"Ik draag de schoenen niet."
Translation:I am not wearing the shoes.
That is grammatically correct, but the meaning is different. Compare:
- Ik draag de schoenen niet - I do not wear the shoes
- Ik draag geen schoenen - I do not wear (any) shoes
In the first sentence, the speaker could be wearing a different pair of shoes. In the second, no shoes are worn at all.
Cannot the answer be, I don't wear shoes?
I had trouble deciphering why it was one way or the other.
Sure I can see "de=the" but as an expression 'I don't wear shoes' seems fairly close in meaning, especially when translated out of any context?
I'm going to struggle with this one ;)
No, I don't wear shoes is a general statement about not wearing any shoes ever (maybe you just prefer walking bare-feet), while I don't wear the shoes is a statement about a very specific pair of shoes (maybe they are a size too small). They are anything but close in meaning.
Geen hemd, geen schoenen, geen dienst.
Doesn't quite have the ring to it that it does in English, but you get the point. ;-)