only to find an alternative for saying it in plural, i wonder if one could say "(die) Katzen mögen Wasser nicht". or should it be "(die) Katzen mögen nicht Wasser"? Google Translate puts it as "Katzen mögen kein Wasser". but "cats like no water" can mean for me "cats don't like any (kind of) water". i'm not a native english speaker, so maybe i'm wrong...
From the tips and notes section
Simply put, "kein" is composed of "k + ein" and placed where the indefinite article would be in a sentence. For instance, look at the positive and negative statement about each noun: "ein Mann" (a man) versus "kein Mann" (not a/not one man), and "eine Frau" versus "keine Frau."
"Kein" is also used for negating nouns that have no article: "Man hat Brot" (one has bread) versus "Man hat kein Brot" (one has no bread).
Use "nicht" in the following five situations: 1.Negating a noun that has a definite article like "der Raum" (the room) in "Der Architekt mag den Raum nicht" (the architect does not like the room). 2.Negating a noun that has a possessive pronoun like "sein Glas" (his glass) in "Der Autor sucht sein Glas nicht." (the writer is not looking for his glass). 3.Negating the verb: "Sie haben nicht" (they/you do not have). 4.Negating an adverb or adverbial phrase. For instance, "Mein Mann isst nicht immer" (my husband does not eat at all times). 5.Negating an adjective that is used with "sein" (to be): "Du bist nicht hungrig" (you are not hungry).
Replying to efisgpr's post simply because it is the most recent one in this section of this discussion thread. Best web page I've read thus far on this topic is the one you'll find below:
Your mastery of German may have far surpassed what can be learned from that page, but if not (or for those who are just starting their study of German), hope that helps.
Whenever I turn on the water, my cat comes out of the woodwork and dives into the sink under the faucet. He often gets there faster than I can get my hands wet. I have another cat who does hate water, though. They are so different in every way. My cats are FULL of personality. They crack me up.
For starters, singular nouns without articles are in general a no-no in German. There are exceptions of course, like proper nouns, but normally you cannot have a singular noun without a form of ‘der’ / ‘die’ / ‘das’ (the) or ‘ein’ / ‘eine’ (an). Again, there are exceptions.
Going on, ‘Wasser’ is neuter (it takes ‘das’) so you'd need ‘kein’ rather than ‘keine’.
And then there is a more subtle point of meaning. Compare the following:
1) Katzen mögen kein Wasser. = Cats don't like water.
2) Keine Katze mag Wasser. = No cat likes water.
These are similar, sure, but don't mean quite the same thing.
On a lighter note, there are actually cats that do enjoy water.
I think it's worth mentioning that eine, deine, seine, ihre, Giselas, & die are all "determiners". I would like to amplify & tweak what you said by suggesting an edit from "without articles" to "without a determiner". Of course, that's a grammatical category new to some, so maybe it's best left here in this addendum so as to avoid bumfuzzling anyone.
It would depend on the context. Cats drink water, but many species and breeds would prefer to stay dry. Some species swim on purpose, but most wouldn't. Some domestic breeds are fine going out in the rain, and others will avoid it.
So it's not a true statement, but some people might say it anyway, in some contexts.