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In answer to this question, where would you place nicht? "Will Claudia den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?"

I saw this question in some German language materials, and the question, "Will Claudia den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?" Was to be answered by students as an exercise in negation, using nicht. I agree with most comments regarding the placement of nicht in an answer, that it probably could be negated a few different ways:

Nein, Claudia will nicht den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben.

Or:

Nein, Claudia will den ganzen Abend nicht zu Hause bleiben.

(The second version sounds a bit awkward I think, but I wanted feedback on where it sounds best, and whether one option is more grammatically correct).

  • Or maybe it isn't Claudia, but Bettina who wants to stay at home, then: "Nicht Claudia will den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben." Oder Claudia will zwar irgendwo bleiben, aber nicht zu Hause, sondern bei ihrem Freund. – user unknown Feb 1 '18 at 0:35
  • But IMHO, such questions about placement of negation, have been asked already. german.stackexchange.com/q/26978/266 – user unknown Feb 1 '18 at 7:39
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The placement of nicht depends on the item you want to negate. Example dialogs:

Elisa: Wir brauchen einen Babysitter für Markus. Claudia und Lydia wollen doch sicher wieder zum Tanzen gehen.

Arnold: Will nicht Claudia den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?

Arnold in unsure whether Claudia or Lydia said to him she wanted to stay at home.

Arnold: Will Claudia nicht den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?

Arnold remembers Claudia said to him she wanted to stay at home the whole evening, but he is unsure if she changed her plans.

Arnold: Will Claudia den ganzen Abend nicht zu Hause bleiben?

The sentence above is grammatically correct but sounds very awkward. If you wanted to negate Claudia stays at home, better say:

Arnold: Will Claudia den ganzen Abend von zu Hause wegbleiben?

Arnold is unsure if Claudia's plan to stay away from home covers the whole evening.


EDIT: I see now, I misunderstood your question. You've wanted to answer the question in the title. But the system stays the same:

Arnold: Will Claudia den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?

Elisa: Nein, nicht Claudia will den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben, sondern Lydia.

Elisa corrects Arnold about the person who wanted to stay at home.

Elisa: Nein, Claudia will nicht den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben.

Elisa corrects Arnold about the duration of Claudia's planned absence.

Elisa: Nein, Claudia will den ganzen Abend nicht zu Hause bleiben.

Again, this sounds awkward. Better say:

Elisa: Nein, Claudia will den ganzen Abend von zu Hause wegbleiben.

Elisa corrects Arnold about Claudia's general plan for the evening.

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You can place a "nicht" nearly everywhere in that sentence:

Will nicht Claudia den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?

(saying, "I'm asking for Claudia, not someone else)

Will Claudia nicht den ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?

(questioning the whole evening)

Will Claudia den nicht ganzen Abend zu Hause bleiben?

(the previous is questionable and will rarely make sense. In fact we're asking for an "incomplete evening")

Will Claudia den ganzen Abend nicht zu Hause bleiben?

now we negate the "zu Hause"

Will Claudia den ganzen Abend zu Hause nicht bleiben?

(the previous one will only fit in very special contexts)

So, there is no "best" - it very much depends on what you want to say and which part of the sentence you want to negate.

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