"Ezeknek az épületeknek színes fala van."

Translation:These buildings have colorful walls.

September 7, 2016

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/-__Jacob__-

Why isn't "fala" in plural here?

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreas305

Because the walls are not a common property of all the buildings together. Usually every building has its own walls.

It is a very strange rule indeed, but if there are different owners, where each one has its own property, you have to set the property into the singular form, thats why "az épületeknek a fala".

If you use "az épületeknek a falai" it turns into the meaning, that the named walls are part of all the buildings together, which might be possible, but surely as a little architectonian anomaly ;-)

Another example:

A betegeknek az arca sápadt - The faces of the patients are pale.

(Each patient has his own face! Using "arcai" would mean, that some faced would be shared!)

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/-__Jacob__-

It totally makes sense now. Thanks :)

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vvsey

A little correction to that. If you put the possessed in plural, it is not necessarily shared but it will mean that each has more than one. With singular, it is each their own one.

"Gyerekek, emeljétek fel a kezeteket!" - Children, raise your hands - one hand each!
"Gyerekek, emeljétek fel a kezeiteket!" - Children, raise (both of) your hands.

I would slightly adjust my statement here by saying that when the possessed is singular, it is not specified if each has one or more. "A házak fala" could be one or more walls to each house. Of course, with walls, we usually understand multiple walls. The same is true with hands.
But when the possessed is in the plural, it is definitely more than one, to at least some of the possessors. "A házak falai" - all the walls of all the houses. "A gyerekek kezei" - all the hands of all the children.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/peter933474

How do you say that the buildings have just one wall Because now you have to guess one or more

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/peter933474

No not all the walls just 2 or more :-)

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertEddy

Good discussion.

April 8, 2017
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