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Creative liberty with German grammar and vocabulary: Question

8 posts / 0 new
Member
Joined: 14.01.2019
Pending moderation

Okay, so I have some song lyrics to a song I'm writing, and there is a certain line that, in order to fit the rhyme scheme, should rhyme (or in this case, almost rhyme) with another line. Here are the two lines:

Nein, nicht "eine kleine Weile"

Entweder alles oder keine

So, the intended meaning of the second line is "either all/everything or nothing;" however, as you probably noticed, the literal translation is something closer to "either all or none". My first concern is: does this sound weird/awkward to a native German speaker? and second: does this make sense/is this gramatically correct? The thing is, I don't want to change it to "entweder alles oder nichts" and lose the rhyme with the first line. Thoughts?

Editor Dances with wolves
Joined: 03.11.2014

Lightbulb
Nein, nicht eine kleine Weile
Alles oder nichts ist, was ich (mit dir) teile
? Confused smile

Member
Joined: 23.12.2018

entweder alles oder keiner does not work. Really in German: entweder alle oder keiner = (everyone or nobody) Keine = nobody feme. But this does not mean: "either all/everything or nothing;" Excuse my english! Alles mean everything.

Editor
Joined: 18.10.2015

Hi, there! What an interesting discussion!
Leto-nacht, I don't think "keine" can work on its own. You must add a noun. It's like "not a...(what, who?) Alles oder nichts is a popular expression. So why not juggle with the words a bit?

Nein, keine kleine Weile
Entweder nichts oder alles

If it sounds stupid everybody will have a good hearty laugh anyway.

Member
Joined: 23.12.2018

In german language: "Alles oder nichts!" Do not use "nichts oder alles"!

Editor Soldier of Love
Joined: 12.03.2017

How about turning this around?

Eine kleine Weile, das will ich nicht
Entscheide dich: Alles oder nichts

Das scheint ja auch keine große Hilfe gewesen zu sein. Aber 77seestern77 und sandring haben Recht - "keine" passt gar nicht.

LT-Website Translator
Joined: 09.01.2018

I think [@Flopsi]'s suggestion is great! Grammar, syntax and vocabulary are correct, and it has the same meaning as the original lines. Wink smile

I'm not very talentedd in creating lyrics, so I can currently not think of another version. Teeth smile

Editor Soldier of Love
Joined: 12.03.2017

Hey, thank you.

Never thought you'd like it. Hooray! You put a smile on my face. Teeth smile

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