"There is a gray cloud in the sky."
Translation:Ένα γκρι σύννεφο υπάρχει στον ουρανό.
I am so confused when to put the indefinite article in and when not to include it. I wrote "Υπάρχει γκρι σύννεφο στον ουρανό" and it was counted wrong because I didn't include "ένα".
In another comment section, I got a sentence wrong because I had included the indefinite article when it shouldn't have been there. As an explanation, someone said that you should only include the indefinite article if you wanted to emphasize that there was only one of something. In the sentence here, that isn't the case (the speaker might want to emphasize that there's only one cloud, but they might not), so I thought the indefinite article wasn't needed. Why is it wrong not to include it?
You are right, this is one of the differences between the two languages that is very difficult to explain. A lot of it comes down to 'that's just how it is' to native speakers... :)
The best explanation that I've seen is that you should include the indefinite article when there could be two or more of a thing, e.g. ένα σύννεφο. This is a situation where there could be two clouds. Then the Greek phrase does not mean that it is 'one', but just 'a' and you need to include 'ένα'. This would also be the case if you wanted to say 'I have a chair': έχω μία καρέκλα. In Greek it does not necessarily mean that you have one chair; in spoken Greek you stress 'έχω μία καρέκλα', to mean 'one'. In writing, you need context to know if it's 'a' or 'one'.
You drop the indefinite article when there is no question about being more than one, e.g. είμαι δασκάλα (it is not possible for one person to be two teachers). You also drop it when talking about 'some quantity' of something uncountable in a general statement, like 'I eat meat' - 'Τρώω κρέας', or even of something potentially countable like 'fruit' or 'fish', e.g. Τρώω πορτοκάλι. No need to say how much, it's just something that you would eat. The equivalent here would be EN plural, 'I eat oranges'.
Um, I'm afraid not. Σύννεφο (which is neuter in gender) doesn't have any alternative spellings. Νέφος (which is also neuter in gender), is a different word. ^.^
Is it more Greek to place υπάρχει after the noun phrase rather than at the beginning?