"I don't have a girlfriend."
Rub the salt in like so. And if you're feeling creative, add a dash of lemon juice.
Ok so why is かのじょ now "girlfriend"? Doesn't this literally mean "SHE doesn't exist"?
Think about it as if the equivalent to the English "Do you have a girl?" is "Is there a She?" (which I find better, as it doesn't imply posession). Maybe that helps
What if you wanted to say "I have a girlfriend, but she doesn't exist."? That's a common enough thing among otaku, right?
since duolingo has broached the topic of informal Japanese, it seems like straightforward sentences like this one would be the most ripe for omission of particles; is that the case? or is there a different set of guidelines on when it's normal to omit particles?
Particles are really only omitted in very informal conversation among close friends and family. As far as my experience goes, I have only seen は dropped, although I can't say for sure whether it is common to drop other particles.
は and が are usually the only particles you drop. Most of the other particles are super important and cant be omitted.
it is right, even better than は IMO, i wrote かのじょがいない and was marked wrong