Keiner vs Niemand

what would the difference of keiner and Niemand be? are they used in different context?

September 15, 2012


Keiner is an adjective, used as a noun. Niemand is a pronoun. Depending on the context, both could be translated as "no one" in English. However, "keiner" derives from the adjective, meaning "no" or "not a" or "not one".

September 15, 2012

They are mostly synonymous. "Niemand" is used exclusively for persons.

Here you cannot replace "keiner" with "niemand": "Keiner der Rasenmäher funktionierte."

"Keiner" can also be used in a relative context, whereas "niemand" is used only absolutely: "Keiner der beiden". Here "niemand" would be strange. But I think that even native speaxers would not notice this kind of nuance most of the time.

September 15, 2012

I had the same question, and found this discussion useful:

Also note that "keiner" is not gender-neutral:

December 21, 2015
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