Translation:I do not play tennis on rainy days.
Funny story: When I went to school in Japan, in my PE class we ALWAYS played tennis. Every day. Except when it was raining. "Yay!" I thought. "A break from tennis."
So we went inside to play ping pong. Every single time it rained.
Wouldn't "rainy days" (plural) be more appropriate? Unless I'm mistaken, 「雨の日は」implies a general statement, no?
I guess you can consider " I don't play tennis on a rainy day" as a general statement as well, but " rainy days" definitely sounds like more natural english to me.
When I answered "On rainy days, I do not play tennis," I was marked correct!
This is what I was referring to with the original comment. I guess "days" is accepted if you get this sentence as a "type your own answer" question, but when it appears as a "pick the words from the list" question it doesn't give the plural option—but it really should, as that should be the default translation rather than the singular version.
Couldn't this also be an imperative sentence? Is the I really so implied in this contextless passage?
Imperative would be 「テニスをしないで」, usually with 「ください」 at the end unless you're speaking to someone of lower status (i.e., a child), or 「テニスをするな」 for a really strong command (i.e., angrily shouting at a misbehaving child). On the 2nd point, it could certainly be a general statement as IsaiahGaff suggested, but without further context I would never translate this with another subject. In a sense, the lack of context is precisely what implies that it's the speaker—we haven't been given any information to suggest that it's someone else, so translating it as such would be unjustified.
Imperative sentences have different grammatical constructions depending on the forcefulness, so i don't think so.
I agree. Since Japanese is such a fluid language, the generalization of the sentence could be the subject saying "I don't" or "One doesn't"
There is no specified subject in the japanese sentence. With no context to go off of, expecting a specific subject in the english translation is unreasonable.
For example "On rainy days, we don't play tennis." was considered incorrect, only because of the subject "we" instead of "I"
I don't play tennis becouse it is a rainy day.
Can't this be good as well?
You would need something to indicate "because." I would use ですから or なので or a couple other things to mean "because."
ですから is easiest. Simply put it after the thing that is the reason (the "because.")
だから is the plain form.
Hope this helps!
How would you say, "On rainy days, tennis isn't played" and what distinguishes it from this sentence in Japanese?
I believe that would be 「雨の日は、テニスがされていません。」 ...but I have a feeling that it may sound unnatural.
I think I might be inclined to use やる in the passive voice in this case, because するsounds a bit weird here... Passive would be やられません. やる is just another word for "to do." (and a couple of other meanings... Be careful not to use it with people...)
As is the case with many literal translations, there are better ways to make the nuance sound more natural. You could stick with the original sentence 「雨の日は、テニスをしません。」, and imply a subject of "people in general." Then you would get the passive sense. Kind of cheating your way around it, but that's fine.
OR, I might want to say, "Tennis isn't played in the rain, because the rain ruins everything and it's just too hard." In which case a simple 「雨の日は、テニスができません。」 would be perfect. ("Tennis can't be played on rainy days.")
できる（できます）is the "able to" form of する。
Good food for thought! Thanks for the discussion.
Thanks for your example. So is the difference that "する" is being used in a passive voice? What makes it unnatural / how would the following translation then go, in your opinion?
A: "Why isn't anyone playing tennis?" B: "It's raining. Tennis isn't played on rainy days"
Edit: Found a decent resource which helped clarify the translation: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/in-transitive
You used が in your reply, which is correct, but since を was used in the original sentence, that implies a transitive verb; I.e. Someone/Something is "doing" the verb. Whereas が and されて indicate that the verb is "happening" without the direct involvement of an agent. Can't speak for whether it's a natural sentence or not, but the article in the link + your example definitely help identify how you would distinguish a sentence with an implied subject vs one that intends to use an intransitive verb.