Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"De klok heeft geen batterijen nodig."

Translation:The clock does not need batteries.

3 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/olive.winner

I thought that "geen" was used when it was a single object/what-have-you, and when there was multiple that you were to use "niet". Are they really interchangeable?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
Mod
  • 19
  • 12
  • 11
  • 9

No, they're not interchangeable, but your assumption is not correct either. It has nothing to do with singular vs. plural.

"Geen" is used to negate indefinite objects. It includes the indefinite article "een" and it is often translated as "not a" or "no", but it also negates plural or uncountable indefinite objects that do not get an article.

On the other hand, "niet" negates the whole sentence, or an adjective or adverb.

See here for more details an examples: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3734833

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olive.winner

Oh my thank you! I was getting hung up on it being translated as "not a..."

So, out of curiosity's sake, if it was an clock that plugged in and wasn't even compatible with batteries could you use "niet"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
Mod
  • 19
  • 12
  • 11
  • 9

Nope, that wouldn't make a difference. However, if you handed me two batteries for my clock, even though it is plugged in and I don't need them, I could say: "De klok heeft de batterijen niet nodig". In that case the object is definite, so it uses "niet" instead of "geen".

3 years ago