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  5. "Evde hırsız var."

"Evde hırsız var."

Translation:There is a thief in the house.

February 3, 2016

15 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

There is no "bir" so can "thieves" be equally acceptable?

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexinNotTurkey

That logic only stands true when you are talking about objects in Turkish. This is not an object, but rather the subject of this sentence. :)

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubiz

I think no, bir is actually optional here, when the noun is singular it is generally understood as one. For thieves to be acceptable the original sentence had to be "evde hırsızlar var.".

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

That is what I initially thought too, but I was wondering if it could semantically mean either one even though most Turkish speakers would interpret it as "a thief".

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubiz

My feeling, as a native speaker, is that when you drop "bir" (or any word indicating quantity) the quantity is not emphasized anymore. What is really meant is there exists an unimportant / unmentioned number of thieves in the house, that number is certainly greater than zero, but should normally be assumed as one :D. What I can tell with confidence is that translating "evde hırsız var" by using "thieves" would not be correct. So yes, we interpret it as a singular thief unless specified otherwise, yet if it turns out that there were multiple of them we wouldn't call the person who told us this a liar since that person didn't use any quantity in the first place ;)

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

Thanks, That is a good way to put it! :) As a Persian speaker we do a similar thing as Turkish where we drop the "bir" and basically it works like your sentence where all you're implying is that At LEAST one thief exists. Now, I know how to explain it in my language once it comes out on duo ;)

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubiz

Yes, that's great because I really had a hard time explaining it. Part of the problem is that I couldn't find a way to talk about thieves in neither plural nor singular fashion. This made me think that some grammars force us to think in a certain way. For a native English speaker, your initial question makes sense because it's impossible to think of unnumbered thieves (It's either thieves or a thief) whereas there is no restriction in Turkish, and apparently neither in Persian. It's also an important question because, after all, you need to translate it.

The more I thought about it the better I realized that when you say "evde hırsız var", what you really, really mean is "the house is currently being broken into", as the turkish phrase doesn't give any information about the quantity at all. But since you need to use the word "thief" you must quantify it in English, which not only changes the meaning but also makes your initial question look important to an English speaker. English grammar, however, doesn't force us to further describe the thieves, such as their sex, color of their clothes etc, hence you don't ask about them, you only ask about their numbers. Uncountable nouns are different though. If the sentence was "evde ekmek var", you would translate it as "there is bread at home". Since you can speak about unnumbered bread, you wouldn't care to ask about how much of it there is and end up with a perfect translation.

So, the true answer to your question is that we don't make assumptions about the quantity in such cases, but since an English speaker absolutely needs to know about the plurality, I'd say "one" is a good choice as it is the minimum number to signify existence of something. If only the grammar allowed us to say something like "there is thief in the house"...

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v.ivanov

What is that thieves lack? :) [I mean the -sız suffix]

May 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/little-merman

It's apparently derived from the word "hayırsız" which can mean "lacking goodness/charity" or "worthless/useless". I think the former is more fitting in this case. Both "hayırsız" and "hırsız" are in use in Turkish today with "hırsız" only meaning "thief".

May 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v.ivanov

Hayırsız is a familiar word, thank you very much, now I get it!

May 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dagummace

How about "A thief is in the house"?

April 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexinNotTurkey

It has been added :)

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHilmiNevzat

"Evde hırsız var." Translation: There is a thief inside the house.

Correct other English translation answer.

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ummrak

So it is incorrect to say 'There are thieves in the house"?

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHilmiNevzat

ummrak

"Evde hırsız var." Translation: There is a thief in the house.

So it is incorrect to say 'There are thieves in the house"?

Your answer is correct & is plural for "thieves."

"Hırsızlar evde var" - There are thieves in the house. The plural noun acts as a verb conjugation. So "var" is correct in this example for the verb ending.

Kind regards to you.

March 5, 2019
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