A resource I am using to learn German says that to say

She does not like tea or coffee

would translate to

Sie mag keinen Tee und keinen Kaffee.

Why would this be the case, instead of saying:

Sie mag keinen Tee oder Kaffee.

Is my resource wrong?

  • Your English example is wrong. English speakers say: She likes neither tea nor coffee. They don't use "or" in that construction. – flocks Oct 10 at 17:20
  • "She does not like tea or coffee" is perfectly good English. (Native speaker here.) – fdb Oct 10 at 18:44
  • My friend, I am a native speaker of the English language. Born and raised in Texas, trust me "She does not like tea or coffee" is not wrong. – Jaken Herman Oct 10 at 19:09
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's DeMorgan's Laws at work: not (a or b) == (not a) and (not b)

German nicht and even more kein binds closely to the very next item. That's why we prefer to say

Sie mag keinen Tee und keinen Kaffee.

instead of

Sie mag keinen Tee oder Kaffee.

Both are possible, but the latter is often expressed as

Sie mag weder Tee noch Kaffee.

You may add more options:

Sie mag weder Tee noch Kaffee noch Wasser.

Sie mag weder Tee noch Kaffee, weder Wasser noch Limo.

  • 3
    Added remark: the "weder ... noch" equals the English "neither ... nor" and is indeed, as Janka said, the normal way to negate multiple options in German. – Volker Landgraf Oct 9 at 7:40

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