German Negative Sentences

Learn how make statements negative in German

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German Negation

Nicht and kein are forms of negation, but nicht means not and kein means no, not a, or not any.  Kein is used to negate nouns that either have no articles or are preceded by the indefinite article.  Kein precedes the nouns in sentences.  It is declined as an ein-word.  

Ist das eine Katze? Is that a cat?
Nein, das ist keine Katze. No, that's not a cat.

Nicht negates nouns preceded by a definite article or a possessive adjective; or it could negate any part (verb, noun, adjective) or all of a sentence.  Nicht always follows the verb, but usually precedes the part of the sentence to be negated.  It you want to negate an entire sentence, nicht comes last.  Nicht also follows expressions of time.

Das ist meine Frau. That's my wife.
Das ist nicht meine Frau. That's not my wife.
Heute ist es kalt. It is cold today.
Heute ist es nicht kalt. It is not cold today.

 


 

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