Can anyone explain, why the opposite sentence to "El caballo corre" would be "El caballo no está corriendo". Why not "El caballo no corre"?
The same: "Los gatos duermen" and (opposite) "El gato no está durmiendo", but not "El gato no duerme"?
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The problem is that the sentence "El gato duerme" (I'm using the singular here) could mean two things.
The cat sleeps
The cat is sleeping.
So the opposite to the first sentence would be
The cat does not sleep = El gato no duerme
And for the second it would be
The cat is not sleeping = El gato no está durmiendo
So you are correct but there are two "correct" alternatives.
The same applies for the "El caballo corre" = The horse runs or The horse is running.
Just for me your example is correct on the way to say "El caballo no corre" - "The horse isn't run", because if you want to say "El caballo no esta corriendo" it would be using like that "The horse is not running" the ing at the end for me is always the meaning in spanish that finishes on "ando" and "endo" because is an action that is happening right now or could be on the future.
The difference is in which of the possible meanings a sentence defaults to.
If you say "el gato duerme" I would typically understand that the cat is sleeping right now, unless you added something like "el gato duerme todos los días".
For some reason, that I can not understand myself, if you say "el gato no duerme" I tend to understand that the cat never sleeps, unless you add something like "en este momento el gato no duerme".
So while "duerme" can mean "sleeps" or "is sleeping", the "no" switches what its default meaning is, and in the negative, to keep the same meaning that the affirmative defaulted to, you need the less ambiguous "está durmiendo".
Of course, all the same applies to the example about the horse.