"They do not write long books."
Translation:Ze schrijven geen lange boeken.
I thought this should would of been a niet sentance because the verb schrijven is being canceled?
I think its geen, because it cancels the adjective and noun - long books, not that he/she isnt writing at all (i.e. cancel verb)
What is being 'cancelled', negated, is the noun phrase (lange boeken). When you negate a noun phrase, you need to use geen, as far as I know.
I this would be the case, too. From the prior lessons and commentary I thought that "geen" indicated a lack of something and that "niet" indicated the cancellation of something.
Here, you can use „zij“ or „ze“, but „zij“ would be to emphasize that they do not write long books. „zijn“ means "his" for possessives.
Shouldn't this be just "...lang boeken" and not "...lange..."
It says this in the adjective notes:
"The following words act like “een” in that the adjective does not get an ending when preceded by them and if the noun being described is a het-word:
geen: Dat is geen groot huis. (That is not a big house.)"
I thought that I had "geen" and "niet" almost figured out. Apparently not!
My answer was "Ze schrijven niet lange boeken." thinking that the verb was the thing needing to be negated here. Does my answer just make no sense?
I am so confused, and a little depressed now thinking that I am simply too stupid to understand this very, very, VERY basic concept of Dutch.
Don't call yourself stupid; you're NOT! I think your answer might have been accepted with a different word order: „Ze schrijven lange boeken niet.“ Don't quote me on that, though. Basically, „niet“ means "not," and „geen“ means "no." Where „Ze schrijven lange boeken niet.“ would mean "They do not write long books," „Ze schrijven geen lange boeken.“ would mean "They write no long books," which is a construction that is not used very often in modern English.
Still don't get it why "Ze schrijfen lange boeken niet." is wrong whilst They do not walk - " Ze lopen niet." is correct. Could someone please clarify, thank you.
Use „niet“ when you want to negate just a verb. When it is a verb + object, use „geen“ before the object to negate the noun. They do not write long books, but maybe they write long poems.