"Alex is not a woman, but a man."

Translation:Alex ist keine Frau, sondern ein Mann.

June 22, 2018

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Another wedding night surprise))


Brilliant retort!


Warum ist ,aber' nicht richtig hier?


Aber cannot be used for mutually exclusive alternatives and if there is no possibility to have none of the options:

  • Ich habe kein Bier, aber (ich habe) Wein. (I could as well have no drinks at all, or both)
  • Heute ist nicht Freitag, sondern Dienstag. (Today must be one of the days of the week, there is no none-day, and no two days at once)


sondern is only employed after a negation in the antecedent.



Someone on Duo explained the difference as:

  • "Sondern" as but (rather)
  • "Aber" as but

"Alex is not a woman, but (rather) a man."


Why not Einen Mann?


'Sein' leaves things that the object 'is' as nominative. 'Einen' would be the accusative form.


Still a little confused on why it is not "sondern einen mann". Could someone explain more for me?


Einen used in akkusative. "I grab a man- ich fasse einen Mann". Like "den". Its an answer for What.


In another question, the correct answer is "Sie trägt keinen Rock, sondern einen Mantel". Duolingo declines the final noun to "einen Mantel". Why is the above question not declined to "einen Mann"?

Both words are masculine, both are indefinite, both words appear in the exact same position of the sentence, and both sentences feature "sondern" as the conjunctive word. I'm looking for a deviation here...

Is it because this refers to a human (or an animate form?) rather than an inanimate object? Do we retain humans in their nominative form, even when in the accusative position?


I am wondering this also.


The difference is in the verb. In "Sie trägt keinen Rock, sondern einen Mantel," both Rock and Mantel are in the accusative (direct object) case, and thus kein and ein become keinen and einen. This is because something is being done (or not being done) directly to the skirt/coat (someone is wearing it).

Here, we have "Alex ist keine Frau, sondern ein Mann," and Frau and Mann are in the nominative (subject) case. This is because Alex is not doing anything to the man, he is a man. If you said "Alex ist keine Frau, sondern einen Mann" to someone, they would probably have to try hard not to smile, because what you would have said would have sounded exactly like "Alex isst keine Frau, sondern einen Mann," which means "Alex isn't eating a woman, but a man"!

So the short rule is, the accusative never follows sein, because sein doesn't connect a subject (person/thing doing an action) to an object (person/thing at the receiving end of the action). Instead, it connects a subject to a predicate (something describing a person/thing or what they are doing).


Duolingo is great for teaching me words and phrases but i most often find that the most valuable explanations come from the comments. Occasionally one is really well explained and just 'clicks'. This is one of those. Thank you.

It also makes me realise that, despite speaking fluent English, my knowledge of things like cases, objects, subjects etc. is lacking, so this is also improving my understanding of English grammar.


My thoughts exactly. My understanding of English has greatly improved since I have started learning German! Thanks to all of those people who take time to carefully explain their answers!!


I wrote Ales instead of Alex. And my whole translate was incorrect. Is it really the most important in a language teaching app? Thx


Why can't it be "doch"?


Doch means yet. And the implication with it is that its agreeing with the first clause and continuing to introduce the next clause. "But" (sondern/aber) implies a difference between the two clauses. ~I hope that made sense.


Actually, doch can have multiple English translations, including 'yet', 'but', and 'indeed'.


Doch is when you cannot define if Alex is male or female or Both!


Does it sound better as "Alex ist nicht eine Frau, sondern ein Mann" or "Alex ist keine Frau, sondern ein Mann"


Keine Frau. It's always kein when you would use an indefinite article.


Both worked but i thought nicht will not work as frau is not object and there is 'a' also so keine should be correct but duo is accepting both. Can anyone explain?


I've had some gross typos that the system has recognized and accepted (the trouble with mobile), but it throws a fit when I leave the second "n" off of "mann". Obviously I meant "mann", Duo


Same question. Why not doch ein Mann?


I suppose formally in both the English and German sentences, an elipsis was used (the part in brakets can be omitted):

Alex ist keine Frau, sondern [er ist] ein Mann.

Are the elipsis rules the same for both English and German? Or is there an example where you can leave out part of a sentence in one language, but not the other?


Why not kein Frau?


"Frau" means "woman", and is assigned female articles like "eine", "die". When you say "not a woman", you join the "not" and "a" to form "keine".


I dont quite get how Mann is not in accusative here, even after reading the other comments. Would someone care to help me understand?


There is always a nominative case after the verb sein.


It should be kein as alex is man


But Frau is feminine, so it requires keine.


Why not alex ist nicht frau sondern ein mann


if you put eine Frau, the answer will checked a correct. "Alex ist nicht eine Frau, sondern ein Mann"


Where do I report serious problems I have with the way Duo address grammer?


Send them(developers) email


Why not einen Mann?


In German after the verb sein we use a noun in nominative, not accusative.

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