1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει οικογέ…

"Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει οικογένεια."

Translation:The soldier does not have a family.

December 22, 2016

23 Comments


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

i think it would be useful to have a native Greek speaker confirm the meaning of the sentence in Greek because that is what we are trying to translate from. Without knowing, i personally agree with the native speakers that there is a distinction to make if you add "a" but i don't think the Greek sentence implies either meaning specifically, so please allow answer with no 'a'


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

I am interested to hear from the Greek natives what about these differences. If I said "Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει μία οικογένεια." would it be correct Greek? Would it have a different meaning than "Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει οικογένεια."? How would a Greek express the differences we express in English by the way we use that little article "a"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D_..
Mod

    If I said "Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει μία οικογένεια." would it be correct Greek?

    This would only be correct if you followed it up with "Έχει δύο!" The only good reason why you should add μία is to use it as the numeral and make a point out of it.
    The Greek phrase "Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει οικογένεια." does not make a distinction between having "a family" (e.g. wife and children) and "family" (relatives). Further explanation or context is required.


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

    Ok, given this, does it make sense to add "the soldier does not have family" as an acceptable translation?


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

    Thanks -- A very clear answer


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

    "Έχει δύο!" ☉_☉

    That was actually true for a lot of blokes, before Twitter and Facebook.


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

    The officer does not have family. Is that not also acceptable?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinThom7

    I think you should be able to drop the "a"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katinen1

    Yes, I think so too.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
    Mod
    • 1424

    I wouldn't have thought so - officer is αξιωματικός. Soldier implies someone of a lower rank than an officer.

    As for not using an indefinite article in English, I reckon that's probably OK. It sounds a bit more American than British to me, but I have heard people use 'he doesn't have family' (especially if it's then followed by another clause).

    Although I could be wrong - I'm very new to Greek.


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

    sorry, I mean to say soldier, not officer. I was referring to "family" vs "a family".


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

    To me (native U.S. English speaker), "does not have family" means something different than "does not have a family." With the article, the phrase suggests that the person in question does not have a spouse and/or children. Without the article, the phrase suggests that the person has no close living relatives.


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

    I agree exactly. "A family"=wife and kids "family"=close relatives


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leonard225743

    From this native US English speaker, I would never make that differentiation.


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

    To me, as a native U.S. English speaker, I was always under the impression that it can mean either or.


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

    "family" is a collective noun. There are not that many of them and they are easily misused by even native English speakers. The change in meaning in English (and many other languages) when an article is used or not used is subtle and difficult. If you carefully read the English grammar blogs for "a family" you will find support for "a family" = wife and kids, and "family" meaning "relatives" but even there you will not find unanimity. You can continue to use them as if they mean the same thing but you should be aware that many people will catch the implication we have described here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alison336345

    The officer does not have family ...This is perfectly acceptable in english...The article is not necessary...Infact, "The officer does not have a family|"is also acceptable...


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

    The greek sentence doesn’t specify the article “a” with “μία”, so either should be right.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.Georgopoulos

    In general, however, the indefinite article is much more frequently used in English compared to Greek.


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

    I agree with previous comments. The answer should allow for an alternative translation "the soldier does not have family". This is a perfectly acceptable statement in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/honorbartl1

    In English English it is not necessary to say 'a' family ... 'does not have family' is acceptable.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
    Mod
    • 269

    Yes, both "family" and "a family" are accepted.

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