1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Vietnamese
  4. >
  5. "I need a battery for my watc…

"I need a battery for my watch."

Translation:Tôi cần pin cho cái đồng hồ của mình.

November 30, 2016



What's wrong with "Tôi cần một cái pin cho đồng hồ của tôi"?


5/3/2021 - asking the same question


Why does "đồng hồ" need a classifier (cái) but "pin" does not?


It's such a hard question to answer. Even though I am a Vietnamese, I could not understand why.


Because there is a specific watch which needs a battery, but it does not need any particular battery.


Can you not use "một cái pin" in this case?


Would "Tôi cần một pin cho cái đồng hồ của mình" be the same thing? Would adding "một" be unnecessary, optional, or change the meaning?


It will be the same if "your watch" indeed needs only one battery. In real life communication, it sounds better if you say : Tôi/ cần pin cho đồng hồ của tôi". If you want to add "một" (in case you need only 1 battery), you can say like this:" Tôi cần "một cục/ một viên" pin cho đồng hồ của tôi" Hope this answer will help you!


The sentence specifically says "a" battery. Everywhere else this demand "một".


I'd beg to differ. I would say the English for "Tôi cần pin cho cái đồng hồ của mình" would be "I need batteries for my watch" which is perfectly natural to say. But you could also say "I need a battery for my watch" in which case I think given translation is wrong.


Why is "Tôi cần một cái pin cho cái đồng hồ của mình." not accepted?


Once again the preposition usage is NOT TAUGHT but supposed to somehow be intuited. I have my notes saying vì can be used as "for", but cho is used for "to". If the sentence is not directly translatable, it doesn't belong in the beginner module at all.


I guess you just have to memorize these things. There doesn't seem to ever be any reason or explanation.

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