"The girl is not eating the soup."
Translation:Das Mädchen isst die Suppe nicht.
Nicht has to come in the endings when it's negating the verb. It comes before when it negates an adjective in the phrase.
You are not very tall - Du bist nicht sehr groß. What you are NOT? Very tall. Negation on the adjective (or adverb + adjective, like in the example): NICHT.
I am not eating the soup - Ich esse die Suppe nicht. What am I NOT doing? Eating. In that case, the negation is on the verb, as you are not eating. The action of "eat" is not happening. NEGATION IN THE END.
I am eating the soup, but not the bread. - Ich esse die Suppe, aber nicht das Brot. What am I NOT doing? Eating the bread. You can't negate the verb "eating", as you are indeed eating, so you are negating the noun "bread". SPECIAL CASE - NEGATION BEFORE THE NOUN. Attention here, because it is used only on these cases, when it's a complement for the previous phrase. Nicht before a noun is grammatically wrong.
And, of course, there is still "kein", which is used to negate nouns. It is used to negate things that are not countable or specific:
Ich esse keine Suppe. I do not eat soup. Which soup? Anyone. It's not a specific soup, I just don't eat them. If it was specific, it would be "Ich esse diese Suppe nicht". Kein + (e) = declination for feminine on accusative.
Ich mag kein Gemüse. I do not like vegetables. Which vegetables? Any. I just don't like them. Kein = declination for neuter on accusative.
Kein Hund trinkt Milch. Any dog drinks milk. The phrase itself shows that: ANY dog. Not specific. If there was a specific one who doesn't drink, it'd be "Dieser Hund trinkt keine Milch". Obs : note that the "keine" appeared before the "milk" because of the same rule said before: negation of a noun.
That's it, if there's something wrong, feel free to correct me.
Thank you so much for the explanation, clarifies a lot of things. I just have one doubt- if I say, "Das ist keine katze" , it would mean that is not a cat. And here I would point to a specific cat and say that's not a cat, a cat is both specific and countable here. Could you please clarify? Thank you.
Probably the same way as English speakers. Sometimes, you say the person is having soup. Just as often, you describe the person as eating soup.
More specifically, if someone had ordered soup and was therefore was having it, if they chose to not actually eat the soup, virtually all English speakers would say she was not eating it since she already had it.