"I gave her a tomato."

Translation:Της έδωσα μία τομάτα.

November 8, 2016

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Another question, if i want to use της to express "to her", does it really have to be in the very beginning of the sentence? Could it be Έδωσα της μία τομάτα."; why or why not?


It could not, because the short forms of pronouns always appear before the verb. (Exception: in an imperative/command, in which case they are right after the verb.)

So if you want to put the pronoun after the verb, you have to use the full form -- by itself for an accusative pronoun, and σε + full accusative pronoun instead of a short genitive pronoun.

For example, της έδωσα = έδωσα σ' αυτήν -- την είδα = είδα αυτήν.

But Δώσε της μια τομάτα for "Give her a tomato!".


"For example, της έδωσα = έδωσα σ' αυτήν -- την είδα = είδα αυτήν." But: "την είδα" uses "short" ACCUSATIVE pronoun (not genitive), doesn't it? At the moment I'm pretty confused about the genetive/accusative use combining with verbs. q.v.: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23984622$comment_id=23985632


την είδα uses the short accusative pronoun, yes.

The short pronoun always goes before the verb, whether it's an accusative or a genitive one.

(Exceptions: commands.)


I understood that it goes before the verb, my confusion is about whether to use genitive or accusative.... ;) (in which case is to use one or the other)


It depends on whether it's a direct or indirect object. In this case, ντομάτα is the direct object so it's in accusative, and αυτή (της) is the indirect object and it's in genitive. The indirect object could be found in accusative in this case, but it would need a preposition "Έδωσα σε αυτή μία ντομάτα"

Also, check D_..'s comment below :)


@ChrysiCh: for some reason I can't reply below your comment... anyway, thank you so much this was extremely helpful for me to get the logic of the gen./acc.-use!


You could hear (and rarely read) "έδωσά της μία ντομάτα" but it's very idiomatic, so you shouldn't take that as a rule, I'm just mentioning it so that you'll recognise that word order if you find it somewhere. Normally you should follow the word order that mizinamo explains.


I appreciate this comment. It's good to learn the rule and then also realize the idiomatic exceptions.


Another question: you write ντομάτα, while τομάτα is accepted in the lesson. Which spelling is the right one?


The best and most often used in Greece is ντομάτα.

"τομάτα" is also used but it should not have been shown here as the main spelling. It is fixed in the new tree.


FYI: Τοματα is still shown as the main spelling on cellphones


I am confused about the accent on μία. Is "μία" meaning "a" or "one" before an object always with an accent e.g. "a tomato" and "one tomato" and without it if it is before an abstract noun like "an idea", or "a situation"?


It is actually two forms of the same word. "Μία" is pronounced as mia and "μια" as mɲa. Linguists say that there is a trend of saying μία for "one" and μια for "a", and I would have to agree with that.


Thanks Troll, that's what I thought the rule was: μία for one and mia for a. But this sentence has μία τόματα, and others in Duo have also μία for a. I was trying to find a solution for this apparent contradiction.


why is "έδωσε σε αυτή μία τομάτα" also correct? I think the ending is wrong.


Έδωσε is the third person singular (he /she gave), έδωσα is I gave.

While σε αυτή is not incorrect, usually the pronoun expressing the verb object goes before the verb in its weak form. What does this mean?

Use the strong pronoun form to give emphasis:

Δίνω αυτό σε αυτή - I give this (not something else) to her (not someone else)

Use the weak form to just say something:

Της δίνω το βιβλίο - I give her the book.

Της το δίνω - I give it to her.


Της δίνω αυτό - I give her this (emphasis on this, not something else)

Δίνω το βιβλίο σε αυτή - I give the book to her.

Using the weak form is the most common way of stating something, it's the base on which everything else is built to add emphasis. This is also true for verbs with one object:

Το θέλω - I want it. (weak)

Θέλω αυτό - I want this. (strong)


That's a very comprehensive explanation. thanks so much!

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