"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.
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.
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".
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).