Laura Middleton
Nicht/kein I would be grateful if someone could help with the following. Does the ‘noun – kein, verb – nicht’ negation rule still apply in a sentence with a noun, but no definite/indef article. For example; 'The children are NOT playing football' ‘Football’ is a noun, but the sentence does not have ‘a’ or ‘the’, so is it still correct to use it with ‘kein’ as in; ‘Die Kinder spielen kein Fußball’ Ugh???????????!!!!!!!!!! Laura
Jun 4, 2010 11:59 AM
Answers · 3
Hello Laura, The equivalent in English would be: " The children don't play football" = "Die Kinder spielen nicht Fußball." " The children play no football." = " Die Kinder spielen kein Fußball." As Otto mentioned, in the first case you are negating the verb, in the second the noun. So seems like the name rule applies as well in the absence of definite or indefinite articles.
June 4, 2010
Hi Laura, "spielen nicht Fußball" refers to "Fußball spielen" and the nicht is therefore correct because "Fußball" is like a prefix to the verb playing Die Kinder rufen nicht an. Die Kinder fahren nicht Rad. Ich spiele nicht = I am not playing Ich spiele nicht Fußball = I am not playing football Ich spiele nicht Tennis = I am not playing Tennis. However, and I hear your "ugh!!!" Die Kinder spielen kein Tennis/kein Fußball may be possible IF you mean the just absolutely do not play that kind of sport. Why is this? - in the first case, the emphasis is put on PLAYING, the verb, and Fußball is the prefix-like part of spielen - in the second the emphasis is put on the noun "Fußball(SPIEL)"/ the game
June 4, 2010
Die Kinder spielen Fussball nicht. = The children don't play football. Die Kinder spielen keinen Fussball = The kids don't play any football. i.e. They are not playing football. A sneaky way of distinguishing the present simple from the continuous. Keep studying and you'll learn a lot of tricks like that.
June 5, 2010
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Laura Middleton
Language Skills
English, German
Learning Language