Ich habe das gleiche Gefühl nicht. (I don't have the same feeling.)

Should nicht be placed in front of das gleiche Gefühl or behind?

I see that in the case where there is a verb at the end, it is usually placed behind the noun.

Ich habe das Buch nicht bekommen.

But I'm not sure about this case.


nicht can have two kinds of position with different meanings:

  1. At the beginning of an object or adverbial -> negates only that object or adverbial.

    Ich habe nicht das gleiche Gefühl. -> I have another feeling.
    Ich habe nicht das Buch bekommen. -> But another book
    Ich habe nicht häufig das gleiche Gefühl. -> Only rarely. Ich habe häufig *nicht das gleiche Gefühl. -> Often, I have another feeling.

  2. Before the conjugated verb, before the second part of a multipart verb or at the end of the sentence in case of a singlepart verb form without auxillary verbs -> negates the predicate in whole.

    Ich habe das gleiche Gefühl nicht. -> Possibly, I don't have any feeling at all.
    Ich habe das Buch nicht bekommen. -> It somehow disappeared along the route. This sentence doesn't care about other books or other things.
    Ich hebe das Buch nicht auf. -> I leave it lying on the floor.

Be aware, that in many cases, it's unusual to negate the predicate in whole, if there are objects or adverbials. For example, it's very uncommon to say

Ich gehe in den Park nicht.

but common to say

Ich gehe nicht in den Park.

as the difference in meaning between both versions is miniscule or supplied by context.

There is a nice example in Struwwelpeter for a negation of the predicate in whole:

Ich esse meine Suppe nicht!

  • 2
    Wobei derjenige, der seine Suppe nicht aß, ja nicht der Struwwelpeter war..
    – Vogel612
    May 18 '14 at 19:28
  • I'd still have distinguished the different positions in your "position 1": "Ich habe häufig nicht das gleiche Gefühl." -> I frequently have another feeling. shows that with an adverbial expression, nicht is not only allowed in front of that adverbial expression. Future visitors might get mistaken about this otherwise. May 18 '14 at 19:46
  • Sorry but the #1 is wrong... "Ich gehe nicht in den Park"... here, the whole sentence is negated. Not just the adverbial. Also, "Ich habe das gleiche Gefühl nicht" logically means "I also do not have that feeling" but it does sound odd. Take out the "gleiche" and it's a pure negation "Ich habe das Gefühl nicht" (The one you're having) How do you read "no feeling" into this?
    – Emanuel
    May 18 '14 at 22:26
  • @Emanuel That's what my last paragraph is about, but I will add an example.
    – Toscho
    May 20 '14 at 4:39
  • @O.R.Mapper I will add that example.
    – Toscho
    May 20 '14 at 4:41

In this sentence the default position is before the noun, but you cannot generalize that based on grammatical functions. It's a semantical thing.

Ich habe nicht das gleiche Buch. (default)

Ich habe das Buch nicht. (default)

These are the normal versions.

Ich habe das gleiche Buch nicht.

Ich habe nicht das Buch.

These work too but they mean something slightly different. They have something extra, in a way.

The point is that "das gleiche" is the main focus of that sentence and the "nicht" negates that. When it is final, the "nicht" take away focus from "THE SAME" and shifts it to the aspect of possession/non-possession. In the other example it is different. We're talking about a book that has been established before (das) and we introduce a new "verbal configuration" (I + having). The focus is on the whole thing. With the "nicht" before book you'll get a strong focus on book, which is fine too. Position of "nicht" is something you have to feel. It is not possible to put that into a concise grammatical rule.

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