1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Keine or Nicht?


Keine or Nicht?

I have been doing German for a few months now, but I can't find the difference between tthe negative 'nicht' and the negative 'keine'. THank a lot!

March 10, 2018



generally, nicht is not (as in not doing something).... kein is none or no as in I have no fish, or he is no gentleman)


Simply put: nicht goes with verbs - Ich weiß nicht (I do not know)

Kein goes with nouns, and is declined - Ich habe keine Ahnung (I have no idea)

That's the general rule. Confusion may stem from the fact that nicht follows the verb, as in 'I know not'.


the hint with nouns is /the way/. If unsure ask yourself, if you could count the subject of the 'not', even if in an abstract way - like with idea. It will usually point you to the distinction of noun or the verb being negated.


Thanks! That was really helpful. Danke!

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