In German - difference between "kein" and "nicht"?

I can't figure out the difference.

If I want to say "I speak no English", I say "Ich spreche kein English". When I want to say "I'm not German", I say "Ich bin keine Deutsche". But, if I want to say "not very well", I say "nicht sehr gut".

I can't tell the difference between the last two phrases.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    well, fyi "ich bin keine Deutsche" sounds a little funny, sounds kinda incomplete.

    but, as just said, Kein is kinda like NO and Nicht is more not.

    Ich kann kein deutsch i know NO german, not i know not german

    gehts dir nicht gut? you not feeling well? wouldn't say, you no feeling well?

    PM me if you need more help mate!

    Source(s): native german
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  • 1 decade ago

    I speak no English... means you speak no English at all

    Ich spreche kein Englisch.

    If you are male, and you want to say that you aren't a German, then you need to say either.. Ich bin kein Deutscher or you can say.. ''Ich bin nicht Deutsch'' as a female you can say ''Ich bin ''keine Deutsche'' that is the female form if you have the 'E' at the end of kein

    Ich trinke keinen Kaffee. = I don't drink coffee (meaning never)

    Ich rauche nicht = I don't smoke (meaning never)

    Ich bin kein Professor = I am not a Professor

    Ich bin keine Krankenschwester = I am not a nurse and you say ''keine'' because ''Krankenschwester ''is female so therefore the ''e'' at the end..

    Ich spreche Deutsch nicht sehr gut = I speak German not very well or you can say.. I only speak a little German ''Ich spreche nur ein wenig Deutsch''

    Source(s): Native speaker.
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  • 1 decade ago

    "kein" refers to the noun - Ich spreche kein English, ich habe kein Auto, ich sehe keine Sterne - in English you would use "no" - I have no car. The more usual form in English - "I don't have a car" (ich habe nicht ein Auto) does not exist in German

    "nicht" means not and refers to the verb or the adjective.

    Ich bin keine Deutsche - is correct for a female

    Ich bin kein Deutscher would be the correct form for a male person.

    Source(s): Austrian, native German speaker
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  • 1 decade ago

    Niklaus´ answer is correct

    "ich bin keine Deutsche" is correct, too.

    Source(s): Native German
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  • 1 decade ago

    "Kein" translates roughly to "without" or "a lack of".

    "Nicht" means "Not"

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