Word order

Are both of these sentances grammatically correct?

Ich lese Bücher nie. Ich lese nie Bücher.

May 18, 2015


Yes, they are both correct, but they express different things.

Ich lese Bücher nie : I'm doing other things with my books; I put them on my head, even out my desk, press flowers, anything, I just don't read them. (~ I never read books)

ich lese nie Bücher: I read newspapers, blogs, magazines and comics, but never books. (~ I never read books)

May 18, 2015

Thanks for the explication. It seems very confusing how subtle the word order can change the sentence but I think I'll stick to using the second one until my german gets better :)

May 18, 2015

It's pretty much the same as with "nicht" here. Put it at the end to negate the verb, or put it in front of any other part of the sentence to negate that part. I don't think it's subtle, but English is lacking that distinctiveness when it comes to negations.

May 19, 2015

Ah okay would you be able to help me understand these sentances? What would be the difference between "Er arbeitet nicht in Berlin" and "Er arbeitet in Berlin nicht"

May 19, 2015

Er arbeitet nicht in Berlin: He works anywhere outside of Berlin.
Er arbeitet in Berlin nicht: He is maybe on vacation in Berlin, he's not working anyway while he is there.

May 19, 2015

Both correct, but used in slightly different contexts. To illustrate:

Ich lese Bücher nie: Although people give me books all the time, and I have a stack of them clogging up my shelves, I never read books. OR: People recommend books to me all the time, but I never read books. (Note: you could just as well use the other sentence, that would be perfectly fine.)

Ich lese nie Bücher: I like to do many different things in my spare time, but reading books isn't one of them.

Maybe this sounds all a bit esoteric for you... you have to know a language really well before you get a feel for those finer distinctions. If in doubt, use the SECOND sentence (Ich lese nie Bücher), as this is the version that is much more commonly used.

May 18, 2015

Thanks:) German can be so confusing haha

May 18, 2015

And if you want to say "I don't read books [in general (I like to do other things in my free time)]", than you would say "Ich lese keine Bücher". And just btw, "Nie lese ich Bücher" is also a possibility. The meaning of this sentence can be understood both ways, as the two other combination, depending on the intonation, but most times, it would be like the first one.

May 21, 2015


May 18, 2015
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