"Ich werde das Unternehmen nicht mit dir kaufen."

Translation:I will not buy the business with you.

June 16, 2014



I translated the sentence as:

I will buy the company without you.

because nicht did not procede kaufen. My understanding is that 'nicht' always precedes that which it negates. DL translated the sentence as

I will not buy the company with you.

I know it's splitting hairs, but I would think that the above sentence would translate to:

Ich werde das Unternehmen mit dir nicht kaufen.

Am I wrong?

June 16, 2014


You are partly wrong, but also have a bit of a point. First of all, "nicht mit dir" would rather translate to "not with you" instead of "without you" ("ohne dich"), even though the meaning is basically identical. Then there is no real way to tell what exactly the "nicht" modifies in this sentence without emphasis or context etc. But this is also true (in a way) in the English sentence: The "not" could either be seen as negating the "will" (i.e. "I won't buy.") or the "buy" ("I will (not buy)."). The second version seems closest to the translation you are suggesting. But even then the "nicht" might be understood to refer to the "mit dir", so that the sentence is still not completely unambiguous. In the end you would still need to know which parts of the sentence are being stressed if it is spoken or context if it's written. And the meaning might not differ by that much anyway if all things are considered (as you said, splitting hairs).

June 16, 2014


It was hair splitting for me too. So the first thing I did to translate was write it like this: I will the business not with you buy. Then I rearranged it as: I will not buy the business with you.

July 2, 2014


that's what I did, AjithPai

September 20, 2017


What other statement would make the word order like this ? This is very confusing .

October 1, 2014


It's just normal German V2 word order. This website explains it pretty well in my opinion.

October 1, 2014


So, since "Unternehmen" would be directly translated to undertaking, does that mean that when this word is used for "business", it refers to new business ventures or new companies? or is used more generally for any business or business venture?

January 30, 2018
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.