't drink orange juice, but beer"). Without such a continuation it is grammatically wong not to use "kein".


Thanks a lot! That makes perfect sense.


I'm confused....

If you replace Orangensaft with "Wasser", it's "kein", but with Orangensaft it's "keinen".

E.g. Fische trinken "kein" Wasser vs Fische trinken "keinen" Orangensaft


If you replace Orangensaft with "Wasser", it's "kein", but with Orangensaft it's "keinen".

That's right.

Wasser is neuter, so you need neuter accusative kein Wasser.

Saft (and therefore Orangensaft) is masculine, so you need masculine accusative keinen Orangensaft.

For a feminine word such as Limonade, you would have feminine accusative keine Limonade.


OK thanks for the explanation. I'll need to get use to this rule!


well, now I understand the difference between fish and fishes


i speak fluent english and dont even know how to use fish and fishes ._.


Okey, but what if the negative was not to ORANGEJUICE but to the Verb!?


That doesn't change anything. Sentences with indefinite accusative objects are usually negated using a form of "kein", not "nicht".


Why is «Kein Fisch trinkt Orangensaft» not correct? Isn't subject negation possible?


"fish" is plural: "fish don't drink ...". "kein Fisch" would be "no fish" (singular): "no fish drinks ..."


The tips said you can use Kein where in contrast, you would use ein e.g. ein Mann, Kein Mann. But in this sentence there is no suggestion that the opposite would be Fishe trinken einen Orangensaft. Confused!


"kein" and its conjugated forms mean "not a" or "not any". "Fische trinken einen Orangensaft" would mean "Fish drink an orange juice".


Why does DuoLingo not accept "Fische trinken nicht Orangensaft"? How do we tell from the English phrase if the emphasis is on the action the fish aren't taking (nicht) or the think they aren't drinking (keinen)?


Sentences with indefinite accusative objects are generally negated by using a form of "kein", This is the case here.

You can only use "nicht", when the sentence has a specific continuation, like "Fish don't drink orange juice, but lemon juice". But we don't have such a context here.


Okay, i tried going through the comments for clarification but it's too long. But what i want to ask is, what i have noticed through the courses is that when describing something and negating it, you use "Kein" ie: "ich bin keine Frau (i am not a woman)"... But when negating a statement with a verb, you use "Nicht" ie: "ich esse Erdbeeren nicht (I am not eating strawberries)"... So i dont understand why using using nicht is wrong in this one.


If the verb has a direct object that is indefinite, use kein -- for example, ich esse keine Erdbeeren.


Why can't it be Fisch nicht trinken orangesaft


Because this is completely ungrammatical. "Fisch" can be only singular in German, the plural is "Fische". And the word order doesn't work, the "nicht" is in the wrong position. Besides, you don't use "nicht" at all when you negate sentences with an indefinite accusative object. Instead a form of "kein" is used.


We haven't been taught the accusative case in German nor how to use it properly yet, so why are we expected to know it (and are penalized for not knowing it) in the lesson on the market?


is "Fische trinken Orangensaft nicht" not acceptable?


There are very rare occasions when this is uttered, but it means something you probably didn't intend.
Namely, it negates the verb, thus saying: Fish do something else with orange juice. Maybe they don't drink it, but they eat it instead.
So it is good that it is not accepted, because that's not how you would usually interpret the English sentence.


thank you! that makes a lot of sense. so 'keinen' negates the orange juice, whereas 'nicht' negates the action of drinking


If you want to negate the sentence as a whole (that's what you normally would expect) you use a form of "kein" if the accusative object is indefinite, as is the case here. You would use "nicht" in case the accusative object is definite, like in "Fish don't drink this orange juice" = "Fische trinken diesen Orangensaft nicht".
You can see "kein" as a translation of "not a" or "not any".


Theres too less tips for these exercises in duolingo. I am very happy about this comment topic. I am Finn and all these articles makes me sick.


can nicht be used in lieu of keinen here?


No. For indefinite accusative objects you don't use "nicht", but a form of "kein".
The only exception to this rule is, if the sentence has a contrasting continuation (like: "Fish don't drink orange juice, but lemonade"). But this is not applicable here.


The parable of the loaves and tge fishes

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