Category Negation

German indefinite pronouns – not being explicit, maybe in vague

I have often written and still maintain that German is a language of precision. However, when it comes to indefinite pronouns, many are left scratching their heads. First off German has many indefinite pronouns that are very similar in meaning and using the correct depends more on how well the speaker/writer understands common German collocations […]

5 Ways to negate in German besides using “nicht”

When I communicate with my students over e-mail, assigning extra homework or answering questions that they have between lessons, I generally try to do it in German. The more exposure language learners have to their target language the faster they’ll learn — just like fitness training. However, every once in a while this can lead […]

No “Not Jokes” in German — The Placement of nicht

If you’ve seen the the Sacha Baron Cohen film Borat, you are probably familiar with the “Not joke.” One of the most confusing things in German word order is where to negate, that is where to place the word “nicht” (not, no). Read on and see why trying to make a not joke in German […]