Why "This is not cat" is wrong? The right translation "This is no cat" sound strange, am I wrong?
"That/this is no cat" is fine. A more popular example using "that is no" would be in Star Wars. When the Millennium Falcon comes upon the Death Star for the first time, Obi-Wan says "That's no moon. It's a space station."
Your proposed "That/this is not cat" is missing the indefinite article and should be "That is not a cat". As it stands, your sentence "That is not cat" can be used in English in situations that one wouldn't normally come across in English speaking countries. If you were served a dish that you were told contained cat (meat), and after tasting it you realized it wasn't cat, you could complain to the waiter and say "I don't know what that is, but that, is not cat." A more likely version in English speaking countries would involve replacing "cat" with beef, pork, chicken, or some type of fish. I have personally said/experienced something like my example while at Dim sum with my buddies. They told me the dumplings were filled with pork but they had shrimp in them (I'm not a seafood fan). It took me a few chews before I realized. They asked me what was wrong, and I said "That's not pork". For the record, it was the waiter's mistake, not my buddies'.
As Hohenems says, "This is not cat" makes "cat" a substance, which in this usage would mean a type of meat. Since Westerners do not eat cat meat, it sounds humorous (or awful) to us, or else just doesn't seem to make sense. If you're talking about an actual animal rather than the meat of that animal, you need to include the indefinite article "a".
This works the same with other animals and their meat, e.g.:
- "This is not chicken" (meat) vs. "This is not a chicken" (animal)
- "This is not moose" (meat) vs. "This is not a moose" (animal)
- "This is not rabbit" (meat) vs "This is not a rabbit" (animal)
With many common farm animals and the meat that comes from them, we use the native English word for the animal and a different word for the meat, taken from the French word for the animal. So:
- Cow or bull or ox (animal) vs. beef (meat, from French boeuf, "ox" or "bullock")
- Sheep (animal) vs. mutton (meat, from the French mouton, "sheep")
- Pig or hog or swine (animal) vs. pork (meat, from the French porc, "pig")
Other animals, such as goats, and fowl such as ducks and chickens, seem to have escaped this double-word usage for the animal vs. the meat of the animal.
A more general translation would be, "That is not a cat." "This is no cat" is absolutely correct, but it is used only in a narrow circumstance. It is used when someone misidentifies something and you are correcting them:
"Hey, look at that weird cat with the huge teeth and the flat tail!"
"Um, that's no cat. That's a beaver."
Hohenems brought up the Star Wars example of Han Solo mentioning a "small moon" and Obi-Wan responding, "That's no moon." Good example of this usage.
Because kein (K+EIN) is the negation of the undefinite article EIN, so you need to decline it dependiing on the case and gender.
Here is the declination chart.
NOMINATIVE : Masculine (kein), feminine (keine), neuter (kein) ACCUSATIVE: masculine (keinen), feminine (keine), neuter (kein) DATIV: masculine (keinem), feminine (keiner), neuter (keinem) GENITIVE: masculine (keines), feminine (keiner), neuter (keines).
As you can see in the chart above. if you eliminate the "K" in each case you have the declination for the undefinite article "EIN".
In the sentence "Das ist keine Katze" you need to evaluate the case and the gender, lets start with the gender because that is easier. Katze as you may know is feminine (die Katze) that is why you need to put your mind in that part of the chart.
The case is nominative becuase you have a predicative noun, this happens when the verb that is affecting the sentence is sein, werden or bleiben. You can check this out by replacing the verb with and =, if the equation stays the same then you have found a predicate noun.
So katze is nominative (case) and feminine (gender).... this is why you use keine. kein would be for masculine or neuter nouns.
I get the German phrasing here, and it works fine for me. I easily would understand this phrase just fine if I heard it. But, I would naturally be apt mirror the English and say "Das is nicht eine Katze. Would this be wrong? How odd would it sound odd to a native speaker? Have we been over this is a lesson I've forgotten. Danke.
I really want to know the rule for this too. My mind wants to use "nicht" for this translation.
As a Germanist, please take the following as a rule:
in literally about 99.9999% of cases, "nicht" and an indefinite article (ein/eine/einen/einem/einer/eines) N-E-V-E-R go together in German.
here's an even better rule - if you find yourself wanting to say nicht + ein..., THIS is exactly where you would use "kein." Kein behaves just like ein. So instead of nicht ein, say kein. If you want to say nicht einem, say keinem.
I follow the basic rule of using Keine/Keinen with verbs and nicht with nouns then howcome "Das ist nicht katze is the wrong answer" pls clear this.
It's just a equivocation.
Use "nicht" with verbs:
Ich esse nicht.
Wir lesen nicht.
Use "keine/keinen" with nouns.
Das ist keine Katze. (The negativ form of "eine" is "keine")
Wir essen keinen Apfel. (The same rule: einen - keinen)
The declination for the nominative is:
Feminine = die Katze, eine Katze
Das ist eine Katze.
Das ist keine Katze.
Masculine = der Hund, ein Hund
Das ist ein Hund.
Das ist kein Hund.
Neuter = das Kind, ein Kind
Das ist ein Kind.
Das ist kein Kind.
1- Nominativ + Maskulin (or Neutrum): kein [Kein Mann isst Suppe].
2- Nominativ + Feminin (or plural): keine [Keine Frauen trinken Bier]
3- Akkusativ + Maskulin: keinen [Ich sehe keinen Mann]
4- Akkusativ + Neutrum: kein [Ich treffe kein Mädchen]
5- Akkusativ + Feminin (or plural): keine [Ich sehe keine Frau]
6- Dativ + Maskulin (or Neutrum): keinem [Ich danke keinem Mann]
7- Dativ + Feminin: keiner [Ich folge keiner Frau]
8- Dativ + Plural: keinen [Ich antworte keinen Jungs].
How do you know when someone says "Das ist keine katze" if they are meaning "That is not a cat" or "That is nobodies cat"?
It means, “That is not a cat.” (maybe it’s really a skunk, or a squirrel, or another animal, or a shadow).
It has nothing to do with the ownership of the cat.