"Το ασπρόμαυρο"

Translation:The white and black

September 7, 2016

26 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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_..

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.


[deactivated user]

    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/Jon345104

    Black and white was marked wrong??


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

    Because you did not include the definite article.


    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?

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