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Kein & Nicht, when to use them

Kein is used to negate noun without any article, or with an indefinite article. In place of a noun, to mean 'none', when the sugject is already known.

Nicht is used to negate a verb, an adjective or adverb, a proper noun, a possessive adjective, and when a definite article is present.

Is this all right?

June 21, 2018



I think this discussion would be of interest to you: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/3936107


I was having problems myself...so i went to the tips and hints, and looked at some other things and made myself this guide. hope it helps/is understandable

Nicht USE NICHT when negating:

Definite article -Noun {der, die, das + Noun person/place/thing} - position before definite article noun Possessive Pronoun-Noun [mein, dein, sein, + Noun} - position before possessive pronoun noun VERB! {negate verb} - position before verb Adverb/adverbial phrase - position before adverb Adjective Terminal in Sentence - position before terminal adjective

V2 Sentence extremely common in germanic language [Pos1 ]<>[Pos2 ={ (conjugated:subject) Verb]<>[Pos(3)-->Pos(#)={(# remaining elements)/Pos(3+#)={("nicht")]<>[Pos(4+#^)={( def-art-N/poss-pro-N/Verb:2nd or Inf/Adverb-phrase/Terminal Adj)]

This V2 sentence may cause Nicht to come last if the only other 2 elements are the verb (which HAS to go into position 2) and the subject/object going into position 1


ah duolingo just reformatted and messed up my line breaks...making that way less clear cut. Arrrg. >:(


kein ...or with an indefinite article.

Um... I'm not quite sure what you mean by that... (I'm kein expert!) It might be correct, but i can't think of a time when you use kein with ein.
Everything else looks right to me :)


Ich will kein Buch or Ich will das Buch nicht


thanks, I see what you mean. All looks good then!


I don't think she wanted to say that "kein" is used together with "ein", but "kein" is used to build the negation of a word headed by "ein". E.g. "ein Brot", negated "kein Brot". And that is correct. In most cases you can think of "kein" as "not a" or "not any".


Ah yes now i see. thanks.

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