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  5. "Er liest nicht viele Bücher."

"Er liest nicht viele Bücher."

Translation:He does not read many books.

March 22, 2013



It can be hard to tell the difference between Er and Ihr!

August 9, 2013


We can differentiate with the next word following it 'liest'. Since it says 'liest' obviously it is for Er (Er liest.) If it is 'lest' then we can assume the word is Ihr (Ihr lest.)

May 8, 2014


And now I feel dumb. Never assume to know something! Thank you for the enlightenment.

September 21, 2014


Think of air vs ear

May 9, 2015


I still don't understand why 'nicht' isn't in the end of the sentence, as usual

March 18, 2014


It goes to the end in a sentence or question with a direct object, but because "viele" (many) is being negated and not "bücher", you are negating just the adjective. And when negating an adjective or adverb you place it directly before the adjective or adverb. This adjective just so happens to come after the verb, but the verb is not being negated. So simply, he isn't denying that he reads. He also isnt denying reading books. He is simply doesnt read MANY(adjective) books.

July 10, 2014


Nice explanation! I hope you're a native speaker...

August 20, 2014


Great reply. I'll give u a lingot. :)

October 30, 2014


Really nice explanation. Danke!

March 7, 2016


Danke !!!, Much helpful explanation.

May 12, 2016


Yeah, same here. I thought it was always at the end of the sentence.

March 30, 2014


"Nicht" can be put almost anywhere in the sentence after the subject and verb. It should normally be place after a verb, but when you place it in different areas, the meaning of the sentence can change. (e.x. "Ich habe nicht die aelteste Mutter" v.s "Ich habe die aelteste Mutter nicht". Basically put, nicht at the end of the sentence negates the whole sentences, while nicht in the sentence give leniency in meaning.

April 18, 2014


Back when it asked "I don't know that bird," I put "ich kenne nicht den Vogel," and it said it was wrong, that nicht has to go at the end. Now it gives "er liest nicht viele Bücher" and puts it after the verb and it's okay? I understand they're not exactly the same, but I fail to see how I was wrong before.

April 25, 2014


Would 'Er liest die Bücher nicht' be correct then? Is it the 'many' that changes where the negation goes?

May 21, 2014


Why not "he reads not many books" ?

March 22, 2013


The idea about translating is to translate to a usable sentence. You'd never say in English "He reads not many books", but rather "He doesn't read many books".

April 6, 2013


i dont understand the sytanx of nicht can someone explain

July 6, 2013


I don't think this question is right. From my current understanding, the position of "nicht" changes depending on the context of the sentence. It comes after direct and indirect objects, but before predicate nominatives, like "Das Auto ist nicht alt" -> "The car is not old," and "Ich bin nicht voll!" I think this sentence should read, "Er liest viele Bücher nicht." Please, someone, correct me if I'm wrong, because I'd benefit from the criticism. :)

July 13, 2013


I think you're right in principle but your conclusion is wrong. In your first example you are negating old so nicht comes before alt, as is the case in your second example. In the sentencein question you are trying to negate a lot (of books) so you have to put nicht before viele.

July 31, 2013


So, would it be correct to assume this sentence implies that "he reads books, just not many"?

November 21, 2013


YES read "gattica2015"'s comment above. In this case nicht is negating the adjective "many". Not the verb.

July 23, 2014


Hey man, I had to translate "He does not read many books" in a question on this level and I submitted "Er liest viele Bücher nicht" and was marked as correct. So I'm led to believe both translations are valid, however I'm not sure which is "more correct" or is more commonly used

December 23, 2013


He reads few books should be correct.

July 18, 2014


Er liest nicht viele Bücher?!?!? Er ist missing out on one of the best things in life!!!!!

(And that's why libraries exist - so "The best things in life are free" can still be true...)

April 10, 2017


Why viele? Not vielen?

April 18, 2014


"Bücher" is a plural, accusative, neuter noun. This leads you to conjugate "viel-" as plural, accusative, and neuter, which ends up as "viele".

Take a look at these tables These will clear up any adjective conjugating issues you may have.

edited: Nov. 2014

May 25, 2014


I think it will still be "viele Äpfel", (e.g. Ich esse viele Äpfel) because "Äpfel" is plural and accusative in this context. "Viele" (many, a lot of) is already plural by definition and therefore doesn't need to be conjugated to suit any genders. Plurals already have their own specific conjugation, so the gender of the singular is irrelevant. However, in the dative case, "vielen" is used. E.g. Ich spiele mit vielen Äpfeln.

October 24, 2014


You are correct. Thank you for catching my mistake.

November 26, 2014


It is a shame I would have to know such a sentence :( Could it be "He reads very many books instead"?

October 6, 2015



March 2, 2016


Very difficult to hear the different between liest and lest, let alone Ihr and Er! I guess context is going to be very important here!

May 2, 2016


Would "Er viele Bücher liest nicht" be another possible solution?

June 30, 2016


Would "He reads few books" be a sufficient translation?

January 12, 2017


He reads not many books should be accepted. It is still a correct sentence but it isn't very common.

October 22, 2017


Why Viel and Viele?

April 17, 2019


He isn't reading many books.

July 12, 2019


Why can't it be 'He does not read a lot of books'

October 10, 2019
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