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  5. "No, one lemon is not good."

"No, one lemon is not good."

Translation:Nein, eine Zitrone ist nicht gut.

March 25, 2013



Why did they chose to use eine Zitrone "a lemon" instead of eins Zitrone "one lemon?" Am I wrong in thinking it should be "eins?"


First, ‘Zitrone’ is feminine, whereas ‘eins’ is neuter. Second, before a noun such as ‘Zitrone’ you need an article, whereas ‘eins’ is a pronoun.

If you substitute a neuter noun, such as ‘Bier’, you get ‘Nein, ein Bier ist nicht gut.’ Replace the neuter noun phrase ‘ein Bier’ with a pronoun, and you get ‘Nein, ins ist nicht gut.’ But replace the feminine noun phrase ‘eine Zitrone’ with a pronoun, and you get ‘Neine, eine ist niche gut.’


eins would replace the word Lemon, so it would be: Nein, eins ist nicht gut.


Eins (one) as in "one thing" conjugates. So ein can mean either 'one' or 'a/an', which you have to determine by context. But usually ein/eine translates to 'a/an'.

You'll see with this sentence, that both "one lemon is not good" and "a lemon is not good" mean very much the same thing.


Yes, its difference between the number and the article


i also thought 'Man' was one. I had eine locked in then made a last minute change. MY HEART. SHE BLEEDS


‘Ein-’ means “a” or “one” in the numerical sense, as a singular article or cardinal number. ‘Man’ means one in the sense of “someone” or “people”, as an indeterminate personal pronoun.


Yep, got it now. Thanks!


However, in this case "Zitrone" is not accusative. It is nominative.


I said "ein Zitrone ist kein gut" instead. Is that wrong?

  1. ‘Zitrone’ is feminine, so it's ‘Eine Zitrone’, not *‘Ein Zitrone’.

  2. ‘kein’ is used only with noun phrases, not with adjectives. The noun ‘das Gut’ means ‘the asset’, so ‘Eine Zitrone ist kein Gut.’ means “A lemon is no asset.”.


Thanks! That's helpful.


Can I say "Nein, eine Zitrone ist gut nicht"?


i also dont understand, why? sometimes the nicht comes after the predicate


Hmm… Good question. The ‘nicht’ can't occur after a predicate adjective such as ‘ist gut’ or a predicative nominative such as ‘ist König’. But invert the equational sentence and it can: ‘Gut ist eine Zitrone nicht.’ = “Good is not what a lemon is.”; ‘Köng ist er nicht.’ = “King he is not.”.


thanks! but if i wanted to negative a verb, like, "i do not eat", the 'niche' will be after the verb? "Ich esse nicht"?


Correct. And when an ordinary verb has a complement, the ‘nicht’ occurs either immediately after the verb and before the complement, as in ‘Ich esse nicht die schlechte Zitrone.’ = “I'm not eating the bad lemon.”, or after the whole verb phrase, as in ‘Ich esse die schlechte Zitrone nicht.’. Without emphatic stress, the former would more readily be understood to negate the eating (as opposed, say, to throwing it out); and the latter, the bad lemon (as opposed, say, to a good lemon).

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