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  5. "フォークとナイフをください。"


Translation:A fork and a knife, please.

May 25, 2017



I know the question is written as "a fork and a knife" (or "forks and knives")...

However, here where I live in England anyway, we always say "a knife and fork" when referring to those two eating utensils as a pair.

The other way round—"a fork and knife"—would sound slightly strange however.

It's like, if you're at the beach and want a spade and also a bucket, you'd say "Can I get a bucket and spade?" rather than saying the two items separately. And it's always that way round; it's never "a spade and bucket".

Just my thoughts. Maybe I'm crazy and just imagining it? Maybe it's different elsewhere or in other countries?

But I know this one probably isn't going to be accepted in my sentence problem reports. It's just annoying that I type it as a pair almost every time without thinking and getting marked as incorrect. So I thought I'd see if people have opinions on this in here. ^^;


It's called "Siamese twins" or "irreversible binomials": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_twins_(linguistics)


Thank you! I didn't know it was an actual thing. Was interesting to me to read that page.

I notice "knife and fork" is in the list on that page, but not "bucket and spade" (nor, thankfully, "spade and bucket").

I feel a bit more justified about having used the report function on that sentence now. I'm not completely crazy after all. ^^


I think you were justified. In the Dutch course, I think they only accept "supply and demand" for "vraag en aanbod," even though the later literally means "demand and supply."

EDIT: and in other sentences in the Japanese course, inversions of the given order in such cases are simply accepted, even apart from irreversible binomial considerations.


Hi there, a native Dutch here, "supply and demand" is definitely more common than the other way around in English isn't it? Well, "aanbod en vraag" simply sounds very unnatural in Dutch, so I can get Duo on this one


Yep, it's said as "supply and demand" in English (or at least in American English.)


Caught me out too. I've reported as "this answer should be accepted". British English aside, Japanese doesn't have articles so it should be acceptable.

Edit: Doing this question again "a fork and knife" is accepted. So the issue is the noun order. Formally, "and" is commutative in English.


AND just to wind you up "pepper and salt" :-)


"Pepper and salt" sounds sssooooo wrong! XD


Pepper and salt is a description of appearance, but quite archaic. Salt and pepper is the condiments. (uk English )


That's interesting! In America we call the black and white/grey hair "salt and pepper." Though, we also call the condiments "salt and pepper." Basically, you won't hear "pepper and salt" over here unless the person has ties to the UK somehow (visits regularly, has relatives there, etc.)


3 years later and it STILL doesn't accept "A knife and fork, please". Almost no English speaker I know would say "A fork and knife, please", indeed I wouldn't even be bothered if that wasn't accepted.


I came here to day exactly this

I feel like I'm being told that I'm speaking my own language incorrectly and it's just annoying

It's always been a knife and fork, not a fork and knife


Actually, they didn't accept "Forks and knives, please." 29 Oct. 2019

Yes, we always say knives and forks or knife and fork in that order, though the knife goes on the right so we're going right-to-left which is unusual for us, no? More something you'd expect the Japanese to do, that -- why don't they? It must be the order we pick them up -- in Japan it's long been more polite to put your left hand out first, while we have a tendency to start with our right . . .

"knife and fork" 10 100 000

"fork and knife" 7 070 000

"フォークとナイフ" 4 830 000

"ナイフとフォーク" 1 580 000


Interesting! In Brazil, the "correct" order is "garfo e faca" (fork and knife)


Don't worry, I'd definitely agree with bucket and spade


That's really interesting! I feel like the opposite is true in the US. It's not extremely weird to say "knife and fork," but "fork and knife" feels much more natural to me.


A good way to catch english natives off as we would typically say "Knife and Fork."... no idea why in that order though, might just be tradition.


How do you know when do use と vs も for "and"?


I think と is for listing a set of objects that are just together, not being described, while も is used to say the objects all share a subsequent description. Such as the sentence, "my father and mother are fine," 父も母もお元気です. I may be wrong though.


in these cases, と is used for exclusive listing and も is used for inclusive listing.

「父も母も元気です 」(only use お~ when asking) would be "dad and mom are both fine",

but if you say「父も元気です」it would mean "dad is also fine" (maybe in comparison with your mom?).

While in「フォークとナイフをください」 you only need a fork and knife, nothing else.

  • 1487

Why do they use an imported word for knife? Surely Japanese had knives long before the word was imported?


ナイフ is the kind of knife that goes with a fork. I don't think it has another word in Japanese.

Of course there were other 刃物 (はもの, bladed tools) there, such as 包丁(ほうちょう, big kitchen knife) or はさみ (scissors), but I doubt they were used for eating like ナイフ is. There are of course other kinds of ナイフ too, like the dangerous one you use in camping, or a blunt バターナイフ (butter knife).


we would always say 'knife and fork'.


"A knife and a fork please" is wrong but "A knife and fork please" is correct?


Also called collocations ladies and gentlemen / boys and girls. ;)


In UK English 'knife and fork' and 'bucket and spade' are definitely standard speech, not vice versa.


I don't think the problem is whether or not we say 'knife and fork' or 'fork and knife' in English as a phrase, but whether words listed in one language need to be listed in exactly the same order when translating into another language. For example, "I ordered sushi and fried chicken" as the translation for the Japanese sentence "から揚げと寿司を注文した” should be accepted, because the meaning of the sentence is the same regardless of the order of the items. Duo doesn't agree!


Doing it that way makes it hard to test for the student's understanding of the vocabulary. That's why the order is important. "Does the student think that karaage is sushi?" The only way to be sure of this is to require the word order since we're not being taught in person. This program is the inly communication method we have with our teachers.


Sorry but that's nonsense. Sure if your entire understanding of vocabulary was based on a single sentence it might have some merit but that's simply not the case. The reality is that in many cases it's more natural to say "X and Y" in Japanese but "Y and X" in English, and that's something we should be learning, not having Duo tell us we're wrong because we stick with what's natural in our native tongues. I don't believe for a second a single person would ever answer "fork and knife" accidentally thinking that ナイフ meant fork and フォーク mean knife, and nor do I for answering "Mum and Dad" when it's 父と母.


Hey, people can be surprising. When testing for knowledge, it's best to keep the test as 1:1 as possible. It would be one thing if each student had a tutor who could personally check on his/her understanding, but that would be just impractical. I go more into detail about this in another post somewhere, but the short of it is that all we can do is check the answers like a cypher to see if the students understand what's what.


The Duo Japanese course is nothing if not extensive - there are plenty of exercises where the words fork/knife/mum/dad etc. etc. are used separately where you can clearly demonstrate that you know their Japanese equivalents (or vice/versa). For many English speakers, myself included, marking "knife and fork" wrong here is as odd as it would be marking "You and I" wrong for 私とあなた. I.e. "fork and knife" just isn't something we say, much as we don't say "I and you".


Having said that, certainly if the Japanese prompt had been say, 兄と姉はここだ, and I answered "My sister and brother are here", I wouldn't have a problem with being marked wrong, as あね and あに are easily confused, and there's no good reason to swap them in English - in fact if anything "brother and sister" is the more natural order (curious that for Mum & Dad it's female first but for siblings it's male first). But nor would I really have a problem with being marked right in such case, provided in other exercises I demonstrated that I knew which was which.

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