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  5. "Ο άντρας θέλει να κάνει ένα …

"Ο άντρας θέλει να κάνει ένα παιδί."

Translation:The man wants to have a child.

September 19, 2016



"The man wants to cook a child" is not accepted? :P


Yes. For obvious reasons. XD


Why is it "να κάνει" and not "να έχει"?

  • 68

It's the equivalent phrase in Greek so it would be wrong to translate it word for word in English or vice versa. When you want/plan to have kinds, θέλεις/σχεδιάζεις να κάνεις παιδιά.


So in Greek you basically say to do a child rather than to have? Does the same applies to the act that comes before it? xD


Actually yes, it does.


Thank you! I will try to remember


OK, let me know if I'm wrong but... Do infinitive verbs after another verb (connected using "να") must to be conjugated? Because it means literally: "the man WANTS to HAS a child".


This is what we call the Subjunctive mood in Greek, and the verbs need to be conjugated, to match the pronoun. Each pronoun has its own verb ending, so, as you can see, word-to-word translation won't quite work here.^.^

For more info on the Subjunctive mood, you can check out this discussion here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24471413


Hmm.. I see, thanks. The subjunctive works different in other languages (like french, italian, spanish...). In the greek case, the present subjunctive is exactly the present simple indicative. Maybe the subjunctive mood in greek is different in past or future, but the present looks like the same. Is that right?


Look. The Subjunctive, as explained in the discussion, has nothing to do with the time aspect (present, past, future) but with the duration or continuation of the action. For example, here is an example of Past Subjunctive.

Γιατί ξυπνάς νωρίς; (Why do you wake up early?) - Για να πάω στην δουλειά. (To go to work.)

The time in this case, is the present.

Γιατί ξύπνησες νωρίς; (Why did you wake up early?) - Για να πάω στην δουλειά. (To go to work.)

The time here is the past, even though, as you can see, the subjunctive sentence did not change.

Γιατί θα ξυπνήσεις νωρίς; (Why will you wake up early?) - Για να πάω στην δουλειά. (To go to work.)

This is the future. But the subjunctive used is still Past Subjunctive.

The names Present and Past don't indicate the time aspect, but the actual tense. They indicate which verb stem you use to form the subjunctive. ^.^


Dimitra, I think the book I used for my Greek lessons (Ελληνικά Τώρα at the Athens Center in Greece) used the terms "simple subjunctive" and "continuous subjuntive" rather than past and present subjunctive. I wonder whether these terms would be more intuitive for the average learner since they stress aspect rather than time. I don't know anything about the reasons for teaching grammatical terms differently, but perhaps these would be something for the new tree/new tree notes? (Especially if the notes are ever able to make it to the app). Just a thought.


It would definitely be more sensible for us to use the terms Simple Subj. and Continuous Subj., however, I think they would be hard to implement. Yποτακτική Ενεστώτα and Υποτακτική Αορίστου are the terms used in every single Greek grammar book (that's written in Greek), so we would have questions of "Where did Ενεστώτας and Αόριστος come from?" either way. It's always difficult to introduce new terms to learners , especially the ones that are completely new for them, and not "official". We can consider it though.


Thanks, Dimitra956826, for the explanation and the time it has taken to you. Not sure if greek subjunctive is more difficult than I thought or if I'm missing something. "To go to work" uses infinitive in english, whereas greek looks like present simple conjugation, although it's called subjunctive. Quite confusing. I think I must learn more different subjunctive sentences in greek to get it. Thanks anyway! :)


You're very welcome. ^.^

It's all about that να being in there, that makes it Subjunctive. :)

(I know that the term subjunctive might be confusing, especially since the greek subjunctive has almost nothing to do with the english one. That's why I thought it would be necessary to include this note in the guide: The Greek Subjunctive is NOT the same as the English Subjunctive. In English, the term is described by the full infinitive, which of course, doesn't conjugate.)


It's more like "to make a child", isn't it?


Well, make might be a direct translation to κάνω, but people don't actually "make" children in english. They have them. :P The translation is not an exact one.

One can also use the verb αποκτώ when talking about having children, but it's less common.


"Let's make a baby" is certainly idiomatic (American) English (albeit with more emphasis on the process than the product!)


Why is 'make' not acceptable . I see the comments below , but don't understand why make is not there . Surely it would be more correct to say 'να έχει' if as my understanding goes 'κανει' is part of 'make' .

  • 326

"Make" is not used for creating children. The word is "have".

So, in Greek we say..."κάνει παιδί" and in English we say "have a child". Each language has it's own form and you cannot impost what one language does on the other.


But if he wanted to adopt, you could use εχει to make the distinction of how he expected to "have" a child?

  • 239

It not obvious as the verb κάνω has the same form for aorist and present subjunctive, but the aorist is used here (for an one-time action). While έχει is not exactly incorrect, it shows a desire to continuously have a kid, where the point is that he wants to acquire a child (the word sounds so wrong in English but I think that it gets the point across). So, because έχει has no aorist subjunctive, it'd prefer the usage of θέλει να αποκτήσει ένα παιδί which is neutral of the way he is going to have the child.


I must apologise for my last comment as when this translation came around again when I put my answer in , on completion of the final word about to send when the answer changed unexpectedly , think I have a computing problem as this is happening more often .

  • 326

No, need to apologize. Hope your problem can be corrected.


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