"Băieții și bărbații mănâncă strugurii de pe masă."

Translation:The boys and the men are eating the grapes off the table.

November 29, 2016

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Why isn't "on the table" accepted?


because it's not "strugurii pe masă" (as in: they are eating the grapes on the table) but "strugurii de pe masă" (that are situated on the table)


I'd say that's being a bit pernickety. The question did make me pause: I considered 'that are on the table', for example, but since there was no verb in the Romanian, I eventually went with 'on the table' because, in my experience, it's what most English people would actually say! We'd get the meaning from the context.


Informally, "that are" can be implied. Context tells.


No, because in English that would literally mean that they were sitting on the table eating the grapes...


Disagree. In English context decides whether you are referring to the locatiin of the food or the person doing the eating. "Don't eat the grapes on the table" could literally mean don't climb on the table and eat the grapes but usually is taken to mean don't eat the grapes that are on the table.

Likewise if I said "Don't eat the grapes on the floor" it could have two meanings, but probably means there are grapes on the floor that I don't want you to eat.


Or standing on the table eating them..


I disagree. In the English I have been speaking all my life, "The boys and the men are eating the grapes on the table" is, taken literally, an ambiguous sentence that could mean either "the boys and the men are eating the grapes that are on the table" or "the boys and the men are on the table eating the grapes." It's on such ambiguity that a fair bit of everyday British humour is based - where people deliberately choose the least likely interpretation of such a sentence and play on it.

Meanwhile, "The boys and the men are eating the grapes from the table" is not something I would ever think of saying... unless "the table" were a person from whom the boys and the men had received said grapes as a gift, or a tree which had produced the grapes, or someone (not necessarily the boys and men) had previously taken the grapes from the table and there were now none left (the fact there were none left being the key thing), or ...

All of which is to say that English doesn't really make the same distinction as there is between the Romanian "pe" and "de pe" as described above. Our use of prepositions in this case is much more ambiguous and we derive the intended meaning as much from the context as from the chosen preposition.


Rosie-L, I can't seem to reply to your comment directly for some reason. But we will have to agree to disagree then. As a native English speaker I have never heard anyone use the phrase "they are eating the 'xxx...' on the table" (or similar) in this context, with this meaning. We would actually say "they are eating the grapes that are on the table" or "they are eating the grapes from on the table". To say "they are eating the grapes on the table would most definitely imply that the people were situated on the table and not the grapes.


It just was accepted for me.


Why not: the boys and the men eat grapes from the table?


Found 'm: THE grapes... Sorry!


"the boys and the men eat the grapes off of the table" was marked wrong?


Yeah. I also think should be accepted.


Is there a difference between "eat" and "are eating" in Romanian?


Why do you have to say de then pe


How can I know the difference between are eating and eat?


tanyabraund wrote: How can I know the difference between are eating and eat?

Obviously, you consider the answers to AlphaMale2099's question insufficient but I don't really know to help you further.

The only languages I know of that make this distinction are English and Turkish. Probably a course in English or Turkish could explain it to you. I am not a native speaker of either language, so I won't even try.

In Turkish:

  • they eat (usually, regularly, normally…) = yerler
  • they are eating (at this moment) = yiyorlar (the “iyor” makes the difference, the rest is vowel harmony)

Rosie-L's answer to DevG07's statement seems a good explanation on this subject.

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