"The man is not eating pasta."
Translation:Der Mann isst keine Nudeln.
Der Mann isst nicht Nudeln is in my opinion also a correct answer because it is a statement about what he is currently not eating Der Mann ist keine Nudeln means that he does not eat pasta ever so the sentence to be translated is not clear Keine is the short form for nicht eine
"Nudeln" is a slightly more general term. We normally use 'Pasta' only to refer to Italian kinds of noodles. If you are sitting in an Italian restaurant, they are equivalent. But you wouldn't normally refer to spaetzle as 'Pasta'. But you asked whether you can get away with 'Pasta'. Yes, you can. Nobody will tar and feather you for using it. It's not actually wrong and you will be understood.
I agree with Penelope15; I think it is closer to the English, because the continuous form of the verb suggests only that he is not eating pasta now, but does at other times, whereas "Der Mann isst keine Nudeln" to me would be better translated as he does not ever eat pasta - he eats no pasta. A different thing altogether!
I agree with christian that you can't bring English grammar into this. Maybe it sounds better to you because you are trying to replace "not" with "nicht" as English doesn't have something similar to "kein". The meaning of German sentences is more based on context which can be complicated if you only have one sentence. If I read a sentence like "Nudeln isst der Mann nicht" I would actually think the opposite of what you are saying as to me it could mean that he never eats pasta.
I'm sorry, everyone! I really didn't mean to say that following English grammar should also explain or parallel German grammar and structures - of course not! But as a native English speaker, I am aware of the subtleties in meaning in the original English sentence, and was wondering why my attempt to put those same shades of meaning into my German translation was wrong. On this point it seems that Lenkvist has tried to explain it for me, and it seems the explanations of negatives in Duolingo German need development. I had thought from them that using "kein" was roughly equivalent to English use of "no", but I did not understand how a different word order can also give a different emphasis to the meaning of a sentence. It has not yet been covered in the lessons I've done.Thank you all for your suggestions!
You were confused in some things: A) There's no continuous aspect in german, that is: - "I eat" = "Ich esse", or - "I am eating" = "Ich esse", but - "I am eating" can not be said like "Ich bin essen". That does not exist in german. (You always use the present tense itself to mean both "i eat" or "i am eating".)
Since there isn't this continuos aspect, your try should be "Der Mann isst nicht Nudeln" (because you're not trying infinitive "essen" anymore), but this is also wrong, because of the negation. For this, I found this helpful page:
http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/negationexpl.html Which I also copied and pasted below (that's not mine):
Handout: Negation with Nicht and Kein
Use kein (and its inflected forms keine/keinen):
• to negate a noun preceded by ein/eine/einen: - Ist das eine Lampe? - Nein, das ist keine Lampe.
• to negate a noun preceded by no article at all (although it may be preceded by an adjective): - Finde ich Bücher hier? - Nein, Sie finden keine Bücher hier. - Finde ich gute Bücher hier? - Nein, Sie finden keine guten Bücher hier.
• to negate a noun preceded by a definite article (der/die/das) or a possessive pronoun (mein/dein/etc): - Ist das dein Buch? - Nein, das ist nicht mein Buch. - Ist er der Lehrer? - Nein, er ist nicht der Lehrer. (Er ist kein Lehrer would mean that he’s not a teacher at all.)
• to negate entire thoughts, verbs, adjectives, and elements of the sentence other than nouns: - Verstehst du? - Nein, ich verstehe nicht. - Spielst du gern Tennis? - Nein, ich spiele nicht gern Tennis. - Ist die Uhr alt? - Nein, sie ist nicht alt.
Hope that helps!