"It is not sand."

Translation:Es ist nicht Sand.

May 6, 2018

This discussion is locked.


It feels right to me as given, but I can't put my finger on why we use "ist nicht" here rather than "ist kein". Any thoughts?


Don't trust Duolingo blindly, there are many mistakes in the system!

It sounds much more natural to say: "Es ist kein Sand"

There are possibilities to say: "Es ist nicht Sand", but they are rare and without context nicht sounds really odd

Example: "Es ist nicht Gold, sondern Silber"

As far as I can imagine "kein" works always with substantives, "nicht" needs context

nicht/kein with adjectives:
"Es ist nicht grün, sondern gelb"
In this case only nicht is correct

If you would say: "Es ist kein Grün, sondern Gelb" the colors change to substantives


Can someone confirm this? Is the Duo solution (Es ist nicht Sand) wrong? Should it be 'kein'?


It should be "kein", yes.


From when are Grün and Gelb nouns? Aren't grün und gelb adjectives? And since they are adjectives, you can't say kein...


From when are Grün and Gelb nouns?

Since always. "This yellow is rather pale", for example. When you're referring to the colour itself, rather than to something which has that colour.

Aren't grün und gelb adjectives?

grün (lowercase) is the adjective. Grün (uppercase) is the noun.

das Gras ist grün versus ein sattes Grün


Could it be "das ist kein Sand"?


Could it be "das ist kein Sand"?

That would be a translation of "That isn't sand" rather than "It isn't sand".


Why is nicht used instead of kein?


kein could also be used and would probably be better here: Es ist kein Sand.


Are there any instances where nicht would be preferred over kein before a noun? It seems contrary to what we've been taught so far.


Yeah, but... Imagine some kind of detective taking handfull of sth loose and the dialogue that goes "- leave that sand - It's not sand" You're using "it, but with some kind of indicator that you're talking about "this". And if I want to translate this sentence I would use "Das".

I mean, if you say to me, that I'm wrong, I'm gonna belive you, 'cause I constantly mix this, that and it in almost every language except my own (I think we don't have a difference between "it" and "this". And "this" and "that" are only matter of distance). But I feel like there is that option for translation.


Is this a nominative sentence? BTW google translator comes up with 'Es ist kein Sand'


Es ist sand nicht. Can this be also correct? As nicht generally used after the noun.


No, that sentence is not correct.


Why is this marked as a hard exercise?

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