but what if only one child was abducted and police came to your house and asked you and your grandmother if you have that child
Yes, I know what the literal translation is. But that's not how you would say it, generally.
Well, Duolingo seems to be unclear on the question of literal translation v how you would actually say it. And in America, at least, one would generally use the plural when referring to the lack of children.
The thing is, plural genitive is quite more complicated than singular genitive in Russian. So it is avoided in the course until much later, as stated by an admin.
I and others have stated above and elsewhere that the common usage in English is for the abstract negative to be plural. So "We don't have children" should be accepted, as that's how you would say it in English, unless you had a specific child with you, who had since run off, but then you would use "the child", not "a child". We want to get the English right as well as the Russian.
English has two different sentences "We don't have a child" and "We don't have children". So does Russian. The second is more common in English, and I believe in Russian too. The first, less common, sentence is given here, the corresponding English sentence should be used in the translation.
Actually, my translation, and what I would say if azked, was No, we have no children.
I QUITE UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A GENETIVE AFTER НЕТ. BUT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE GENETIVE OF РЕБЁНОК COULD SOMEONE EXPLAIN IT TO ME PLEASE ?
Masculine nouns ending in a consonant add -а in the genitive case. The "о" in "ребёнок" is what's called a "fleeting vowel" - when words end in an awkward consonant cluster it's broken up by adding -о- or -е- in the middle, so the nominative form is "ребёнок" instead of "ребёнк". In cases other than nominative the fleeting vowel is dropped out so "ребёнок" changes to "ребёнка".
I think there are rules for this but I'm not sure, certainly I don't remember them. Consonant + к is often a giveaway. Later in the tree there is an entire skill dedicated to the more common nouns with fleeting vowels.
Why would it by wrong to translate this to "no, we do not have the child" instead of "no, we do not have a child"?
"The child" refers to a specific child. If you're saying that you're childless, then you're not talking about a specific child, so it would be wrong to use "the". I guess you could say that if you meant that a particular child was not with you at the moment, but I'm not sure if the Russian can be interpreted in that way.
"I don't have kids/children" should be accepted, as it is what every native English speaker would say.