1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "The fox does not eat an inse…

"The fox does not eat an insect"

Translation:Η αλεπού δεν τρώει ένα έντομο

September 20, 2016

14 Comments


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

why can't you write: Η αλεπού δεν τρώει έντομο? So without ένα?


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

Same question. Is ένα really necessary in the sentence?


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

And still the same question. Is the omission wrong here? If so, please explain why. Thanks in advance, from all three of us.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D_..
Mod
  • 64

An attempt at giving an explanation:

1st point
You can say Η αλεπού δεν τρώει έντομο with the implication of a follow-up clarification that τρώει (κάτι άλλο) or, even in absence of a clarification, you intend to imply that something else is going on (the fox is drinking water/sleeping, eating cake). Otherwise it is natural to include ένα just as you do in English.

2nd point
Η αλεπού δεν τρώει ένα έντομο = The fox does not eat an insect OR The fox does not eat one insect, it eats two / eats a whole bag of insects, can't you see? :) So the version with ένα in fact also contains the one above as well. It's all in intonation, context etc. This is a natural structure, even if the sentence is a bit unnatural in my opinion. What does "The fox does not eat an insect" mean? That foxes don't eat insects? That this specific fox does not eat an insect for breakfast? "The fox is not eating an insect" would make much more sense to me but of course I may be reading this wrong.

3rd point
Η αλεπού δεν τρώει έντομα = The fox does not eat insects

I'm afraid the reason why this has not been answered in a while is because it's very difficult to explain how including/omitting the article works and what all these variations may imply. I understand that article usage creates a lot of issues for learners. At the same time, I want to point out that sometimes it's for best for us to just let people absorb the material in Greek without trying to explain idiomatic usage or anything that just is and does not stem from a clear rule. :)


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

Does anyone know why Η αλεπού δεν τρώει έντομο isn't allowed? thanks


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

Ι also wonder why this cannot be written without 'eva'


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

That makes at least 5 or 6 of us to have asked about that. Could a moderator please either explain why the article is needed here or modify the list of acceptable answers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D_..
Mod
  • 64

Attempted giving an answer under the original comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jezza54195

If it is η αλεπου, is that not a vixen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995
Mod
  • 234

There is no different word for the female or male fox in Greek. Both are η αλεπού.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoria587638

Why is ακεπού feminine? It doesn't end in an α or η.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995
Mod
  • 234

Nouns ending in -ου in nominative are also feminine, although a bit rare.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoria587638

Ευχαριστώ! :)

Learn Greek in just 5 minutes a day. For free.