"Ο στρατιώτης δεν έχει οικογένεια."

Translation:The soldier does not have a family.

December 22, 2016

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/LenaKoutis

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

December 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinThom7

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

December 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Katinen1
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Yes, I think so too.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
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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.

December 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LenaKoutis

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

December 22, 2016

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

April 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Leonard225743

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

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BillDe
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I agree exactly. "A family"=wife and kids "family"=close relatives

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DemetriosLevi

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

September 16, 2018

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

September 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CaioLopesA
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So sad

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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'

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BillDe
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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"?

August 8, 2018

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

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/adegreeoffreedom

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

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BillDe
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Thanks -- A very clear answer

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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...

October 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/liefsras

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

December 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/G.Georgopoulos
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In general, however, the indefinite article is much more frequently used in English compared to Greek.

December 24, 2018
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