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  5. "Ich verstehe nichts."

"Ich verstehe nichts."

Translation:I do not understand anything.

July 31, 2013


Sorted by top post


Can this not also mean "I don't understand"?

October 17, 2015


I think Duo may just be a little more pedantic in this example. It's trying to emphasize the difference between using nichts and nicht. "Ich verstehe nicht" would be "I don't understand," since nicht modifies theverb verstehen. On the other hand, "ich verstehe nichts," with the s, emphasizes that there is nothing you understand. They're basically the same; one is just more emphatic than the other. :)

January 12, 2016


So, is "I understand nothing " correct?

May 6, 2016


I don't understand anything

September 19, 2016


These don't seem like different meanings to me...

October 10, 2018


To clarify for the benefit of Rohini308443, SamirRafat, phuntimes, sbridge, and perhaps others:

The literal, word-for-word translation of "Ich verstehe nichts" is "I understand nothing," meaning that the speaker does not comprehend anything at all. (Although, realistically, such a statement is probably limited to the topic at hand; if one truly did not understand anything, one wouldn't even be able to converse).

This could also be stated as the complement, "I do not understand anything." Understanding nothing has the same meaning as not understanding anything.

Leaving off the "anything/nothing" does not capture the full meaning of the German sentence.

October 10, 2018


Thank you!

March 19, 2016


According to Duo, no. According to my German teacher, yes. >.>

November 29, 2015


1000 days get a Lingot!

August 28, 2018


I wrote that, "I don't understand" and it said I was wrong. I would think it's the same meaning!

November 19, 2015


Same. Im confused.

November 27, 2015


"Ich verstehe nicht" would indicate one does not understand some particular thing. "Ich verstehe nichts" would indicate more of a total state of confusion. lai_mesunda was correct in saying that die Eule is using this to emphasize the difference between nicht und nichts.

If you are having a hard time grasping the difference between the two sentences here, then du verstehst nicht. If you are totally bewildered by the entirety of German, then perhaps du verstehst nichts, which would explain why du verstehst nicht.

Verstehen Sie?

April 28, 2018


Same here

February 3, 2016


You can also say: "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof." (Literally: "I only understand railway station." Figuratively: "It is all Greek to me.")

July 31, 2013


Any idea why that would mean that? I'm guessing that it's because the trains are so reliable that it's easy to determine how the schedules work so it's not hard to understand it. Am I even close?

February 7, 2015


Google is your friend :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_to_me And thanks Medvidek for learning 2 new idioms, both English and German P. S. In Serbian we say ''španska sela'' (lit. Spanish villages - have no idea of its origin :/)

April 10, 2017


If I said, "Ich verstehe nicht" that would mean "I do not understand." In this case, "nichts" with the s makes the sentence mean something else: I do not understand anything. Is that correct?

December 12, 2015



January 27, 2016


That's how i feel now, i can't understand the negatives

November 25, 2015


I understand nothing

May 2, 2016


First thing that came to my mind when I read the sentence in German:)

May 7, 2017


I do not understand (anything) please where is the anything. I thought "etwas" is anything so Ich verstehe nichts etwas.

August 22, 2017


I think "nichts" can also mean "nothing". But sometimes, 'I understand nothing.'

August 22, 2017


I really cant understand this hahahha

January 4, 2016


now, that's a useful sentence!

January 8, 2016



March 7, 2016


Pretty accurate :(

March 10, 2016


Why is I do not understand...incorrect?

May 28, 2016


The sound recognition is not really good. I cant make it roght. So tired

June 19, 2016


im offended

November 21, 2016


This sentence says it all. I really understand nothing in this section. Lol I've done fine until this point. Now Ive read a thousand comments and tried to get it...yet still I understand NOTHING. I'll keep trying.

June 29, 2018


I always seem to get these phrases whenever I get a bunch wrong right before it... Duolingo's calling me out lmao

September 1, 2018


I said "I do not understand" mainly because the difference between nicht and nichts was not made clear beforehand, I was left wondering where the "anything or thing" came from DUO was clumsily teaching this lesson.

I would suggest that giving all the information one needs in advance would be a far better method of teaching DUO has a Blunt repetitive approach, hence the growing popularity of "BUSUU" instead, more info on busuu may be found here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busuu

September 9, 2018


Yeah pretty much.

July 19, 2016



August 4, 2016
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