No white shirts? NO white shirts!? NO WHITE SHIRTS!?!?!!? RRRRAAAAAAAWWWRR!!!!!!! rampages about department store
It does though. Imagine this conversation: "Hey, I heard you have great white shirts. Can you hook me up? I have an interview soon." "Sorry, bud. We're all out of white shirts." "No white shirts? Are you sure?" "Yup. Now get out and practice some German."
"Hey Skeeter, I got you a shirt in every color for your birthday!" "Cool! Wow, you really got me a green one, an orange one ... but wait ... no white shirt?"
Yes, it's contrived, but you might say "No white shirt?" in any situation in which you expect a specific white shirt and it's not there.
You also might say this to an employee who's supposed to wear a white shirt as part of a uniform, but comes in with another color.
I would say this to my companion going to a formal event who is not dressed appropriately
It depends on the gender of the thing that is white. The endings are different following 'a' (ein/eine/ein) than following 'the' (der/die/das). For example, ein weißes Hemd as against das weiße Hemd.
The strong ending of Nomativ/Neuter nouns such as 'Hemd' is '-es' (from 'das').
'weiß' takes the strong '-es' ending because the preceding article 'kein' does not have the strong ending '-es'. If the preceding article does not have the strong ending, the adjective receives the strong ending by default.
For more on strong/weak endings, check out this video:
"Not a white shirt" doesn't work, but I've been told that 'kein' is roughly equivalent to 'not a' or 'not an'.
Same here. I put "not a white shirt" and got it wrong. Would like to know why it's wrong!
Imagine that you walk into a clothing store and see shirts in every colour but white. In English you would say "no white shirts?" and in German "keine weiße Hemden?"
Honestly, this should probably be a correct solution. I'd be interested in the opinion of a moderator.
I agree -- it could be used in a situation such as "I'm going to wear a black shirt tonight." - "Not a white shirt?" (Ich ziehe mir heute Abend ein schwarzes Hemd an. -- Kein weißes Hemd?)
However, as far as I can tell, "Not a white shirt?" has been accepted for at least 2 years. (But the comment you replied to is 3 years old.)
"No white shirt"... might be said to you at a party with a theme of white, when you show up wearing your purple V-neck
Thanks, but what's with that keins in the neuter, non-attributive? Is that an alternative and can be interchangeable?
The non-attributive versions are for when you use "kein" as a stand-alone pronoun rather than with a noun: "Sie haben Brot verkauft aber ich wollte keins."
It's the same for "ein" and the possessive articles as well: "Der Hund ist meiner."