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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!


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.)


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


Isn't it also "Ihr liest"?


No, it should be "Ihr lest" or "Er liest"


Is it lest? I would have said lesen. Is lest even a form of lieat? I thought it was liest, lesen, lese.


No, it should be "Ihr lest" or "Er liest"


Think of air vs ear


Well, at least here it is. When I have doubts I try Google translate to listen the sound. According to it, this sentence was supposed to be "Ihr (iAAr)" not "Er( EErr)".


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


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.


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


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


Really nice explanation. Danke!


Danke !!!, Much helpful explanation.


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


"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.


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.


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


Yes. I believe if you took "viele" out of the sentence, you are now negating "books." So, you would move the "nicht" to the end.


cause it's negating "viele" which is an adverb, according to the tips they gave, it comes before adverbs, so I think that's why


Why not "he reads not many books" ?


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".


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.")


He reads ... not is perfectly correct in English, just as "He knows that not", "They go there not" etc. You encounter this a lot in literature


Not in modern literature - it would be regarded as somewhat stilted and affected (in my opinion)


no it isn't. If anyone said this to me, as a native speaker, I would look at them funny. I would know what they meant, but I would also know they don't speak English naturally.


It is correct, but this sort of sentence structure simply isn't used much anymore. As the quotes given by juncode have expressed, it was much more common to say things this way centuries ago. But the fact of correct grammar remains unchanged.


Language is a living thing, so grammar does change.


This is absolutely right not.


(aside) How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. I’ll speak to him again.—(to HAMLET) What do you read, my lord?


but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus Matthew 1:25


I know it's rare but you sometimes do hear things like "Fret not" or "I know not"--usually the speaker is purposely speaking archaically just for fun or emphasis--but I don't think it was ever correct and acceptable to separate the verb and the "not" within the sentence.


It actually is correct and acceptable. It is a modifier that you can put nearest the word it modifies, and there will be a difference in negating the verb vs negating the adjective that follows the verb.

However, the first person who answered this question has a point. Unless there's greater utility in negating "many" instead of the verb (and I can think of instances when this can be more practical to do), it would be better to just negate the whole thing (ie negate the act of reading many books). It makes the thought easier to understand.


Wrong. I most certainly would say, "He reads not many books." I am a native speaker and a teacher.


Not in America. I would look at you funny.


It does not matter. Whether it is used colloquially or not, it is proper English syntax to say "[subject] [verb] not".


It sounds like the kind of sentence you didn't plan ahead of time. As in, "He reads..." Wait, what even does he read? "...not many books."

And sorry, but it does matter. It may be considered proper English syntax in the books but the fact that nobody speaks like that should be a pretty good reason to avoid using it. Language is ever changing and growing. By all means, use that sentence structure if you like, but you must accept that people will indeed look at you funny.


Well, technically.


America is the only place that speaks English, not.


i dont understand the sytanx of nicht can someone explain


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. :)


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.


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


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


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


He reads few books should be correct.


This is right, and something that might be said in common language


So "nicht viele" directly translates to "not many" but that is not idiomatic English. So I think translating "nicht viele" to "few" should be correct.


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...)


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


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!


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


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


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


Why Viel and Viele?


He isn't reading many books.


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


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


When do we use viele and when viel?


Many books = Viele Bücher. Since Bücher is plural why is it not vielen?


See markatron's excellent answer to CheenuKY.


Sorry I misread your comment, so I edited this one. Viele is not a verb and thus doesn't need to be conjugated.


Why viele? Not vielen?

[deactivated user]

    "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


    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.

    [deactivated user]

      You are correct. Thank you for catching my mistake.


      How would one say 'he reads not many books?' There is a subtle difference here...


      Is viele pronounced as with an 'f'


      Why does he not read many books?


      Id love to hear the audio of these... mine would have me saying the phrase, and then mein hunde barking, then me yelling at them to shut up.,. Lol


      Why is it marked wrong with 'he doesn't read much books'? I know viele means many and viel is much, but where I am from its more colloquial to say much books and not many books.


      Thats not proper English.


      He reads very little books needs to be added to acceptable responses.


      What's the difference between viele and manche?


      The definitions that I wrote down from Duolingo was that Manche means Some, A Few, and Viele means Many, A Lot, Much


      "He is reading not too many books"

      Would that be correct?


      that would be an opinion. Duolingo gave a statement.

      • Duolingo said: He reads some books, not many, but some.
      • you said: He reads not too many books. = Er liest nicht zu viele Bücher. (you say he reads not too many books (50 books), another guy thinks 5 books a year are too many, therefore it is an opinion.)


      How would one translate, "he hasn't read many books"?


      God help me...With the placement of nicht in german sentences


      I just did a question where I should listen this sentence and write it down. The version of the question where I should listen, sounds exactly like "Ihr" and here, where is written and I have to translate, sounds exactly like "Er". I think this needs some correction.


      Just wrote: "He is not reading enough books." Thought it would count because I know "viele" is "many". "Enough" sounds better.


      That's an opinion. That's your opinion. How many is 'enough'? 5, 10, 50, 500 books?

      "Er liest nicht genügend Bücher."(enough) is not the same as "Er liest nicht viele Bücher."(many)

      • The school tells him he has to read 5 books a year for school. He reads these 5 books, that would be enough. --> but 5 books won't be many books if you ask his mother.


      I forgot 1 letter and got it wrong


      i think "er" should be sound like "air" and "ihr" should be sound like "ear" it will be very clear to understand plz report about this if you agree


      Annoying when it says it is wrong before I finish the sentence


      If you're talking about a speaking question and you're using a phone, I found that this problem went away if I spoke very close to the microphone.


      Why is 'Vielen' incorrect? Also don't we say 'Vielen Danke' meaning- many thanks. Why is it 'Vielen' there?

      [deactivated user]

        "Bücher" is a plural, accusative, neuter noun. This leads you to conjugate "viel-" as plural, accusative, and neuter, which ends up as "viele". If it were apples instead of books that were being described, then it would "vielen Äpfel".

        This also applies to your example of "vielen dank". "Dank" is a masculine noun and this would cause "viel-" to become "vielen."


        pronouncations are very difficult to recognise.. can't we have a male voice..


        I write "nicht" and DL said I got typo. Is this a problem ?


        Why it is wrong he do not.?


        So to write he do not read many books we will write Er liest keine viele Bücher.


        Why is the sentence: "He hasn't read many books" correct?


        What if we put the "nicht" at the end of the sentence? Er liest viele Bücher nicht. Would it be correct not not?


        Shouldn't "He does not read very many books" be acceptable?


        because it's not a proper use of the English language. Why did you put the word 'very' in the middle of the sentence? It's not found even in the German translation.


        I think it should be "Er nicht leist viele Bucher" !!


        That's not right. In German the negation always follows the verb.


        Hmm, so is "Er kein leist viele Bucher" correct ?


        Kein means not a or not any as in Ich habe keine Bücher (I don't have any books). Nicht means not as in Er liest nicht viele Bücher (He doesn't read many books).

        The difference is hard to distinguish.

        My hair isn't red - Mein Haar ist nicht Rot / / I don't have red hair - Ich habe keine roten Haare

        Hope this helps.


        This is ridiculous, "He doesn't read much books" should definitely be accepted


        The meaning of your sentence can easily be understood, but in English someone would never say “much books"; thats why your sentence isn accepted. Use “many books“ instead.


        English being my native tongue, I can vouch for the use of "much books" being vastly more common than "many books", although both are used. It's likely this is influenced somewhat by colloquialisms, but I'm almost certain it's still grammatically correct.


        Grammatically speaking, as a native English speaker, you know to use 'many' when the noun it refers to is plural and 'much' when the noun is uncountable (nouns that can be plural or singular in the same form). This is why one cannot say 'much books.' Personally, I have never heard someone transpose the two. When you speak English as your first language, grammar errors between much and many are clear because, when used incorrectly, the sentence sounds... weird, for lack of a better term. Some examples: http://www.learnamericanenglishonline.com/Red%20Level/R8_Many_and_Much.html


        Ah I see, thank you! Perhaps I should become more versed in the intricacies of English grammar

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