"Nein, ich habe keine Babys."

Translation:No, I do not have babies.

July 17, 2013

33 Comments


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

Proper English should also allow "No, I haven't any babies." Duolingua marks this as wrong and corrects it to "No, I haven't got any babies."

July 17, 2013

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

Hmm... although I am aware that conjugating "to have" in the same way as "to be" is still used in some regions and can be found in classic literature, I do not think it actually is accepted as "proper" modern English grammar... what geographic regions in Britain or elsewhere is that form still in use?

June 28, 2016

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

Interesting. You know, I just looked in the fridge and I haven't any eggs either. On the other hand, I haven't a clue why that is. I don't know why I hadn't gotten any yesterday at the store (somewhat awkward: "I had not got any..."). Isn't English grand? But I know nothing of British regionalisms.

It was the "got" that got me. I've always thought of getting as an activity, the end result of which is a state of possession or having.

June 28, 2016

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

In some/most British English dialects, including the standard form (although not my dialect), the "got" is common, if not mandatory. I honestly don't know what grammatical purpose it serves but it is certainly correct.

June 28, 2016

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

Thanks both for your comments.

I did not mean to imply that the simple "have" form (conjugated without the "do" auxiliary in Simple Present Negative and Question forms) is not acceptable - it is used and therefore valid - but only point out that it is not taught as standard English internationally.

Now I'm curious about the Simple Past: would the sentence "I didn't have a car until I was 20" be expressed in your regional usages as "I hadn't a car until I was 20" instead?

As for the "have got" form, a widespread variant very much still in use (by me as well), it is now generally being dropped from coursebooks too...

June 29, 2016

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

While I cannot comment on the OP's dialect, I can say that I agree with them. To me "No, I haven't any babies." sounds fine, if perhaps a little posh. Also, what do you mean by conjugating "to have" in the same way as "to be"? Surely that would make it equivalent to "amn't", which AFAIK is not particularly common. (It does exist however, including in my local dialect, although I think that might be a borrowing of Scots usage.)

June 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InPxgX6K

what geographic regions in Britain or elsewhere is that form [haven't] still in use?

In educated and upper class English (the two are not the same).

September 12, 2018

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

Honestly, the only archaic usage I know of for "got" in this kind of sense actually comes from Shakespeare, when in one of his plays one character tells another he will "get" kings (meaning, he will have children, and at least some of them will eventually go on to take the throne).

June 9, 2019

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

Isn't it also right to say "No, I've got no babies"?

August 13, 2017

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

How come Babys is neuter even though plural?

October 10, 2013

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

It's not neutral. Baby is neutral. You can see that babies is a plural, here, because of "keine". Always look for hints from the others words as to the gender and stuff.

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gunce1

I don't have babies may mean I have only one baby,may not it?

September 7, 2015

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

It sounds like Clarkson and his "bebijeezis"

August 9, 2016

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

I miss that show and those dorks.

May 12, 2019

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

Is Baby a loanword from English?

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InPxgX6K

Is Baby a loanword from English?

Yes

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ric483818

I think it must be, as it is also in Dutch.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julie260479

Why is "I have no babies " marked wrong

May 7, 2019

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

All these comments and none mention as to why it's "babys" and not "baby".

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiba226886

Isn't 'no i have no babies' breaking the no double negatives rule anyways...not that American English bothers to follow the rules as far as double negatives are concerned...i think that's where dadakind got his "No, I haven't got any babies." It seems that NO and NO in the proper translation strongly violates the no double neg rule vs. No, have not wich is less jarring to said rule

June 4, 2014

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

I don't think so. A double negative is not two uses of the word no, but in fact when one "thing" is negated twice. "I haven't got no babies" is a double negative as both no and the "not" part of haven't negate "I have babies". However, "No, I have no babies" (with a comma - that's important here) is not a double negative. The initial no is a negative response to a question (presumably "Do you have any babies?" or something similar), while the second negates "I have babies". It would be possible to split the two up and it would still make sense. "Do you have any babies?" "No. I do not have any babies." "I do not have any babies"/"I have no babies"/"I haven't any babies" etc is a single phrase, as is (the initial) "No".

The fact that both (in some cases) use the word no is irrelevant. Besides, Dadakind's version was "No, I haven't any babies." while the "proper" version it was "corrected" to was "No, I haven't got any babies." Both only have one no.

To put it another way, if one were to say "No, I have babies." that would mean "I have babies" and would be a response to something like "You don't have babies!". It almost certainly wouldn't be worded that way, but that's what it would mean.

June 4, 2014

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

But in English with "any" you should normally use the singular hence it should be "I don’t hane any baby" and not "I don't have any babies". Only native plural words like "news" are keeping the "s" with "any". Am I wrong?

April 5, 2015

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

It depends. "I don't have any gum" is right and singular. Saying "I don't have any baby" is not. It would be said, "I don't have a baby" if it were singular. I don't know the rules as to why, just being a native English speaker and that is how we say it in the American West. It is what feels. right.

August 13, 2017

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

Strictly speaking when used like that "gum" isn't a singular but an uncountable noun: it does not indicate one or more items but rather an uncountable substance, concept or collection. Other examples would be water, wood, food, fabric (wool, cotton etc), time, room/space, energy etc. Therefore you would say "I don't have any …" (or "I have some …" if you do); this is the same way you would talk about plurals but they aren't strictly plural.

Countable nouns such as baby take a different form depending on number: plural nouns have the same form as the uncountable nouns while singulars replace "some/any" with the indefinite article "a", so "I don't have a baby" but "I don't have any babies".

Normally baby is singular in English as most human births are single children, but it's isn't wrong to say "I don't have any babies", just not as common as "I don't have a baby". Indeed in some circumstances the plural is preferable (as I mentioned in another post, when talking about babies at a daycare).

(Note: some nouns can be either countable or uncountable depending on the context. For example "Can I have a water, please?" is totally valid as it assumes a unit for measurement of water, in this case usually a glass in a restaurant.)

EDIT: To put it another way, you can tell whether a noun is countable by asking the questions "How many X do I have?", "How much X do I have?" and "Do I have more than one X?". "How many energies do I have?" and "Do I have more than one energy?" don't make sense but "How much energy do I have?" does since energy is uncountable. On the other hand, "How many cars do I have?" and "Do I have more than one car?" make sense while "How much car do I have?" does not since car is countable.

August 13, 2017

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

I don't know about German, but "none" in English takes the singular form. I do not have babies is grammatically incorrect. Should be "No, I have no baby"

July 18, 2013

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

It isn't incorrect, grammatically or otherwise, just not common. Even if it were when talking about your own own offspring, there are situations in which it could apply regardless.

For example, you run a daycare. Someone asks you "Do you have any babies in your daycare?" You answer "No, I don't have (any) babies." In that situation to say "No, I have no baby" (or in a more idiomatic way "No, I don't have a baby") would sound incredibly strange.

February 2, 2014

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

Gut erklärt.

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiba226886

Also, number with the word 'none' has been changing, it is becoming more acceptable to have plurals with none. I believe there's an accademic paper about it but i can't for the life of me remember who the author was. Some linguist.

June 4, 2014

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

Dahhh, not really a helpful comment, but as an American i spelled it as babys and got it wrong =\

May 7, 2014

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

I'm pretty sure the plural of baby is babies regardless of the form of English you speak.

May 7, 2014

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

You are correct. What I originally commented was trying to describe my silly frustrations and slap-on-the-forehead moment, because I misspelled it as babys... Trying to immerse my mind to learn German has been helpful, but I now sometimes confuse vocab between the two...

May 7, 2014

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

Ah, yes, that can be annoying and you're not alone on that front. I often find myself writing coming as comming (like kommen) or replacing sh with sch in random words. It's also somewhat diminished my ability to remember whether a word is spelt with an ie or ei (although I was pretty bad at that already - bloody dyslexia and inconsistent English orthography).

May 7, 2014

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

Oh tell me about it . All that "ie" "ei"....it is messing my vocabulary and spellings all the way to hell!!

September 11, 2014
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