1. Nicht - Usage
  2. Kein - Usage

In German, there are two ways to create negative sentences: you can use either the word nicht or kein.

Let's learn how these two are different and when to use each of them.

Nicht - Usage

Rule 1: We use "nicht" when we negate adjectives, adverbs, or verbs. It can be translated as "not":



Ich rauche nicht.

I do not smoke.

Nicht - Placement

Rule 2: It can sometimes be difficult to place "nicht" correctly. Generally, it goes at the end of the sentence, but before a preposition, an infinitive, or a verb prefix.



Ich finde meine Schlüssel nicht.

I can't find my keys.

Ich fahre nicht mit meinem Wagen.

I do not drive with my car.

Er kann heute nicht kommen.

He can't come today.

Ich bringe meinen Freund nicht mit.

I'm not bringing my friend.

Kein - Usage

Rule 3: We use "kein" with nouns. It can be translated as “not a…”, “not… any” or “no.” It also has to agree with the noun it modifies.



Ich habe kein Geld.

I have no money.

Ich habe keine Geschwister.

I have no siblings.

"Kein" is always placed before a noun.