While discussing the translation of a story with 2 native German speakers, I said:

"Er kann eine Flasche kaufen und sie zu Hause trinken." "Es ist nicht das Gleiche." "Nein, es ist nicht," stimmte der Kellner, der eine Frau hat, zu.

and they corrected the last sentence thusly:

"Nein, ist es nicht," stimmte der Kellner, der eine Frau hat, zu.

I would like to understand the reason for the correction.

  • They forgot to also correct "Es ist nicht das Gleiche" to "Das ist nicht das Gleiche". Maybe because it isn't strictly wrong, just weird in this context.
    – Ocean
    Oct 2, 2021 at 14:14
  • 4
    I disagree @ocean. Both is fine. Both is common usage. Oct 2, 2021 at 17:11
  • By the way, strange story. The phrase "der Kellner, der eine Frau hat" ist grammatically correct, but the sub-clause "der eine Frau hat" does not have any reasonable function.
    – Paul Frost
    Oct 2, 2021 at 22:24
  • One waiter is older and single, the other is younger and married. Hence, "der eine Frau hat".
    – user44591
    Oct 3, 2021 at 8:39
  • You can say "Es ist nicht das Gleiche" in a different context and it would be fine, but in this context it just sounds strange. But the very first sentence also sounds strange, somewhat "gekünstelt". Kinda like an alien robot visiting Germany doing everything somewhat perfectly correct, yet still being unsettling wrong. At least that's my impression.
    – Ocean
    Oct 3, 2021 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


"Es ist nicht das Gleiche." "Nein, es ist nicht das Gleiche", stimmte der Kellner, der eine Frau hat, zu.

With the bold addition, the sentence is grammatically correct.

But if you don't want to repeat it - because it would be redundant in this context - it cannot simply be omitted.

"Es ist nicht das Gleiche." "Nein, (das) ist es nicht", stimmte der Kellner, der eine Frau hat, zu.

As you can see, in both variants the "predicate" is in second place. In spoken language, the "das" is regularly omitted.

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