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What is the difference between the expressions "überhaupt (nicht)" and "gar (nicht)"?

Are they used in different contexts? Is the one stronger than the other? Can they be used together?

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Both of the expressions convey almost same meaning. However, if you ask which one is stronger than the other one, I would say überhaupt nicht.

There is also überhaupt gar nicht if you want to give more emphasis.

  • 1
    Also emphasizing: »ganz und gar nicht« – Pollitzer Jun 8 '17 at 13:20
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As a standard negation both are exchangeable.

Example:

Es kommt gar/überhaupt nicht in Frage, dass ich mit dem Zug fahre.
(In no case I will travel by train.)

If there is a numeral asked for, as in:

Wie oft warst du am Kühlschrank?
(How often were you at the fridge?)

I would prefer gar nicht for the denial, but that is more a matter of taste.

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