Ich weiß nicht genau, ... (word order)

azhong

Senior Member
Traditional Chinese
I don't know very well how and where the story began.
->
(My translation practice)
? Ich weiß ganz gut nicht, wie und woher die Geschichte begann.
(Google Translate:)
Ich weiß nicht genau, wie und wo die Geschichte begann.

Q:
So the word order is "nicht + adverb"? What if the word order "genau nicht"? Is it ungrammatical, grammatical but unnatural, or is also a natural acceptable? (So far I am just sure "nicht" has to come before the verb when it's an subordinate clause but I am unsure of the position of an adverb.)

Thank you.
 
  • Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    (My translation practice)
    I don't know very well how and where the story began.
    ->
    ? Ich weiß ganz gut nicht, wie und woher die Geschichte begann. :cross:
    (Google Translate:)
    Ich weiß nicht genau, wie und wo die Geschichte begann. :tick:

    "nicht genau" = not exactly

    I know not exactly how and where the story began.


    A more literal translation would be:

    Ich weiß nicht besonders gut, wie und wo die Geschichte begann.
     
    Last edited:

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    :confused: Ich weiß ganz gut nicht, wie und woher die Geschichte begann.
    Note:
    1. placement of "nicht":

    "Nicht" works as negation. If it refers to an adverb, it is in front of the adverb.

    So the word order would be:
    Ich weiß nicht ganz gut, wie und wo ... But :confused:

    However: this is not idiomatic in German.
    ... "nicht ganz gut" is logically complicate.

    It could be "Ich weiß genau". It could mean "Ich weiß nicht genau" - This is because "ganz gut" is in the middle.

    To make it clear, use the google translation:

    Ich weiß nicht genau, ...

    ---

    Note that very well = sehr gut.

    ---
    The Google translation is idiomatic and fits. Ich weiß nicht genau,
     

    azhong

    Senior Member
    Traditional Chinese
    A more literal translation would be:

    Ich weiß nicht besonders gut, wie und wo die Geschichte begann.
    So the word order would be:
    Ich weiß nicht ganz gut, wie und wo ... But :confused:

    However: this is not idiomatic in German.
    ... "nicht ganz gut" is logically complicate.

    It could be "Ich weiß genau". It could mean "Ich weiß nicht genau" - This is because "ganz gut" is in the middle.
    I don't understand why "nicht besonders gut" works but "nicht ganz gut" doesn't work, since they have the same structure.

    How can "ich weiß nicht ganz gut" come to the meaning of "ich weiß genau", (I know exactly)?

    Or just skip this question if it's hard to explain; I'm just a beginner in learning German.
     
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