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"Το ασπρόμαυρο"

Translation:The white and black

September 7, 2016

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jameslucas129

In English we can't use an adjective alone with an article, we would have to insert the word "one" as in "the black and white ONE."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aling14

While true, there is an uncommon use where the indefinite article plus an adjective becomes a noun phrase, and is used to refer to an entire group possessing the quality of the adjective, e.g. the young, the proud, the tall, the speedy, the rich, the dead, etc.


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

Absolutely, they are called substantives, I believe, which is itself a substantive. Some of my favorite movies, for instance are black and whites. If you were to ask me which Frankenstein I prefered, it would definitely be the black and white.


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

Hmmm. Thanks for using the term "substantive" - it's helpful. In some areas, "black and whites" is a term that refers specifically to official police cars (as opposed to unmarked police cars) - that's the way I'd use it as a substantive.


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

My bigg New Oxford Dictionary of English quotes the term substantive as 'dated' and means a noun. 'Noun' does not generate the word 'substantive'. (p1268)

The Oxford English Grammar (Greenbaum - 1996) seems to make no mention of 'substantive' in its Index (p650), or in the Glossary (p633)

Substantiv seems to be the most usual word in German for a 'noun'.

However, perhaps this is a difference in BrE and AmE terminology.


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

That may very well be, or it could be regional, or it could be an idiosyncrasy of my French and Latin teachers. They used the term to refer to an adjective used alone as a noun, e.g. the French national sports teams are usually les bleues (the blues). I am sure there is a better, more modern term for this, but I am not a linguist of any sort, so I do not know it. I always assumed that the term my teachers used, substantive, was itself a substantive, really referring to a substantive adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jameslucas129

You're absolutely correct. The question is then, in this Greek example, are they referring to a singular item or a collective group? In Spanish, for example, the plural would be used to refer to a collective group.


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

It refers to one item.


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

So the black and white one would be the translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Eleni

Is the plural form τα ασπρόμαυρα?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Eleni

Ευχαριστώ D_..!


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

So, this is an adjective we would use for anything in monochrome?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D_..
Mod

    Yes! TV, dress, photograph, chair, wall, you name it! Just take care to have the adjective in agreement with the noun's gender.


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

    Thanks. I just wanted to make sure it didn't have some more limited meaning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lng52-._

    So you never use: "το άσπρο και μαύρο"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/witcher1701

    We would use it in the following context:

    "What are these two colours?"

    "άσπρο και μαύρο." (white and black)

    So when the context itself separates the two colours, you separate them in the speech as well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melissa1250

    This seems like one of the situations where Greek uses an article and English does not. We do not use "the black and white" unless there is an object to go with it otherwise in English we would just say "black and white."


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

    I'm not sure that is universally the case. "Which version of Frankenstein do you prefer?" "I prefer the black and white." As a fan of old movies, I say "the black and white" all the time. In police procedurals, I also hear it used of police cars, as opposed to the plain cars driven by detectives.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nico353184

    Fair enough. It's only 99.9% the case. Enough, in my book, to justify accepting "black & white" as a concept without the "the". As well as with (for fans of 1930s police car films and Scotch whisky).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veronykah3

    Isn't the object implied in all your examples though? The black and white (film) in written English this would not be a complete sentence. Police cars are pretty obscure reference and would probably be called "a black and white" or "the black and whites" more often anyway. We could just decide it applies to the cookies you get in NYC then a well. "The black and white" just take doesn't make sense in English in any but the most obscure references as it naturally leaves the reader saying "The black and white WHAT?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
    Mod
    • 1427

    Would "the monochrome" work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995
    Mod
    • 174

    I think that monochrome is μονόχρωμος, as in shades of one colour, and not black-and-white necessarily, no? For example, in Greek we say "το μονόχρωμο μπλουζάκι" for a plain green t-shirt for example. Isn't it the same way in English?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
    Mod
    • 1427

    Yes, you're completely right. I originally learned ασπρόμαυρος in a Memrise course as the adjective for 'monochrome', but I can see now that's not quite right. Thanks Troll!


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

    Hmmm. Interesting that it translates the other way round. Greek has the white first. English uses black first.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jon345104

    Black and white was marked wrong??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D_..
    Mod

      Because you did not include the definite article.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurel313251

      Hi! I don't understand why the definite article is necessary in English here. Cf comments by Melissa1250 and Nico353184 above.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nico353184

      That's me… I just saw the link to your comment. Two years ago and it still hasn't been fixed ! DL is free, so cheerful forbearance is required, but the determination of some people, including moderators, to never ever correct mistakes is almost comical. That's why I stopped using it. Τί νά κάνουμε;


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D_..
      Mod

        Moderators cannot fix mistakes, we are users like you and see the exact same things you see in the forums. Only course contributors have access to the lesson making process and can make (some) changes. So, if you spot a mistake, file a report using the option "My answer should be accepted". This will go straight to the contributors' system. :)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nico353184

        Thanks for the clarification. I probably did use the "… should be accepted" option. Indeed, I made rather liberal use of it back in the day. Occasionally I even got answers, often more than a year later.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurel313251

        Oh, thanks, I had actually never seen this "my answer should be accepted" button! But in this case I was not sure that my answer was correct, which is why I wanted to discuss it here first.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurel313251

        Περιμέμουμε και ελπίζουμε! :-)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZdyFbk7A

        there are words in this test like this one ,also rain swim rose and colorfull that i have not had . I'm testing to reach the next level and this isn't helpfull


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

        I keep listening to the last syllable. It sounds like 'dro'. Is that right?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AazamBen146

        What if white and black??


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.Georgopoulos

        "Black and white" is the predominant word order, I personally haven't seen the reverse anywhere.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthHerber2

        We say black and white in English and we don't use an article. We don't say white and black. It's not black and white ... means it's not simple. Does it have the same connotation in Greek?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.Georgopoulos

        In Greek (the phrase being "Δεν είναι άσπρο ή μαύρο", note that Greek uses "or", while it's "and" in English) mostly means that, for a given situation, there are various different scenarios/outcomes between the worst- and best-case scenario. It can be used for feelings in the same way as well.

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