"No, they do not have babies."
Translation:Nein, sie haben keine Babys.
Are both plural forms "Babies" and "Babys" really used in German? I thought it was only "Babys".
Only "Babys" is correct. The same goes for "Partys", "Hobbys", "Ponys", etc. Note that many native speakers are not aware of this.
Yes, I guess the problem arises partly because of marketing. Marketing people tend to use a lot of English phrases and prominently place their slogans everywhere. So, it's not uncommon to see 'Babies' written on a pack of disposable diapers. Many Germans adopt these spellings. But as christian already pointed out the correct German plural is 'Babys'.
In my version, it was presented as a multiple choice with only "babies" used. I also understand the only correct version being "Babys", but apparently Duo is ambivalent about it.
'Nein, Babys haben sie nicht' is correct; but 'Nein, sie haben Babys nicht' is not? The verb is second in the second sentence too. I must be missing a point or sth, but I find it confusing right now.
I guess there is a subtle difference here: "Sie haben keine Babys" negates "Babys", and "Babys haben sie nicht" negates "haben". As if they had something, but not babies.
Normally, if you use the straight word order and say that someone does not have something (or has "no something"), you use "kein". In English, "no" is not so commonly used as "kein" in German.
Also, I believe it is a thing you learn by seeing it numerous times. After you get tons of "nicht's" and "kein's", you get a feel of which word suits better.
In the original sentence the negative modifies the verb. So why is nicht wrong? If the sentence was "They have no babies" I would get it, but if it's "don't have" shouldn't "nicht" be ok?
I guess that's just the way German is: they prefer saying "they have no babies" rather than "they don't have babies".
But is the sentence uncommon but grammatically correct, or uncommon and incorrect?
I'm not exactly an expert on this, but I'd say it is so uncommon that it is almost incorrect. Basically, "nicht" negates a verb, and "kein" negates a noun, but in this case you can negate both the verb (have) and the noun (babies). I can suggest a rule of thumb: if you can fit in "kein", use it (and negate the noun). If you can't, it's time to use "nicht".
Ein doesn't have a direct plural in the same way that kein does, but the plural would be "welche."
For the pronoun, perhaps: Er hat keinen Löffel aber ich habe einen / aber ich habe welche.
But for the indefinite article, no. Er hat keinen Löffel, aber er hat eine Gabel / aber er hat *welche Gabeln -- welche simply sounds wrong to me here.
keinen is masculine accusative singular (e.g. er hat keinen Zucker) or dative plural (e.g. er hilft keinen Pferden).
But here you need accusative plural, which is keine.