"The cat is not here."
Translation:Кошки здесь нет.
It's ungrammatical. With «нет», you use genitive case, while «кошка» is nominative. Also, the word order is not too natural.
«Кошки здесь нет» might be used even where there's no cat at all (i.e. it could mean "There is no cat"). «Кошка не здесь» implies there is some cat, it's just not here.
Well it's difficult for me to understand the difference. In fact i see a difference and it seems that there is no difference between:
1/ Кошки здесь нет. For me that means there is no cat
2/ Кошка не здесь For me that means the cat is not here
May someone explain me where i'm wrong so that i can improve my russian skills?
Thanks in advance for your help
Those two expressions are similar and sometimes they can be used interchangeably if one only wants to say "the cat is not here" without any further subtext. However there is a subtle difference and in some contexts one phrasing is more suitable that the other:
"Кошки здесь нет" or "здесь кошки нет" can be used with the implication "I don't know, no do I care where the cat is, but it's definitely not here".
"Кошка не здесь" may have the subtext of "the cat is not here, but I know where it is and I can tell you".
It means "The cats are not here", "The cats are in a different place."
«Кошки не здесь» uses a different construction, you negate "here". «Нет» is used to express absence (it's an antonym of «есть»), while «не» negates the word it precedes. Here, you negate «здесь», meaning the "cats are not-here". Since your sentence doesn't use «нет», you don't use genitive case (sg. ко́шки, pl. ко́шек); instead, you use the nominative case (sg. ко́шка, pl. ко́шки), and this is why it's plural in meaning.
In another exercise, Duo marked me wrong for not writing мамы нет for "Mom is not here". (I wrote здесь мамы нет, which I believe is acceptable.) So, кошки нет should also do for "The cat is not here".
I think the problem is that Duo is not coordinating it's exercises as well as could be done - unless there's some rule differentiating people from animals on this point.
You're right. Good point. The problem is that one English sentence equals two Russian sentences. "Not here" means the absence of something as well as the absence of something in this particular place. In Russian, those are two distinct meanings
Кошки нет = The cat's not here.
Кошки здесь нет = The cat's not here.
The emphasis is different.
Russian nouns have several case-forms. «Ко́шка» is the nominative case, used as a subject in most sentences. However, with «нет» you need to use a different case, genitive. «Ко́шки» is the genitive-case form.
If this seems too complex, it's because it really is. :) It takes some time to learn. However, don't be discouraged: if you use the wrong case, you will still be understood.
When I tried "Кошка не тут", it was marked incorrect, with the correction of "Кошка не здесь" furnished as a correct answer. What is the distinction of meaning between тут and здесь? Up to this point I have had the impression that they were pretty much interchangeable.
From the comment of szeraja_zhaba a year ago, "«Кошки здесь нет» might be used even where there's no cat at all (i.e. it could mean "There is no cat"). «Кошка не здесь» implies there is some cat, it's just not here." From this, it would seem that the preferred translation offered at the top of this discussion page would not really work as precisely as «Кошка не здесь» , since the presence of the "The" in the English specifies that there is indeed some cat, and even a specific cat. If there weren't a cat, we would use either "There isn't a cat here" (suggesting that possibly there is some other animal here), or perhaps "There is no cat here".
Since there are no articles (a[n]/the) in Russian, the concept of definite and indefinite nouns is determined either by noun determiners (этот, тот, какой, etc.) or purely by context.
Кошки здесь нет, could either mean "The cat is not here," or "There is no cat here." It all depends on context - what is said before or after, or what is already understood (for example, your friend already knows whether you own a cat or not).
«Кот сейча́с нет» is definitely incorrect. First, «сейчас» is 'now', not 'here'. Second, «кот» is the Nominative case form (like «ко́шка»), while you use the Genitive case forms («ко́шки», «кота́») with «нет» to express absence.
Sure it should be кота or кошки, that is my mistake, but if you look under the lesson near the top labeled "Where" and under the sub section of "I am away" it states, "Russian also uses genitive to state that someone is "away", "not there": Мамы сейчас нет. In English such use would correspond to "There is no mom at the moment", or even "There is no me now". We are not hard on that particular construction in the course, but it is important to know it all the same."
I just want to know why that section says it is acceptable. Perhaps I am missing something. Is it the difference between humans and animals?
Sorry, I don't get you. «Кота́ сейчас не́т» is certainly acceptable as a translation for 'The cat is away now', but why should it be acceptable as a translation for 'The cat is not here'?
Obviously, your sentences should not just be grammatically correct, they also need to have the same meaning as the translated sentence. And translating 'here' (здесь) with the word «сейча́с» ('now') is rejected not because there's something wrong with the word «сейча́с», but because it doesn't correspond to the word 'here'.
Or did you get this sentence in a 'choose a variant from the dropdown' exercise?
My thought process was as follows: if there is no mom at the moment, so to speak, then she certainly is not here. It was also in my head for just having reviewed that lesson. However, I do get that the structure and base meaning of the translations should not be misconstrued in this way and should be as close to possible as the given sentence. Thanks for the help.
then she certainly is not here
Oh, I see. It could theoretically work (if you think about it that way, 'away' really means 'not here'), but yes, I believe this course expects you to use the closest translations grammatically to make sure you understand the grammar.