How to negate in dutch?

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According to many, the word order is one of the hardest parts of the Dutch language. If you are also struggling with subordinate clauses, inversion and the like, this is the place to be.
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Miguell
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How to negate in dutch?

Post by Miguell » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:10 am

Hoi!
I'd like to know how make negative sentences in dutch:
How to say "I don't have a happy father"? Would it be "Ik heb blije vader niet" or "Ik heb geen vader"?
How to say " You don't learn dutch"? "Je leert nederlands niet" or "Je leert geen nederlands"?
Thank you all

ngonyama
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Re: How to negate in dutch?

Post by ngonyama » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:24 am

Miguell wrote:Hoi!
I'd like to know how make negative sentences in dutch:
How to say "I don't have a happy father"? Would it be "Ik heb blije vader niet" or "Ik heb geen vader"?
Ik heb geen blije/gelukkige vader
How to say " You don't learn dutch"? "Je leert nederlands niet" or "Je leert geen nederlands"?
Je leert geen Nederlands
Thank you all

Miguell
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Re: How to negate in dutch?

Post by Miguell » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:26 pm

Thank you ngonyama.
Just one more thing:
It's valid for all dutch verbs?

ngonyama
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Re: How to negate in dutch?

Post by ngonyama » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:18 am

For verbs that have an indefinite direct object, I think yes

Ik zie schepen -> Ik zie geen schepen
Ik rijd auto -> Ik rijd geen auto

As soon as the object is definite, you use niet + de/het:

Ik zie de schepen niet
Ik rijd die auto niet.

At least in singular you could say:
Geen = niet + een
Thus, geen is a negative indefinite article. (Although in some grammars it is analyzed as an indefinite pronoun).

Of course in the plural there is no (positive) indefinite article:
een schip - schepen

but the negative article geen can be used for both:
geen schip - geen schepen

ngonyama
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Re: How to negate in dutch?

Post by ngonyama » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:39 am

Oh, sorry, it is not just direct objects. It can also be subjects or indirect objects, prepositional objects, predicates etc.

Geen schip kan daardoorheen varen - subject
Ik zal geen mens je geheim vertellen - indirect object
Dat was met geen enkel middel te verhelpen - prepositional
Dat is geen stijl - predicate

In other words, it has little to do with the verb. What matters is that something indefinite gets negated.

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