"The apple is not black."
Translation:Az alma nem fekete.
No, it cannot.
nincs is sort of like a contraction of nem van, but in a sentence like this (ascribing an adjective to a noun), you wouldn't use van, and so the negative version can't use nincs.
Why is there no verb here? I would assume the proper sentence would be "Az alma nem fekete van"
No; you can't use van here.
In English, a predicate (the bit of a sentence that talks about the subject and what it is or does) is essentially always a verb, but in Hungarian, a noun or an adjective can be a predicate by themselves.
In Az alma fekete, the adjective fekete is the predicate. So in that sentence, you would translate it not as merely "black" but as "is black".
Similarly in Duo's sentence: nem fekete turns into "is not black" when you translate it into English.
Thank you very much I was asking myself the same question but is there a way to know when the predicate is necessarily a verb or may be an adjective?
Hopefully this will help some: http://www.hungarianreference.com/Van-is-exists-omitting.aspx
Assuming that men is a typo for nem: for the same reason that we can't say "a apple" in English.
a~az is determined by the beginning sound of the next word just as "a~an" is in English.
I'm confused about the word order. In previous examples it looked like it would have been "nem fekete az alma"?
You say you can't use 'van' here because you're ascribing an adjective to a noun - could you explain why this means you can't use 'van'? Is it just 'one of those rules'? Thanks!
My Hungarian partner explains it by saying the adjective can only be referring to the noun - therefore no verb is needed.
Maybe van is just omitted when you describe the subject, but is still possible here?
No, putting a "van" here is a "nagy hiba" - a big mistake. Never use "van" in this situation.