Tag Archives: position of nicht german

The Position of “nicht” – Part 1

nicht-position-germanHello everyone,

it’s been a while since we’ve had a real grammar episode but the wait is over. Welcome to a new episode of the German is Easy – Learn German Online  Course. And this time we’ll have a look at the perfect topic for a hot summer day:

the position of “nicht”
The question where to put nicht in a sentence is one that confuses many learners. And it is one that textbooks have the perfect, spot-on answer to…
nooooot! Stupid textbooks.
Okay, to be fair…  the stuff about sentence negation vs element negation, is not all wrong, but it gets really confusing once you look closer. Because just like with sentence structure, the standard material kind of fails to look under the hood. It explains symptoms, not the cause.
So we’ll try a slightly different approach, one that captures the underlying mechanics just as well as this picture does.
Haha. Get it? Underlying mechanics? 
Seriously though, our approach is gonna be AWESOME because all we need is one rule and get this – the rule has no exceptions. WOW!!
Oh, beside that rule we also need very open mind. And a coffee because it’ll be intense.
In part one we’ll get to know the basic rule and we’ll lay a fair bit of groundwork.  And before you go like “Dude, I’m a working man, mother of 4 and full time student… I ain’t got time for groundwork.” let me tell you… you will want to read this. You need this groundwork like Burger King needs ground beef.
So, are you ready to dive in? Perfect!