"He writes a letter to his girlfriend."

Translation:Γράφει μία επιστολή στην φίλη του.

February 7, 2017

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I just had a question marked wrong because I used επιστολή for "letter" instead of γράμμα, and here I'm marked incorrect for using γράμμα instead of επιστολή


What was the entire sentence?

Did you use the correctly-gendered form of the word for "one"?

Remember that επιστολή is feminine but γράμμα -- like almost all words in -μα -- is neuter.


"Γράφει μία επιστολή στην κοπέλα του"?


I am afraid that there is no consistency in Duolingo. Here the correct answer is shown as στην φίλη του, while in other places the ν would have been considered wrong (suggesting στη φίλη του instead).


Yes, unfortunately.

We are working on a second revision of the course and hope to make things more consistent there -- double accents where grammatically required and consistent use or non-use of final nu are two of the big things.

(As for the final nu, it doesn't help that the rules for that change occasionally and not everyone agrees with the current version of the rules, nor does everyone speak the way it's taught at school. But for educational software such as Duolingo it's probably best to teach the current official spelling, though we may accept others even if we don't show them during the teaching.)


why letter was rejected as γραμμα? and rejected as επιστολι in another exercise?


What was your entire sentence?

Did you, perhaps, use the wrong gender article?

Remember that γράμμα is neuter and επιστολή is feminine, so "a letter" would be ένα γράμμα but μία επιστολή -- if you write μία γράμμα or ένα επιστολή (or worse: ένα επιστολί), that is simply wrong.

And don't forget the accents: they are part of the spelling in Greek. γραμμα, επιστολη are not correctly spelled.


I used: μια γραμμα. another mistake haha


φιλενάδα is a word I recall from the path (mid to late 1960s); has it become obsolete?


are all these sentences correct and mean the same thing is English? αυτός γράφει μία γράμμα στο κορίτσι του. αυτός γράφει μία γράμμα στην κοπέλα του. αυτός γράφει μία γράμμα στην φίλη του.


ένα γράμμα is neuter (like pretty much all words in -μα), not feminine.

(I'll leave the discussion of the differences, if any, between στο κορίτσι του / στην κοπέλα του / στη φίλη του to the native speakers.)


thank you very much. just realised my mistake. still interested though about this difference between κορίτσι, κοπέλα, and φίλη


oh, I see where is the mistake. I wrote μια επιστολη (without accents, my keyboard don't have them). Didn't know the gender of both. Thank you so much!!!! :)


A Greek keyboard without accents sounds unusual to me.

If it’s a virtual (on-screen) keyboard, try long-pressing a vowel key.

If it’s a physical keyboard, try the key to the right of the L key (where the semicolon is on a US keyboard) and then the vowel key.


I was under the impression from previous lessons that the indefinite article is not needed when it's singular.


It's not that it's not needed when it's singular, it's rather whether the meaning changes if you omit it. Since ένας/μία/ένα is also the numeral one, using it can change the meaning - but not always.
In any case, this sentence should be fine without the indefinite article. If it was rejected and you come across it again, please report it using the specific button to create a notification for the course contributors.

Γράφει μία επιστολή στην φίλη του. = He writes a letter to his girlfriend. or He writes one letter to his girlfriend. (Arguably the first makes a lot more sense, that's why this is the translation you see.)
Γράφει μία επιστολή στην φίλη του κάθε εβδομάδα = He writes one letter to his girlfriend per week. (Wouldn't "a letter per week" work too? Would it matter if both were correct?)
Γράφει επιστολή στην φίλη του (κάθε εβδομάδα) = He writes a letter to his girlfriend. i.e. a letter, not a book, not doodling on a post-it. :) Quantity is not important, it the form of communication that's he's chosen that we're focusing on.


Thank you very much for your answer. As always you are very helpful. It's too late to report for this lesson, but at least I'll be more confident to report it if I'm marked wrong for omitting the indefinite article when the meaning is not ambiguous next time.


Yes it has been added now, thanks.


αυτός γράφει μία επιστολή στον κορίτσι του. Could it be additional translation?


Please read the other comments on this page. If you can't see them then you need the web course, using the app is not enough.


στον κορίτσι is not correct -- στον is masculine accusative but κορίτσι is neuter, not masculine.

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