Negation using nicht

Negative sentences are often formed using nicht (not).

Ich bin nicht da.

I am not there.

Wir schlafen nicht.

We are not sleeping.

The word nicht is placed:

  • before an adjective, adverb or preposition:

Der Wein ist gut. → Der Wein ist nicht gut.

The wine is good. → The wine is not good.

Wir essen viel. → Wir essen nicht viel.

We eat a lot. → We don't eat a lot.

Ich gehe ins Kino. → Ich gehe nicht ins Kino.

I'm going to the cinema. → I'm not going to the cinema.

  • at the end of the sentence if we’re negating a conjugated verb:

Ich finde meine Schlüssel nicht.

I can’t find my keys.

Caroline kauft das Gemüse nicht.

Caroline doesn’t buy the vegetables.

  • before an infinitive verb or past participle:

Er will den Job machen. → Er will den Job nicht machen.

He wants to do the job. → He doesn’t want to do the job.

Tim hat angerufen. → Tim hat nicht angerufen.

Tim has called. → Tim has not called.

Magda wird arbeiten. → Magda wird nicht arbeiten.

Magda is going to work. → Magda is not going to work.

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