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  5. "あきとふゆはふくをあらいません。"


Translation:I do not wash my clothes in fall and winter.

June 8, 2017



Everyone's discussing the subtitles of the grammar here but I'm just concerned about how unhygienic this is.


Aww rough one. I took this as "I don't wash my autumn or winter clothes."


You should be more careful with the particules, "を" is on what the action of the verb is applied. So I wash clothes. "は" just mean we're talking about autumn and winter.


Isn't the subject here implicitly the speaker though? I took Japanese for four years and using this to brush up on it. This threw me off.


Shouldn't the sentence be: (私は) 秋とふゆに服をあらいません. The way the sentence is just doesn't nKe sense to me.


は is a topic marker. The sentence is fine as it is.


LOL I get you. The topic vs subject marker conflict is not easy to reconcile for those steeped in grammatical form in other languages. All I can advise is that by now in level 8, ye jes gotta get o'er it.

For those who try to reassure you that all you have to do is think of the focus of the sentence, ask them why then the object (clothes) is not the topic marker in "I wash my clothes" but it is with "I like clothes". Ask them why 'he' is the topic marker in "He washes clothes in the spring" but "In the spring" is the topic marker in "I wash clothes in the spring"

Isn't this what we want from studying other languages - challenge?

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca


私 and other forms of I and you as subjects are often omitted in japanese. the subject is implicit.


I would have guessed "ni" be the particle used as well


chrissh.han に makes it very specific - ie. the speaker doesn't wash their clothes specifically IN autumn and winter.


Yeah, this is a weird one chrissh.han. It's not wrong, but definately weird.


It's not weird - people call は the topic marker, partly because subject is a confusing term

The agent (the thing performing the verb action) is 私, omitted because it's implied as usual. I'm the one (not) doing the washing.

But the topic or context is あきとふゆ - we're talking about autumn and winter. And in that context, here's some information about something that happens - you're being specific about a certain time, and describing something about it.

Arguably the grammatical subject here is ふく, because that's the focus of the sentence - it's like a passive sentence, "in autumn and winter the clothes aren't washed (by me)". Sometimes it's the agent too - but that's distinct from stating the context of the sentence

That's why subject isn't always a great term to use when you're talking about particles - Japanese just does things differently, and the thing put into context by は isn't necessarily the thing performing the action, or even the thing the sentence is about. But it can be! This is where all the nuances about は and が and other particles come in, when you do and don't use them


telemetry ふく is definitely NOT the subject of this sentence を following ふく and thus marking it as the direct object of the verb/washing makes that clear. Also this sentence is NOT passive - the verb is present active. Japanese has passive voice forms for verbs - in this case it would 洗われる or 洗われます. In a passive sentence the object of the active sentence becomes the subject.


ふく is definitely not the subject of the sentence. Winter can't wash clothes (maybe if it rains on them I guess) so it can't it wash them either.

Subject and topic are not the same thing, though they very often are, especially in a course like this. Here the subject of the sentence is the implied "I" while the topic is "autumn and winter".


Winter the subject?? Very arguably, I'd say - in syntactic terms, a subject is not just a semantic term. It is even arguable as to what the semantic topic is ( ie winter or clothes?). You assert it isn't weird but then admit all kinds of 'nuances' and contexts that contradict your explanation.

Look, the point is that for learners, it is weird, but for Japanese and perhaps similar languages, it isn't, so relish that weirdness.


You would need "no" instead of "wa" for it to mean "autumn or winter clothes". The "wa" separates the clauses.


Me too, but I did one worse: I was so focused on the vocabulary that I didn't see it was masen instead of masu. I'm actually kind of amused by my mistake.


Please take a shower immediately, and use this soap.






I do not want to meet this person in fall or winter.


Just gonna let the rain take care of it.


And why it has to be "my" clothes?


It doesn't, but without additional context, that's how it would be understood.


It doesn't have to be, but assuming it'd be your clothes or others' out of nowhere with no prior context would be bizarre.




Why is "time when"(fall and winter) marked with a は instead of で or に?


Because it's not talking about doing [thing], that just happens to occur when [time], it's talking about [time]. Learning to think with topics is sometimes a little tricksie, but you'll get there. :)


But is it possible to use で or に in this sentence (in a context where time is not the topic, of course)?


You would never use de when talking about time. Ni is more specific, wa is more general - although Duolingo's translation doesn't reflect this very well.


English question: I used "during" instead of "in". Is it really incorrect?


Should be fine, as long as the rest of the sentence is correctly translated.


Same here. I reported it. #Helping


Can fall be replaced with autumn? Super confusing.


Yes, autumn should also be accepted. Is it currently not?


Is the "or" important here, or can it equivalently be an "and"?


There's no or in this sentence. To means and or with depending on the context - if used when listing two or more things then it's clearly being used as and. If it is not a list eg. 家族 と 映画 を 見 に 行きます - then it's with - I go to watch a movie with my family.


The English translation though could use the word "or" to imply the action taking place in both, but not simultaneously (obviously the case since winter/fall are two separate times) I do not wash my clothes in the fall or winter I do not wash my clothes in the fall and winter To me, the first feels a bit more natural in English, even though it would be hard to point to the word "or" in the given Japanese. Another way to look at it is "I do not wash my clothes in the fall, nor do I wash my clothes in the winter" Shortened to "I do not wash my clothes in the fall nor the winter" Shortened again to "I do not wash my clothes in fall or winter" Obviously the first of the three is stating a lot plainly that is implied by the other two.


This is more of a peculiarity of English though, and how we change words around when the sentence becomes negative - you wouldn't say "I (do) wash my clothes in the fall or winter" because that implies one or the other, instead of both which is what and means

So the translation should accept or as an answer in English, since it's a natural way to phrase it, but that's actually a variation on and - that's the meaning carried by the sentence.


telemetry - you seem to be saying or shouldn't be accepted as well as and, but then you say it should. I'm confused about what you're trying to say?



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