If he was stuffed in the trunk, would he still "zit in de auto"?
Literally, the translation of the Dutch response is not incorrect. However, I would never say the Dutch way in English. See the dialogue below.
Q: Is John in the garage? A: "No, he isn't. He is in the car."
I'm sure you'll see the difference between
- No, he is in the car, and
- No, he is not in the car.
Is this the 'usual' way of saying that in Dutch? In English, if his whereabout is the subject of the response, I'd rather say "No. He is in the car." Otherwise, the English translation should follow the rules of English grammar, unless it is the new 'Engel' grammar taught by Duolingo! ;)
Can you rephrase that, because at the moment I have no idea what you're on about.
Or are you trying to say that it is wrong to say in English.
- No, he is in the car.
And it should be
- No. He is in the car.
If that is the case I'm very interested in some kind of reference that clarifies this. Also if that is what you're saying it's interesting that you did suggest No, he isn't in the car in your original post.
I am sorry if my comments ever confused you. Having read the English translation for a few times, I became a bit puzzled to wonder what exactly the message was being delivered, indeed!
Yes, I believe it makes more sense to express negation in this format when the short form is used - "No, he isn't."
Perhaps it helps end the confusion by placing a full stop after "No" first before giving out more iònformation in the original Dutch statement - "No. He is in the car."
The following example, which is found in English Grammar Today published by Cambridge University Press, might not be a perfect one, but the answer is clear, not ambiguous.
A: Is there a bus at ten o’clock? B: No. The last one goes at nine forty-five. (No = There isn’t a bus at ten o’clock.)
You gave an example of where a period is used. However, that is not a reference that shows that it is wrong to use a comma here.
Here's a reference on punctuation- Cambridge Dictionary (from English Grammar Today):
- "We commonly separate tags and yes-no responses with commas:"
I can reference more sources on grammar that will tell you the exact same and that don't mention anything about a comma being wrong in this case or even mention anything about that what follows yes or no has to be in agreement with the yes or no.
You may wonder why in the example you gave no is followed by a period.
Well, there are sources that mention that the answer should be a direct answer to the question. Hence, if the question is Is there a bus a ten o'clock? then the direct answer is No. and new information should come in a separate sentence.
Now we can change the question to something that makes the answer a direct response.
- Does the last bus go at 10 o'clock? No, the last bus goes at nine forty-five.
This is a direct answer as it directly involves the question about when the last bus goes.
In other words, there is some guidance on when one should use a comma or a period after yes or no. However, this has nothing to do with no needing to be followed by a negation etc.. Hence, if you state that No, he isn't in the car is correct, I cannot see how No, he is in the car would be wrong.
If you persist that this is the case I still very much look forward to a reference that states that this is the case.