"You don't know the bear."

Translation:Du kennst den Bär nicht.

March 22, 2018



Why not "Du kennst nicht den Bär"?

March 22, 2018


    The reason is that the position of nicht affects the meaning. You can read more about it in the lesson tips.

    When we have du kennst den Bär nicht, as in the correct example, nicht affects the verb kennst. The meaning is that "you don't know the bear".

    However, if we incorrectly have 'du kennst nicht den Bär', nicht affects the noun den Bär. The meaning is that "you know not the bear". This doesn't really make sense without further detail: You know something, but it's not the bear. What is it?

    March 22, 2018


    It's a bit archaic, but the second example you gave used to be a more formal/educated way of saying 'you don't know the bear' in English. It's still a valid sentence, even if it would raise a few eyebrows. It's also fully standalone, and requires no further context. In light of that, I'm still not seeing why that wouldn't be acceptable German.

    July 18, 2018


    In az_p's explanation, he says in the second example that nicht affects or modifies den Bär. So 'not the bear'. In the archaic English sentence form you mention, 'you know not the bear', 'not' modifies 'you know', so 'you know not'. This means that even though the word order is identical to a literal translation of the second incorrect German sentence, the grammatical meaning corresponds to the first correct German sentence.

    July 23, 2018



    February 21, 2019


    Sorry, I still don't get it. So far, Duolingo's tips stated that "nicht" usually comes after the verb but didnt explained the other cases. Why would "nicht" refer to "den Bär" insted of to the verb when after it in "Du kennst nicht den Bär"?

    Danke :)

    April 17, 2019


    Why would Du nicht kennst den bär not be correct?

    January 15, 2019

    • 999

    The verb ("kennst") has to be in second position, so no.

    January 15, 2019


    Maybe they're just glossing over this, but shouldn't den Bär be den Bären? Der Bär is one of a few nouns that retains an accusative ending like den Namen does. Or maybe this is falling out of use? I've tried to be careful not to forget this one, so it's odd to see it without its accusative noun ending.

    March 22, 2018

    • 999

    I checked with several other native speakers, "n-declined" nouns with consonant endings are moving out of the n-declension. Both versions should sound okay to a normal German speaker. Duden is, as usual, behind on this.

    March 23, 2018


    Who is "Duden"?

    September 25, 2018

    • 999

    Duden was a guy who was relevant for standardizing German spelling. Nowadays, the publisher with that name regularly oversteps its boundaries of describing what the common usage is by denigrating people that use other variants. They seem to wish for a static language that never changes, instead of embracing the reality: that language is alive and will forever change.

    September 25, 2018


    Love this explanation so hard. Language IS alive and always evolving (or devolving depending on one's views)...but I refuse accept "irregardless" no matter how many dictionaries and linguists bend to the masses (though it is often noted that it is improper, which provides a small degree of solace). Totally OT, but truly just wanted to give your explanation more love than just an upvote.

    June 28, 2019


    Why du kennst keinen Bär is wrong dear friends?

    July 20, 2018


    When nouns have definite articles, in this case der, you will never use kein, you will use nicht. For more information, this website (https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/sentence-structure/negation) shows which to use in an easy way.

    August 7, 2018


    Why not der Bär? Is than accusative case?

    June 11, 2018


    In the accusative case, masculine articles ("the" and "a") change to end with "-n." So "der Bär" becomes "den Bär" and "ein Bär" becomes "einen Bär" (but only masculine "ein" not neuter "ein" change).

    If you happen to have access to a computer or web app instead of just the Duolingo app, there is a function called "Notes and Tips" on each Duolingo lesson that gives detailed information so learning all these rules isn't as hard (I don't know why it's not available on the mobile app).

    June 25, 2018

    • 999

    Yes, "you" is the subject (nominative), "the bear" is the object (thus accusative).

    June 12, 2018


    Ist must be: "Du kennst den Bären nicht." The sentence is wrong.

    October 14, 2018


    Its grammatically correct: "Du kennst den Bären nicht.", but it sounds like a phrase and I have no idea, what it means.

    November 28, 2018


    How the hell am I supposed to know the difference between "Du kennst nicht den Bar." (I can't type an umlaut on this keyboard) and "Du kennst den Bar nicht."? Is there some secret information somewhere that I'm supposed to find before answering questions like this? Is there a reason why it's a secret, and not part of the actual lessons? Why is it that some translations allow "nicht" to be after the verb and some don't? There's no consistency with this. WTF.

    January 18, 2019


    I suppose the Duolingo test question is the lesson. When you are marked wrong you read the discussion and learn more. And consult other sources. I find this site useful: https://yourdailygerman.com/position-nicht-german/

    February 15, 2019


    Shouldn't it be "Du kennst den Bären nicht"? The word itself will also change, not only the article. I'm a native German speaker.

    May 27, 2019


    Is Kennen used both for "to be acquainted with someone or something," and "to understand, have knowledge of something or someone"? How is it being used here in the problem?

    September 25, 2018


    It means to know. It aint complicated

    March 11, 2019


    Du kennst keinen Bar?

    November 10, 2018


    No because there's the definite article "den"

    November 27, 2018


    why the use of den bar instead of der bar ? pl advise

    November 27, 2018


    der Bär (Nominativ, 1. Fall) Der Bär ist braun. den Bären (Akkusativ, 4. Fall) Ich sehe den Bären. den Bären (Dativ,3. Fall Plural) Wie geht es den Bären?

    November 28, 2018


    Why DEN and not DER? I'm missing something

    January 20, 2019


    Accusative, den is the accusative of der.

    March 14, 2019


    Much difficult grammar, help please?

    February 9, 2019


    Where can I find "tips" in duolingo?

    February 13, 2019


    If you click the skill you're interested in, before clicking "start" (or "practice") there will be a lightbulb icon to link you to tips and notes for that skill.

    Most Duo courses have them for web-version only, but we are lucky in the German course because tips and notes are available on the app version now! :-)

    April 9, 2019


    Duden oder nicht: "Du kennst den Bären" klingt richtig, "Du kennst den Bär" klingt falsch. Es klingt wie amputiert.

    March 8, 2019


    Why is it den not das

    March 11, 2019


    Why can't you use weißen in this sentence? What's the difference between weißen and kennen?

    March 27, 2019


    In short, "Wissen" is for knowing information, skills, etc. "Kennen" is for knowing people, animals, talking trees, etc. (i.e. living entities).

    A longer, more complete answer is available from Your Daily German :-)

    April 9, 2019


    Warum ist es nicht "Du kennst keinen Bär"? Das wurde genau so gehen, die meisten wurde es auch so sagen. Verdammte Sackgesichter

    April 4, 2019

    • 999

    "keinen" = "nicht einen".

    "Sackgesichter"? …

    April 5, 2019


    You don't know the bear. It tears down its victim in seconds. Maybe that explains the mystery :)

    April 7, 2019


    What's the difference between den and der?? what would it mean if I used der Bar instead of den Bar??

    April 13, 2019


    "Den" is nominative (for the subject of the sentence), and "Der" is accusative (for the direct object of the sentence-- the thing being known, seen, eaten, found, etc.).

    If you mix up "den" and "der", you will still be understood, but it would sound a little funny to a native German-speaker. In English, we only distinguish nominative and accusative with certain pronouns (I/me, she/her, etc.). So the equivalent would be like saying: "Me know she." instead of "I know her." :-)

    April 14, 2019


    I am confused with the usage of kein and nicht

    April 22, 2019


    What about "Du kennst kein Bär"?

    May 10, 2019


    The correct version of your sentence is "Du kennst keinen Bär" (or "Du kennst keinen Bären"), and it means "You don't know a bear", not "You don't know the bear."

    May 11, 2019


    Why is it den Bären and not den Bär?

    May 21, 2019


    Some German masculine nouns just get an "n" or "en" added in every case except nominative. Look up "n declension" and you'll find lot of sites explaining it. Here's one: http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/nouns/weak-nouns-the-n-declension/

    May 22, 2019


    Du kennst nicht den bar.. Am i wrong? Please explain it to me..

    May 26, 2019


    "Du kennst den Bären nicht" is the correct sentence.

    June 7, 2019


    Why not "du kennst keinen bär"?

    July 7, 2019


    Why is "Sie wissen den Bär nicht" unacceptable?

    August 23, 2018


    I think because of the meaning. In German "Kennen" is right to translate "to Know" to say knowing someone or something.

    November 27, 2018



    January 16, 2019


    Du kennst keinen Bär the answer should be correct.

    September 29, 2018
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