"החלטנו שזה רעיון טוב."

Translation:We have decided that it is a good idea.

August 15, 2016

17 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Conchetta22

The program marked "We decided that that was a good idea" wrong. Can the sentence really not be translated in that way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranciscoG798295

You are right and duolingo is wrong. English requires tense agreement. If you day "decided" you hav to say the idea was good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannah649004

In British English you can have different tenses in a sentence.

If you're asked to make a decision about something that has already happened your reply would be,"We decided it was a good idea."

If you're asked to make a decision about something that is going to happen your reply will be, "We decided that it is a good idea." or even, "We decided that it will be a good idea."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

@Francisco Duo is wrong if it doesn’t accept We have decided that it was a good idea, because that is one of two valid translations. The other valid translation is the one provided, We have decided that it is a good idea.

If you google Indirect speech, you’ll see this example of reported speech. How do people manage to live in this city? In reported speech, this becomes

I asked him how people managed to live in that city. The tense change is called backshifting, and occurs because the main verb, asked, is in the past tense. This tense change is not obligatory when the situation described is still valid.

I am coming over to watch TV. Benjamin said that he is/was coming over to watch TV. The change of tense is optional.

In this sentence, the original tense can be used provided that it remains equally valid at the time of the reporting of the statement (Benjamin is still expected to come over).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruti518486

I thought the same thing. Would it have to read "החלטנו שזה היה רעיון טוב" to be correctly translated that way? I'm not sure.


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

I also find it on another example... i wonder why...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rBhr5
  • 1324

I agree with with other posters about 'We decided it was a good idea.' In English, when the first verb is in the past tense, it is usual to put a second verb in that past tense as well. 'He decided it is a good idea' does make sense when the idea is one that exists in the present, but 'He decided it was a good idea' is an equally correct translation of exactly the same idea in English - in the past, he decided that it was a good idea. Compare with 'She decided she was going' and 'She decided she is going'. I also can see how, if you translate the first verb in the present perfect, 'We have decided', then 'it is a good idea' follows as it's also in the present tense. But because the first part of the sentence can also be translated 'We decided', then 'it was a good idea' should be equally accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Hekhlatnu she-ze ra’ayon tov.


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

We decided it was a good idea... i think is a better translation


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

This whole problem stems from the fact that English uses something called "reference time" and Hebrew doesn't. See Steven Pinker's great book The Stuff of Thought for an excellent discussion of how reference time works.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hadassah277241

Okay okay. The translation "We decided it was a good idea" makes perfect sense to English speakers who have no problem seeing that sentence as present tense. Hebrew speakers would insist on, "It is a good idea," as the correct translation because, let's face it. They don't know English. They only think they do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranciscoG798295

Agreed. We decided it was a good idea should be accepted.


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

Well, the powers that be haven't agreed as it's still not accepted, but if you just take the second part of the sentence alone without the "ש,'' it would be "It is a good idea".


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

I listened very carefully many times, the speaker says חלטנו not החלטנו

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