Negatives (negative statements) in German

There are two different ways to make a negative statement in German, depending on whether you are dealing with an adjective, a verb („nicht“) or a noun („kein“).

Negative statements in German

  • The german word „nicht“: „nicht“ corresponds to the English ‘not’. It is used in connection with an adjective or a verb.
  • The second word in German to make a sentence negative is „kein“, which is normally linked to a noun. The word „kein“ behaves exactly like the indefinite articles (ein, eine, ein) and must agree in gender (masculine, feminine, neuter), number (singular, plural) and case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) with the noun. kein and corresponds to „no“, „not a(n)“, „not any“ or „haven’t got“ in English.

„kein“ and „nicht“ in detail

  • The word „kein“ is linked to a noun and in front of the noun. The forms of „kein“ behave exactly like the indefinite articles (ein, eine, ein):

Forms of Kein in German
Examples:

English
German
No problemKein Problem
This is not a bookDas ist kein Buch

  • The word „nicht“ is used in connection with an adjective or a verb.

* In the present tense „nicht“ usually follows the verb (different in English)
* In the present perfect tense (formed with a form of „haben“), „nicht“ stands in front of the past participle.
* The word „nicht“ stands in front of adjectives.

English
German
it is not expensivees ist nicht teuer
I don´t gotich gehe nicht


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