1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Er liest nicht viele Bücher."

"Er liest nicht viele Bücher."

Translation:He does not read many books.

March 22, 2013

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnGorenfeld

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kmramna

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.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatKasper

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrtslam

Think of air vs ear


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lastik

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gattica2015

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J_Random_Hacker

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OgnjenG.

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephKing13

Really nice explanation. Danke!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SyamkumarR

Danke !!!, Much helpful explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OttolinoJ

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prinzschrei

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tophyr

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickBambridge

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duomail

Why not "he reads not many books" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dror.Schafer

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smitty_x

Language change. In an older variety of English, one could correctly, I think, have said: "He readeth not many books." (Of Shakespeare one could have written: "He readeth much.")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StormUK

i dont understand the sytanx of nicht can someone explain


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/teenaviator

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. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jakab.oers

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jotomicron

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/regnenistgut

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzyls

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeefTenderloin

He reads few books should be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The.Other.Caleb

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...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rozandgild

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hechap

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aug707

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter812693

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dudeface34m

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OJ_47

Why Viel and Viele?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doommafia1

He isn't reading many books.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KirstenGou

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hobbit501

why viele instead of viel? I thought books was a countable noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aindreela7

When do we use viele and when viel?

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