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  5. "I do not eat meat or fish."

"I do not eat meat or fish."


June 8, 2017



Why is it を for positive (I eat) but は for negation (I don't eat)?


Both should work for both. More literally: 肉を食べます = [I] eat meat; 肉は食べます = concerning meat, [I] eat


This is how i see it: in the case of «を», the particle is meant for objects receiving the action. In negation, the objects do not receive the action so they don't get the «を» .


Good explanation.


In negation, the objects do not receive the action

it's not true though, you can also say 肉と魚を食べません、the は doesn't mean that the action is not being done, is simply stressing the negation of the action. It just happens that for general things like this, using は sounds more natural for Japanese people because the particle throws the focus into the negation.

a different example:

「私は『肉と魚』食べませんが、ジョセさんは食べます」"I don't eat meat and fish, but Jose does"

In that case the は goes to 私 because I wanna make a contrast with "Jose". The action is still there with an object being marked. In fact, that assertion is conceptually wrong, because particles don't mark verbs, they mark non-verb things.

In the case of「肉と魚は食べません」は is superseding the を、that's all. The を is still there below は。


It is annoying that the person who jumps in with their own made-up explanation that turns out to be completely wrong gets more upvotes than the person who actually seems to know what they are talking about.


reading your comment without assistance made me feel like I can read th language and that I made some progress I am happy


Why did you add が after たべません in that example? Was it to stress that you don't eat meat and fish?


In this case, "ga" means "but".


Could you like explain ghe use of the が in the example


が puts emphasis on the contrast from what the speaker east and Jose. So it could mean literally "but" , although its purpose is on comparing.


Great explanation, and 1 Lingot for the user name :)


Yes, both are correct and generally you use を for positive and は for negation but the 'better' one to use also depends on the context (ex. the question that was asked before this). However, this is more complicated but for now we should probably stick to this.

sakana to niku wa tabemasen 魚と肉は食べません

sakana to niku wo tabemasu 魚と肉を食べます

Source: my Japanese friend.


Best phrase for a vegetarian


Vegan here, waiting until they teach "milk" and "eggs"..


You get free lingots just for being vegan.


I had already learned these ones from other sources. Eggs are 卵 (たまご). Milk is called 乳 (にゅ), but it's most commonly used in addition to the name of the animal which its from. For example, for cow milk you usually say 牛乳.


牛乳 • ぎゅう | にゅ


I wonder if later pm they introduce us to the word 恋人, whoch means Lover. Of they do, and they give us phrases like ビーガンPETAの恋人です。(I am a vegan Peta lover) like Ima die lol


I have nothing against vegans but you do know that PETA euthanizes most of their animals and steal animals to euthanize them right? In reality, they are very hypocritical.


Anyways, vegetarianism is dangerous for people.


Well... that was a pointless statement. No reason to have posted that as it doesn't relate to Japanese at all...


Actually, growing meat produces a lot of gasses which cause global warming. The results of global warming are one of humanities biggest threats. Vegetarianism actually saves people.





(just a random question, I used 'と' here because it translates to 'and'. But can it be used like this? Or is it gramatically correct, but uncommon to use in this context?)


To is and in an exhaustive list, ya and in an incomplete one, and ka most like or.


と is used after nouns to mean 'and'. For verbs, use the ~て (助けて) or Verb stem form (助け). So your sentence would be 人類を助けて未来を救ってください。


You can say that again




Marked wrong today for using 魚, although it was fine with 食


Ok get this... What if you could drag and drop the order too instead of just tapping


You can drag them around once they are on the lines.


idk how old this comment is, but.... you can


To can be used for or as well as and?


I read that "or" is か but duolingo did not accept a phrase with か.


only between nouns or adjectives, not between sentences or as an opening word


no ... not for adjectives


I haven't seen it used for "or" yet. But I'm not an expert...


I mean.... The answer is using と as or...


と does not mean "or", it means "and". It's just that in English you can use "or" in this sentence, but if you think about it "or" here actually means "and".


Well, Boolean logic explains it: (not X) and (not Y) = not (X or Y)


Break the bar change the sign


Unicode character and whats even that for


Should 肉も魚も食べません have been acceptable? Or is that more like saying "I eat neither meat nor fish"?


That's what I put as well and it wasn't accepted. I think the missing "ha" or "wo" between "魚も" and "食べません" might be part of it. In later lessons, they use "も" to signify "neither this nor that" in a negative sentence, so I can't see why it wouldn't be accepted. Next go around I'll add in the "wo" and see if it accepts it.

EDIT: Just checked, it doesn't accept にくもさかなもはたべません or にくもさかなもをたべません

I'm reporting one as "should be accepted". Out of context, it's hard to tell what the intent of the sentence is. If it's "I am not currently in the act of eating meat or fish" then "と" makes more sense. If it's "I do not typically eat meat or fish (because I'm a vegetarian or some other reason)" Then "も" would make more sense.

(If my understanding is wrong, please explain!)


I never learnt the grammar for it so I'm not entirely sure but after living for a while in Japan, I'd say も replaces the particles that should be used if the word it's attached to was not in an enumeration. Therefore you can not have もは and もを. Also, i haven't heard much of a double も. In other words, i think the sentence you're looking for is 肉と魚も食べません. But indeed, it feels like a better translation for "i eat neither meat nor fish" than of "i don't eat meat and fish". I don't think it has to do with what's the topic of the sentence.


I had the same も feeling. と reads to me as not eating meat and fish, as in together. Maybe I’ll eat meat or fish, but not both at once. How would that idea be expressed?


Isn't mentioning fish in the sentence redundant? Or does にく refer to any meat that is not fish?


In this case, I think Japanese often use 肉 to refer to meat that isn't fish/seafood. So if you say you don't eat meat (肉、にく), you might still get served fish (魚、さかな) unless you explicitly exclude that too.


Meat usually refers to meat from farm animals. Fish is usually its own category. Vegetarians can eat fish and for example vegans don't eat either. So it's a good and simple way to make it clear.


People who don't eat meat but do eat fish are Pescatarians.


Not true. Vegetarians cannot eat fish but they can eat eggs and dairy products. Vegans do not eat those either.


Regardless of what people think of their diets, "meat" is reserved for land animal muscle and "fish" is for the finned swimmers... at least when referring to food.


Depends on the person. I know plenty of people who consider themselves vegetarian but eat fish or chicken or both - one friend claimed she was vegetarian but ate fish, chicken, bacon, sausages and mince (ground meat) - but wouldn't eat steak, chops etc. Yet others are very strict and won't so much as eat meat flavoured (chicken or beef) noodles or chips.


your friend is not a vegetarian. make no mistake, there isn't leeway with what is and isn't vegetarian/ vegan. if somebody says they are vegetarian/ vegan they don't "sometimes" eat animal products, they never do.


I KNOW that - but she doesn't. She thinks and insists that she is. I just mentioned this particular friend to illustrate the extremes of "vegetarianism" or of people who think of themselves as vegetarians.




Many, if not most, vegetarians, do not eat fish, either - it's unsafe to assume. But there are plenty of people who do eat fish but not meat, so it is not a bad idea to be specific.


It is safe to assume that vegetarians do not eat fish, because fish are animals.

However, it is not safe to assume that someone who claims to be vegetarian actually is vegetarian, because some fish-corpse-munchers falsely claim to be vegetarian.


I'm a vegan so this is pretty useful


Handy and educational!


Which part of this question is the negative? Can someone write this beside "i do eat meat and fish" so i could compare please?


It ends with ません instead of ます


I'm still unsure as to why we useはinstead of を in this sentence. Could someone explain why this is to me?


Is fish not considered meat in Japan? Can someone explain?


(Pretty much globally) Red meat is usually whats being referred to with the word meat. Usually, if someone says they don't/can't eat meat, it would be considered unclear whether or not fish is included.


About 10 years ago, at a Ryokan in parts remote, the booking had made clear that the group included several vegetarians. They got no meat - but twice as much fish as the non-vegetarians. The whole, deep fried flying fish (fins/wings outspread) were particularly special.

Of course, the proprietor may have just been an a-hole!


In this case, I think Japanese often use 肉 to refer to meat that isn't fish/seafood. So if you say you don't eat meat (肉、にく), you might still get served fish (魚、さかな) unless you explicitly exclude that too.


One I have run into in Japan is fish in "Dashi", a base cooking stock. High quality Dashi is perceived as being made from fish, not just seaweed. So if you go to a restaurant, and say "is your dashi made from fish", they might look insulted and reply "of course"

But if you say "I cannot eat fish or meat, what is OK?", you sometimes get a different answer!


Fish isnt considered meat anywhere.


That is flatly incorrect.


(Note on sounding more natural)

I'm being a bit picky I suppose, but the choice to use "と" and "は" in the same sentence like that seems strange. The two main forms of "and" are "と" and "や." They're basically interchangeable except that と is implying these things specifically, while や implies "among other things." The difference between が and は is basically the same. が is emphasizing this/these specifically, and は is more general and open ended. So in most cases it has an unnatural feel to use the opposite implication in the same sentence.


(Thanks for coming to my TedTalk)


I understand と to mean 'and'. I can kind of see why it's used in this example, but is there another word for specifically 'or' that would be used to contrast between two different objects, instead of adding them together?


Vegan be like


What is wrong with 「肉も魚も食べない」? Doesn't the mo-particle get used more often for "neither and nor"?


I wrote meat and fish the wrong way around on my first try XD


Why isn't "tabenai" accepted? That is another way of saying "I don't eat."


At least for now, they're focusing on formal speech


How can I type in Japanese?


Are you using a device ie. a cell phone, smart phone, tablet, note book...?


No . I am on my computer


I actually can't remember what I did - a bit of trial and error - but try looking under settings and then under keyboards and languages. Hope this helps.


Thanks. I will look at my settings.


Since English sentence says "or", 肉または魚は食べません and 肉または魚を食べません should be acceptable answers.


Why does it pronounce fish as "uoh" instead of "sakana"? Is that an alternative word, or a mistake?


Uo is one of the other legal readings of this character. As an isolated interpretation of this Kanji, it isn't wrong. But that's not helpful here.

In the context of this sentence, it isn't how the character should be read - it should be Sakana. Duo - mostly - used to use the correct reading in context, so that the sentence you strung together sounded basically right. It's now doing a lot of "picking the wrong reading", but only for the new voices.

What's even odder is that, if you turn on the Romaji, it knows there, and generally the "ideal sentence" example in the discussion is right too.

Definitely a "the audio doesn't sound right" error to report - and I had exactly the same yesterday the "Food 1" lesson.


Thanks for the excellent explanation!


"uo" was the original word for fish in general, but over time it has slowly been replaced by "sakana".
Nowadays "uo" is considered archaic in Standard Japanese, but based on what I read, some dialects, particularly in western japan, still use it, which might explain why Duo included it for some or perhaps even just one of the new voices while the others seem to still use "sakana", at least they do for me.


Food 1 practice yesterday: One new voice (I think it was a male one, Vikram?), got it wrong; the other voices, old and new, were right. That's oddly specific.


So one of the new voices pronounced fish as "uo~" instead of "sakana" Can someone please explain ;-;


"uo" was the original word for fish, which has over time been replaced by "sakana". Nowadays "uo" is considered archaic in Standard Japanese, but some dialects still use it, particularly in western Japan.
It appears only one of the new voices uses it, perhaps Duo intentionally gave that voice a dialect to prepare you for dialects you may encounter in the future.


I suspect they are picking readings almost at random - sometimes. "Isolated kanji, pick the kun".


when did they explain how to do this one


Truth is they never explain anything, they teach you the same way a parent does.

If you started learning japanese here first, I'd say that's a bad idea, personally I used Wanikani and kaniwani for 2 months and bunpro for a month, and all kinds of little things in between before I came here and I'm glad that's how I did it, I view this platform as a place to practice, not really to learn.


"to" here is used for "or". But how do you differentiate between "and" and "or"? Cause it's quite an important distinction.


Can "と" mean "and" or "or"?


can you use と for "and" and "or"?


"As for fish and meat, I do not eat (either of them)". It's not "or" in the sense of alternatives, which is why it is an "and" word.


Excellent username. Excellent explanation. A lingot for each.


Meat or fish にく か さかな

Meat and fish にく と さかな


OR should be または instead of と

肉 と 野菜 meat AND vegetable 肉 または 野菜 meat OR vegetable


does とcan be use for both 'or' and 'and'?


Isn't か for "or" and と for "and"?


I've noticed that every time a sentence that says, " I eat _. " It has ます as the ending, while the ones that are saying they don't eat _ have ません. I am wondering the history behind why that is, if you would be so kind, so I could get a better reasoning for that in my head.


The Vegan Teacher must be proud of u


Isn't this "meat AND fish" rather than "or"?


I'm confused, shouldn't it be 肉か魚は食べません since it's saying meat or fish? Why is it と and not か?


On mine, the narration pronounced 魚 as something that sounded like "guo" rather than "sakana". Why is that?


I did a bit of searching around on google, it seems that "uo" was the original word for fish. "Sakana" was created later out of "sake" + "na", and originally referred to any food consumed alongside alcohol, but over time has become associated with fish, and eventually was used for fish in general.
By now, "sakana" seems to have almost completely replaced "uo" in Kanto Japan, but some dialects still prefer "uo", particularly those from western Japan, which are known for using words considered archaic in other dialects.


Alternatively, if you are certain you heard a "g" sound, it may have been the on'yomi reading of 魚, which is "Gyo", but I don't know why Duo would read it that way, as it only used when 魚 is part of certain words like 金魚 (kin-gyo) = "goldfish"


Is "Fish" pronounced as "Sakana" or "uo"????


うお was the original word for fish, but has since been replaced by さかな, both are written with the same kanji, 魚.
うお is considered archaic in Standard Japanese, but some dialects supposedly still use it.
You should pronounce it "Sakana", but you may occasionally hear "uo" and Duo is probably trying to prepare you for that


Pretty sure it's just a bug where Duo isn't using the most appropriate reading on isolated symbols, with the new voices


I'm still doing my placement test - I can't believe I got that right! This course is going to be so much fun.


Ok im lost now. Can someone please explainthe sentence structure to me here? I juat have no idea of which order to put it in.


I get really frustrated by not remember the order of how it goes


i get frustrated of whenever putting each symbol in the correct way... what helps you remember?


と its used for 'and' and 'to'?


This should really be "ka" instead of "to" shouldnt it? Its the difference between "and" and "or", which can change the entire meaning of the sentence. I guess essentially it means the same thing...


So when do you use か as "or"? (...as duolingo states)


Whe we didnot use (wo) after sakana ?


So you're telling me that nouns come first then "everything else"?


The basic understood word order for Japanese sentences is subject object verb (私は)ケーキをたべます. By comparison English is subject verb object - I eat cake.


Will someone please do a break down of this sentence?


Niku to sakana wa tabemasen. That's the romanization of it.


I can't seem to get tis one right, even if I copy and paste the exact same text as the correction, it says I'm wrong. Am I the only one with this problem?


か is used for or. ケーキか パンか どちのほうが好き? Cake or bread, which do you like best?


I love it that I wasn't offered "ha(wa)" as an option and failed this because of it.


There was no option to select fish for the answer! That's not fair, I couldn't have answered correctly! I knew the answer was correct, what I would've done would've worked just fine!


If the particle is "wa", wouldnt that mean the meat and fish do not eat?


I am unable to 'Translate into Japanese", as I do not have a Japanese keyboard, nor do I get the word bank option on this question, hence cannot get past this point. Does anyone have any suggestions????????


Are you using a device or computer?


I am using a PC


You can add other keyboards/languages - try going into settings and looking under keyboards, input, languages - one or all of those. I managed to fluke it and add Japanese and Greek.


Okay but why is it i put the kanji and it marked it wrong??


What is the difference in using ではありません vs. じやない in a negative sentence?

Is it right to say: 肉と魚はたべじやない。


じゃ is a slightly more colloquial/common way of saying では.

じゃない, on its own, is informal. じゃありません is more formal; I think じゃないです is roughly as formal.


isn't it translated to "I do not eat meat AND fish."? I thought the と inbetween 肉 and 魚 stands for and, but not or?


The "or" in Duo's translation does mean "and". It's not providing options or alternatives, but rather an inclusive list (notice how I just used it?). This is one of the functions of と.


Is 肉 same as にく?


肉 is the kanji for にく.


Uh, i may be wrong but uh i did it like it said but i was wrong?


It's too crazy. I write the correct answer, but i wrong. I write the answer on kanji, and wrong. But that is same word


I don't see my mistake.


or ではなく andがただしいのでは⁉️


or は【どちらか】という意味で【と】にはならないのではないか⁉️ andが適切ではないのか⁉️




Is it wrong to use が instead of oh は?


I think everyone already asked this but why not を


Does と mean both "and" and "or"?


I wrote 「私は肉と魚は食べません」 and it was a correct answer. But was it right to use は twice?


Doesn't the は make it translate to "meat and fish do not eat" where as if you put "o" it implies the 私? Can someone please clear my concision :(


I thought or is か and and is と


Should I use a different particle here? To me と kinda makes it sound like "I don't eat meat and fish (together)," rather than "I eat neither fish nor meat".


と can be "and" and "or" so how will i know which is which?


Think of it like this:

肉と魚は食べません。 "As for meat and fish, [omitted subject] does not eat."

If the sentence is about yourself, this would become:

"As for meat and fish, I do not eat."

So と means "and" in this sentence.


There's no difference between "or" and "and" in Japanese? Its all と?


I just wonder, are you guys repeating all the leasons all the time? What happenes if you dont? I dont think its possible to repeat so many lessons back, and if you dont, they're cracking up and it says you're going to loose this lesson, not sure how it works.


Pescatarian here: If I just said "肉は食べません。" would the implication be that I don't eat mammals/poultry but do eat fish? I would I have to clarify what I meant?


Why did I get it wrong? I put 和 am i not supposed to?


Does tabemasen and tabemasu refer to the actual act of eating only, or as well conceptually to not eating respectively eating something in general? E.g. would this be something a vegetarian could use to declare that meat is no option?


Does tabemasen and tabemasu refer to the actual act of eating only, or as well conceptually to not eating respectively eating something in general? E.g. would this be something a vegetarian could use to declare that meat is no option?


This is the most common phrase for exactly that


Here the "to/と" acts like "or"but it really means "and" so which could be the precise word to say "or" ?


Can someone explain why there isn't 私は (watashi ha) or something like that in the sentence?


Can someone explain why there isn't 私は (watashi ha) or something like that in the sentence?


Because Japanese avoids using it UNLESS you need to qualify what you are saying (specifically) needs to be identified about you. So whether it's appropriate is context, not a standard part of the sentence.


How do you know when to use the particle "to" to mean or ?


See what tarredfeather says here...


I typed "肉と魚が食べません” Why is it marked wrong for using が instead of は?


が marks the subject of the sentence. 肉と魚が食べません would mean "Meat and fish do not eat." In the sentence 肉と魚は食べません The は is being used to replace a を.


That's what i said, why is wrong?


Answer of I do not eat meat and Fish


Imao Duo become a vegetarian XD


tried the following and it didn't work -> 肉か魚は食べない。 any reason why?


肉も魚も食べない is incorrect? Does も not work for "or"?

The way u thought of it us talking about both those things so it would make sense but is there a specific reason it cant be も?


I'm not entirely certain, but from what I understand, it's because も in a negative sentence marks a contrast. The way i understood it 肉も魚も食べない would mean something like "I eat neither the fish, nor the meat.", and sounds like you were told to choose between fish or meat and replied that you don't eat either. The question is not about contrast though, but a simple statement that those two are things you do not eat.


Shouldn't "niku to sakana" mean "meat and fish?"


It does, however in English, "and" and "or" are inversed for the negative.

"I do not eat meat AND fish" would still be a true thing to say if you only eat either, just as long as you don't eat both. However "I do not eat meat OR fish" is only true if you don't eat either. If you want to express that you don't eat either technically both could be used, but "or" leaves out any ambiguity, and as such "and" is mostly used in cases where you do either, just not both.

Here's a different example:
"I will not go to the park AND the pool (because I don't have time for both)" -> Means that I might go to either, just not both.
"I will not go to the park OR the pool" -> means you definitely won't go to either.


meat or fish =肉か魚 meat and fish =肉と魚


Why does he say "oo-ou" instead of sakana here? Is this an alternate way to say sakana or is it a mistake?


See the previous comments.
うお was the original word for fish, but has since been replaced by さかな, both are written with the same kanji, 魚.
うお is considered archaic in Standard Japanese, but some dialects supposedly still use it. It seems one of the new voices uses such a dialect, though I don't know why as it'll only confuse beginners.


How do I know when to use お and when to use は


I assume you mean "を"; the slightly flippant answer is "if the sentence is negative, then there isn't really a direct object, so use は; for a positive sentence there is a direct object so use を"

Go right to the top of this discussion topic, and follow the thread from MrtenHolmq's entry for a better discussion. 11 を


The read for fish in this case is not uo"


Duoling states the correct way is "Niku to sakana wa tabemasen" which seems wrong. If it's "to" it means, " Meat AND fish" not "Meat or fish".


Afaik it's correct. You define the group {meat and fish} and make a statement about it. Roughly translated as "As for meat and fish - i don't eat that."


What a beta male

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