Translation:Have you finished your homework already?
In this sentence, おわる"finish" is an intransitive verb (i.e. cannot be used with an object). That's why the particle は is used rather than を. The transitive verb for finish is おえる.
Transitive and intransitive verbs are tricky in Japanese and usually only mastered by the advanced learner. For now, just keep this concept in mind. For more information, including a list of transitive and intransitive pairs, see: https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Japanese/Grammar/Transitivity
What really bugs me about transitivity in Japanese is that there are no consistent rules to them, even for recognizing them.
The problem is that transitive and intransitive verbs are related but independent verbs, there thend to be some patterns but there are many more exceptions. It's better to try to memorize and use them in sentences and remeber if it uses を(transitive) or は/が (intransitive)
So technically there isn't a 'you'. The sentence is, "Hasn't the homework ended already?" But yeah, as a question, this is a polite way to ask, as it is not as interrogative because it avoids the 'you.'
The you is implied (you is the implied SUBJECT - the person doing the finishing). あなた is not necessary as the speaker is clearly asking someone if they have finished their homework - we can tell this because the verb has an active voice, not passive - therefore someone needs to be performing the action ie. the finishing (of the homework). If we translated the sentence as you have above then the verb would be passive, and しゅくだい would be the subject. Also, the verb is positive - not negative, so there is no "hasn't".
おわる is an intransitive verb, the subject is absolutely the homework: The homework is finished, the homework is performing the action of being finished. There cannot be an object with intransitive verbs. If you want the homework to be the object you would have to use the transitive verb おえる. While it wouldn't be wrong to translate this phrase as "Have you finished your homework" if we were translating a book or something and trying to make it sound natural (because that is the more natural way to say it in English), in Japanese they are a lot more comfortable talking about things from the perspective of inanimate objects.
Aaahh, thanks Michael. I had been looking for a nice little quick reference lost for transitive and intransitive verbs... i have a hard time remembering which is which for many verbs.
もう here is a particle meaning "already." It's usually taught in conjunction with まだ, which if used in this sentence, would translate to "Are you still finishing your homework?" (the verb would change to おわっています）
もう translates to "already" or "not anymore." The verb has already finished.
まだ translates to "not yet" or "still". The verb hasn't finished yet.
In this sentence it seems that "yet" might be fitting? "Have you finished your homework yet?"
You would use mada for your example, threadpiece. Mou is asking if the listener has already finished their homework, are they all done? Mada means not yet and usually accompanies a negative verb or an implied negative verb/outcome ie. densha wa mada? Is the train not here yet? Un, mada desu - yep, it's still not here. Whereas mou indicates something that's already done or implies that something might be already done - in this instance the speaker is asking if the listener has already finished their homework. Duolingo's accepted translation doesn't shed any light on what it is supposed to mean though.
Well, that's where I disagree with the translation. You can't put "mada" in that question; "mou" fits into it. "Mada" fits into statements with "yet". You can see two similar examples with mou/yet questions here. http://jisho.org/search/yet%20%E3%82%82%E3%81%86%20%23sentences
As far as I understand it, how one could translate these words depends on the sentence, specifically question or statement forms. What I'm trying to say is: - In English, if you ask if someone has completed something, you either make a simple question with present perfect, "Have you finished it?" or you can add "yet" to it: "Have you finished it yet?" -- "Yes, I have (already)." / "No, I haven't (yet)." (Using "already" in the question potentially adds other implications. "Have you finished it already? Wow, you're so fast.") - In this same type of question in Japanese, もう can be translated as "yet". (The concepts behind "yet" and "already" are indeed similar, but the sentence translates more naturally and simply with "yet".) - Hence, "yet" is not always connected to まだ. In a question, "yet" can also be connected to もう. In a negative statement, まだ is "not yet".
もう宿題は終わりましたか。Have you finished your homework? / Have you finished your homework yet? はい、終わりました。Yes, I have. / Yes, it's finished. まだです。No, not yet.
It is perfectly fine to say "have you already finished?" in English. I feel that you don't understand the Japanese and how it translates to English. When you use mou it's referring to something which has already been done, something already finished/completed. Mou has a positive, optimistic expectation that something is already done/completed. mada refers to something which is either incomplete or still to happen. So when you use mada in a sentence it implies a negative outcome - in English (if we were to use mada in the original sentence instead of mou) it would totally change the meaning of the sentence to mean still not finished yet? mada has a negative expectation that mou does not.
First you say 'yet' would be better in the original sentence - that would require mada and imply a negative out come - not yet, which is not the meaning that the sentence is trying to convey with mou at all. But then you say it should be mou because mada doesn't work because it means yet. You seem to be contradicting yourself - I'm not sure what you're trying to say?
All I wanted to say is that "yet" can be added to the English translation of the question or used as a way to understand もう, as per the original question in the thread. That's it.
"Did you finish your homework yet?" was accepted for me so apparently Duolingo agrees with you.
I honestly think what they haven't told us is that Japanese is still in Beta and we're finding the errors for them
That's not a secret. Japanese is actually in pre-beta: it's called "hatching". If you want to use it without errors, you'll have to wait.
Already didn't appear as a word I could select for the translation. I input "Have you already finished homework?" and got it wrong for a missing 'the'. The correct answer was "Have you already finished the homework?"... Is this the really necessary?
Even if "the" sounds a bit weird, it would be an acceptable translation. However, you'd more likely use some other word before "homework" instead - most likely "your" (i.e. "your homework").
Maybe it's regional, but "Have you already finished homework?" sounds wrong. "The homework" sounds perfectly normal, as would "your homework" (or any other possessive pronoun/ noun really).
You're right - 'the' homework sounds totally weird. If you were going to modify homework with anything the most logical would be your - your homework.
A little confused here. I wrote have you already finished your homework? Got it wrong. Its asking the same as have you finished it yet? .. To me anyway.
It's asking are you already finished? The speaker is presuming that the listener has already finished their homework - ie. a positive outcome. If the speaker presumed that the listener hadn't in fact finished their homework then they would use mada and the meaning would change to - still not finished? implying a negative outcome.
It sounds unnatural to refer to "homework" without any descriptor before it. "The" could work; "your" would probably be best (i.e. "your homework").
Many English speaking regions explicitly omitt "the" in this context. It could be called your or today's homework, but almost never "the" homework. It talks about homework as a principle, not some concrete instance of it.
Using "the" isn't that unusual. 2 kids at school walking into Science class together... One says to the other "Did you get the homework done?" Implying the specific homework for that science class. Very similar to saying "today's"
"Did you finish the homework" could be a valid translation BUT I don't know why you would be asking someone whether they had done homework if it wasn't their own homework so your homework is totally logical : )
Why is "Have you finished already your homework?" not correct. もう = already.
"Finished already your homework" is ungrammatical, but you could say:
"Have you already finished your homework?"
"Have you finished your homework already?"
You could say "is your homework finished already?" and that would be grammatical, but it's also a different construction, in passive voice.
The word order is incorrect. It should be Have you already finished your homework or have you finished your homework already as Boringjorn suggested.
"もう" also means "now" so "now be you finished your homework." should be been correct as well! This app doesn't know what it wants much of the time!
"Now be you finished your homework" is grammatically incorrect English. No one would say this.
From the previous examples, "mou" insinuated the word "already". So, even though i got the answer correct, why didn't the answer say "Have you finished your homework already?"
Prob just typically inconsistent Duo - best to report it every time you come across it and cross your fingers that the magic number of people reporting the error needed before Duo will amend it is reached quickly!
"Is your homework already finished?" is not accepted as of 2018-8-18. Did some double checking and reported, but would like a second opinion just in case.
In your translation the verb is passive - I'm guessing that's why it's not accepted. The Japanese verb is active so it should be - have you already finished your homework?
The Japanese intransitive is tantamount to the English passive construction in most cases. Just like the reflexive in Spanish or French.
I've found it sometimes doesn't accept the kanji. I don't know why and I can't figure out which words it recognizes kanji for and which it doesn't.
Wouldnt a better translation be "did you already finish your homework"? "Have you..." seems like it would be 終わっていましたか. Am i wrong? Im still trying to get my head around this past, and past-present stuff.