Er wartet nicht auf mich

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Heise, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Heise New Member

    Hallo zusammen)

    I have a question about the particle "nicht" in this sentence:

    "Er wartet nicht auf mich". How can one translate this? "He waits not me" (but somebody else) or "He doesn't wait for me"?

    Vielen Dank)
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  2. ablativ Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Heise! :)

    He doesn't wait for me.
  3. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    Why not:

    He waits not for me.

    ... without periphrastic do and without stressing a special clause element like me (as opposed to somebody else), as in the lyrics of a Beatles song:

    He’s a real nowhere man, ... knows not where he's going to ...
  4. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    do you have context?
    In written text the meaning depends on context.
    In spoken language additionally it depends on stress and intonation.

    It goes along "he does not wait for me."
    It means "He does not wait for me but for someone else" if "mich" is stressed.

    I do not know exactly what "he waits not me" means, so I cannot exclude it fully. I never heared or read it, and in the Internet I found only one quotation outside this question.
  5. nievedemango

    nievedemango Senior Member

    alemán / German
    Heise, your question ist about the meaning of "nicht" in this sentence.
    Well, it's just a negation.

    He doesn't wait for me. (nicht = does not)
  6. exgerman Senior Member

    English but my first language was German
    I assume that your question is: does it mean he is waiting, but not for me or does it mean he is not waiting for me? It means the latter.

    To get the former meaning you'd say something like auf mich wartet er nicht or Er wartet, aber nicht auf mich or even Er wartet, nur eben nicht auf mich.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  7. Heise New Member

    Thank you all for the extensive explanations)

    It's exactly I wanted to know, thank you for such nice examples)
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    It is true for neutral intonation, so you can assume it in written form if no context overlays it.

    But it depends on context and on intonation.

    "Er wartet nicht auf mich."
    He does not wait for me, others would wait.
    "Er wartet nicht auf mich."
    He does not wait for me but for others.


    If there is context in written form, the meaning may change. (switch?)
    I think this is the same in English.
  9. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Hallo, exgerman, was bedeutet dir nach der Satz Er wartet auf mich nicht?
  10. exgerman Senior Member

    English but my first language was German
    That's not really a possible German sentence, even though I could think of circumstances where it might be said. It reminds me of the children's game where you pull a petal off a flower and say Sie liebt mich for one, and Sie liebt mich nicht for the next, etc. If you were to try that with your sentence, it would be possible to say Er wartet auf mich/Er wartet auf mich nicht. So you can see how highly contrived a context is needed for your sentence to be viable.
  11. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Danke, exgerman, ich denke, ich kann den Unterschied zwischen den beiden Sätzen schon kapieren; ich fand es nur kommisch zu lernen, dass nicht nicht an letzter Stelle sein darf. Soweit ich weiß, würde man normalerweise sagen "Ich esse keinen Fisch", doch wenn man seinen Eltern, die einem auffordern, den Fisch zu essen, wiedersprechen will, darf man schon sagen "Ich esse den Fisch nicht". Stimmt es? Danke
  12. ablativ Senior Member

    Ja, das ist sogar ein sehr gutes Beispiel. Ich esse keinen Fisch ist ganz allgemein gesprochen.

    Ich esse den Fisch nicht​ bedeutet, dass ich den mir vorgesetzten Fisch nicht essen will.
  13. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Hat sich überschnitten mit vorherigem Beitrag.

    "Nicht" kann an letzter Stelle sein, es wird dadurch sogar besonders hervorgehoben.

    "Ich esse den Fisch nicht!" ist korrekt, bedeutet aber etwas anderes als "Ich esse keinen Fisch."
  14. zarvox Member

    English - U.S.
    "He waits not for me" is a poetical or archaic-sounding expression; it would never occur in everyday speech or writing. "He doesn't wait for me" would be the proper way to express it.

    "He waits not me" is ungrammatical and very broken-sounding.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013

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