1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Kein & Nicht, when to use them

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah0741

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

9 Comments


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hotz196498

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hotz196498

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


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

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 :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah0741

Ich will kein Buch or Ich will das Buch nicht


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

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


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

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".


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

Ah yes now i see. thanks.

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