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Meine Großmutter erzählte uns Kindern Geschichten, nie ohne etwas Neues zu erfinden.*

Was bedeutet der Satz genau? Hat sie jedes Mal etwas Neues erfunden? Oder hat sie niemals etwas Neues erfunden?

Ich habe hier Probleme mit der doppelten Negation.

* Monika Reimann: Grundstufen-Grammatik, S. 233. 44/4

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1  
Are you sure about the placement of the comma? –  Thorsten Dittmar May 13 at 8:25
    
@ThorstenDittmar I am not sure I follow. If your question is about the quoted sentence, then yes, it is how it is written in the book (I have double-checked). –  Ali May 13 at 14:23
    
Yes, it was about the original sentence, where I think the placement of the comma is a bit strange. I'd have written Meine Großmutter ... Geschichten nie, ohne etwas Neues zu erfinden. –  Thorsten Dittmar May 14 at 6:58
    
@ThorstenDittmar Well, that is how it is in the book. Triple-checked. Interesting. –  Ali May 14 at 7:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Never did she tell stories without inventing something new = she invented something new every time.

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You can translate the sentence like that: "My grandmother told us children stories. And never did it without inventing something new"

In German double negations can (unlike in English) eliminate themselves. If you do something "nie ohne" you do it always.

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2  
Unlike in English? Siehe Ingmars Übersetzung. –  user unknown May 12 at 22:44
1  
Exactly like english, dont confuse him –  emaltman May 13 at 2:15
2  
Nie ohne is not exactly a double negation. And it is exactly the same as never without in English, so I don't agree with the last sentence of your answer. –  Thorsten Dittmar May 13 at 8:27

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