"No, I do not see anything."
Translation:Nee, ik zie niets.
So, 'niets' is nothing. And anything is 'iets'.
So how would I write this sentence using 'iets' rather than 'niets'? Would I use geen or niet?
If you're using 'iets' rather than 'niets', the negation is not in the sentence anymore. It would be 'ik zie iets'. You can't use 'iets' in this sentence with a negation ('Nee, ik zie niet iets' is not correct Dutch). EDIT: see my post below for different ways to negate sentences with 'iets'.
So does Dutch work differently to English in that respect then?
In English 'anything' can be joined up with the negative 'do not see', but you are saying that in Dutch that doesn't work?
No. I have to rephrase. I've made a small correction to the previous post, i.e. that you can't use 'iets' in this sentence with a negation.
The non-specific 'iets' is negated to 'niets', the specific 'iets' is never changed to 'niets':
- Je hebt me iets niet verteld (There's something you haven't told me)
Je hebt me niets verteld (You have told me nothing)
Ik doe iets niet (There something I don't do/will not do)
- Ik doe niets (I do nothing)
Hope this will help!
Why is the suggested phrase for "not anything" nergens, and then nergens is wrong? My intuition was "zie niets" but I changed it because of that suggestion.
Maybe this is a silly question, but if "ik zie niets" means "I don't see anything," how would I say "I see nothing"? Or is it the same? And what about "I don't see."?
"I see nothing" would also translate as "ik zie niets". "I don't see" would be 'Ik zie niet' ('niet' being the standard negation of a verb).