"Nein, besser nicht."

Translation:No, better not.

April 10, 2013

27 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

This question accepts both "No, better not." and "No, not better." as an answer.

To me, the first sentence sounds like "No!, you better not do that!" and while as the second sounds more like "No, this ( book, movie, or whatever ) is not better.".

Does this sentence apply to both of those situations?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

It seems to mean the former, according to a cursory internet search; it's an admonition ("you/he/it had better not [do something]")


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

Thank you for clearing it up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinB688

V2Blast

But it (the English) could also be a negative response to a comparison contained in a preceding statement or question, in which case the word order would be " not better".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinB688

LavethWolf

I think yes the German can apply to either of the different cases you accurately described, depending on the context and what the preceding question was. The fact that Duo accepts both translations of the English seems to confirm that both different meanings are possible, doesn't it?


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

This is a poor example. In English " better not" is an admonition. Not better is a comparison. It is unclear which one translates.


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

"No, better not" makes sense for colloquial english if you are warning someone against doing something. The "you" and "had" are implied - the entire phrase would be "no, you had better not!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

It seems to mean the former, according to a cursory internet search; it's an admonition ("you/he/it had better not [do something]")


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

It's also a problem because if it's being used as an admonition "better not" is rarely used without describing who shouldn't. As in "No, we'd better not" or "No, you'd better not" "No, better not" just sounds like unidiomatic English to me. Any other native English speakers have a different take?


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

Native English (north UK) speaker here. I rarely specify the who. I might say "you'd better not" as a stronger warning. But usually "no, better not" is a reply to something so the who is obvious from context


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

I think if it were supposed to translate as "not better", it would be used in a comparison (e.g. Es ist nicht besser (als etwas).)


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

Pitch Perfect anyone?


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

I thought the same thing.


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

Why can't you use a form of the verb "to be"?

Ex: No, it isn't better.


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

"No, it isn't better" does not mean the same as "No, better not." Better not is roughly the same as saying "We shouldn't".

"No, it isn't better" example:

  • Would you say Pepsi is better than Coke?
  • No, it isn't better.

"No, better not" example:

  • I think we should beat up Harper.
  • No, (we) better not. We'd likely get arrested.

Hope that helps!


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

so how would one phrase these different sentences in German, or would the context take care of it?


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

Would you say Pepsi is better than Coke? No, it isn't better. (Doch!)

I think we should beat up Harper. No, (we) better not. We'd likely get arrested. (Doch!)


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

In English, "Better not" leaves some words out. In full, it would be something more like "We had better not" or "You had better not", implying that it would be unwise to do something.


[deactivated user]

    Why not Beßer?


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

    I believe it was once spelled that way, but many uses of the eszett were phased out in favor of the "ss" letters as part of the 1996 spelling reform.


    [deactivated user]

      Ah, thanks. That's probably why Food isn't spelt Eßen.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZuMako8_Momo

      Mein Professor an Universität explained to my class that the eszett is only used after long vowels and double „s“ after short vowels


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogg22

      I thought besser was spelt bessere, or is besser in a different idea of meaning


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

      It's only bessere if it comes before a noun, and based on the gender of that noun and whether it has a definite article alongside it.

      i.e. "Das ist eine bessere Katze", but "Das ist ein besseres Auto"
      "Das sind bessere Autos", but "Ich fahre mit einem besseren Auto"
      Also, "Das Auto ist besser" (No ending because it's not an attributive adjective)

      Here's a useful resource:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives


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

      If you used this phrasing, could it be equivalent to the "better not" in English that means "No, you'd better not"? or "better not do it"?


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

      Can I say "No, better not to"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nmjones14

      That does not sound correct to me.

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