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  5. "Δεν γράφω βιβλίο."

"Δεν γράφω βιβλίο."

Translation:I'm not writing a book.

September 27, 2016

26 Comments


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

I have not seen this in Greek before I would expect the article to be there and so left it out deliberately in my answer, as I have found that some fo the 'correct' answers are in slightly odd English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dimitra956826

In some cases, the article for singular countable nouns is ommited in Greek. For you to always be sure whether or not to add the article in english, check if the english translation makes sense without the article as well (in this case, it doesn't.) One of these cases is probably when the object of the sentence is supposed to be only one (based on logic), so the article is implied instead of added.

exp. "I'm eating an apple - Τρώω ένα μήλο/Τρώω μήλο",

"I'm writing a book - Γράφω ένα βιβλίο/Γράφω βιβλίο",

"I'm watching a film - Βλέπω μία ταινία/Βλέπω ταινία". I hope this helped a bit. :)


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

Really helpful, thanks Dimitra


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard804204

If the article is omitted in Greek does it always equate to an indefinite article in English?


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

My answer is "I do not write book", as in greek there is no article. Why is this wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 278

Yes, but we need to have the English correct. In English we use "a" so we must use it in the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielPand14

Wouldn't anyone say "I do not write books" here though rather than "I do not write a book"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dimitra956826

In English, yes. However, this is not the case in Greek. Sometimes, singular is prefered oven plural, even when the statement is general. ^.^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JOrlando3

But in translation, we would have to use the plural in English in order for the grammar to be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristoff-Johan

Not necessarily, because it carry the English meaning of progressive action: "I am not writing a book." (Imagine the response to the question, "How is your book coming along?" e.g., "No, you are thinking of my brother, the novelist. I am not writing a book!")


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

I understand "I'm not writing a book" is right, but shouldn't "I don't write books" be also accepted? Can't this sentence also convey this meaning? Because it seems to me that singular direct objects in greek can also mean general ideas that in english would be written in plural, like "Τρώω μήλο". Is that correct?


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

Perhaps "Τρώω μήλο" is not a good example because 'apple' and 'an apple' and 'apples' are all possible in English, where 'apple' is the stuff or the flavour. In other words, in 'I eat apple', 'apple' is the stuff, not the fruit, whereas in Greek, 'Τρώω μήλο' means "I am eating an apple'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 278

"I don't write books." would need to be plural "βιβλία" in that the Greek and the English are the same.


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

Ok, got it, thank you guys


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

"I didnt write a book" was not accepted, but I imagine thats past tense which would make the sentence different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jezza11

I wrote "I don't write THE book. Did I get it wrong because I had a typo in "don't"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 278

You can't use 'the' if it's not in the Greek. Typos don't cause sentences to be rejected unless they result in another word...e.g. "bat" for "but".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jezza11

But nor was the "a" in the Greek. What is the rule/practice for adding an "a" article but not a "the" article when it does not appear in Greek?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 278

Indefinite article The indefinite article is identical to the number one and has only singular. The use of the indefinite article is dictated by the circumstances of the situation and contrary to English is only used if you want to specify the number.

For example,

"Αγόρασα υπολογιστή." ("I bought a computer") Since I only bought one there is no need to specify it. If you were to use the indefinite article it would show emphasis.
Often, there is no indefinite article in Greek where you would find one in English because it specifically expresses the concept of "one".

It often sounds odd to English speaker used to the indefinite article.

For example,

"Είναι δικηγόρος." "He is a lawyer" He can't be more than one. Τι καλό παιδί! "What a good boy!" We are speaking to/about one boy.

So, if you are not indicating a number you do not use the indefinite article. And if you do not have any article definite or indefinite you assume it is indefinite and it's only one item. In which case you would use "a/an" in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jezza11

Awesome explanation. Huge thanks.

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