1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "にくとさかなは食べません。"

"にくとさかなは食べません。"

Translation:I do not eat meat or fish.

June 16, 2017

106 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

肉と魚は食べません。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephen_zissou

This sentence helped me see for the first time how helpful Kanji can be in reading quickly. Instead of a line of hiragana sounds that are meaningless until you mentally sound them out, the sentence you wrote is so clear: kanji noun + hiragana “and” + kanji noun + hiragana particle + kanji/hiragana conjugated verb. I am loving this language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SoyDylon

i just wish it was quicker to write on paper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacintaHu

肉 is the kanji for meat (niku) and 魚 is the kanji for fish (sakana)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iNTERS22

When do you write にく and when 肉?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyDarm

You always write 肉 but the app tells you to write almost everything in Hiragana for now so we won't get mixed up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metleon

Kids in Japan learn hiragana early but then keep learning new kanji all throughout grade school. If you read something designed for kids, it's going to use as little kanji as possible, since they may not know it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raijania

also, things designed to be easy to read may have kanji, but there is small hiragana for it on top


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IcommaMilk

The small hiragana above kanji that Raijania mentioned is called furigana :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nkwk88

It's easier for me to understand Kanji because it's the first language I learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiruii

Kanji isn't a language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ERN1919

Any reason why this is 'or' specifically?

I see the tip says 'and'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MiKomprenasVin

I think the idea is that the speaker doesn't eat either of fish or meat. Using and in English makes it sound like you just don't eat them together and most English speakers would say "or" in this context.

I think this sentence is intended to point out that subtle difference between Japanese and English. When negating multiple things, use and in Japanese, but in English use or.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R0AHN1

This exactly. English is more subtle in its use of or vs. and. E.g. "I do not eat eggs or mayonaise" (neither of eaten) as compared to "I do not eat eggs and mayonaise" (not both at same time). Listing with "to" in this case would be an inclusive list of things not eaten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NilsPetter7

Do you happen to know how you would imply that you don't eat that combination? As opposed to just listing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jugglejunk

just guessing, but I would go with. 肉と魚一緒には食べません。肉抜き魚は大丈夫です。魚抜き肉は大丈夫です、けど一緒にはダメです。Though this would be over explaining it and using just one would probably work just as well. 抜き(ぬき)means without. ハムバッカーblablabla ぬきです。hamburger without ....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metleon

I'd say use 'with' but that's also 'to'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KuronosuKami

Probably 「肉は魚と食べません」and「魚は肉とたべません」 .
Just guessing, though! ☺


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyDarm

No と means "and" and は (pronounced "wa" as a particle) indicates the noun which one is talking about :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cazort

I think this is a great illustration of how English and Japanese have fundamentally different structures. When the sentence says 「にくとさかなは」this establishes the topic. It is a lot like establishing the subject of the sentence in English by saying something like: "About meat and fish..."

So when you take the whole sentence and translate it in this way it would be like saying in English: "So about meat and fish...I don't eat them." In Japanese, both the "I" and "them" are implied by the fact that you're the speaker, and by the topic you set. But the same logic is going on...the 「と」still means "and", it's just that you treat "and" different when you're talking about something.

In general though と does not always mean "and", but in this circumstances it still means "and", it just gets translated to "or" because we tend to word or frame this type of thought in a very different way from how Japanese people do.

I don't know if this clarifies it? I found this stuff super tricky when first learning Japanese, but in time it will start to make more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tenienteramires

You mean the verb "tabemasu" is transitive and the direct object is "meat and fish" but in this sentence they're in the topic but the DO is implied? So the sentence really is: "as for the meat an the fish, [I] eat [them]"? Thought it was "As for the meat and the fish, [they] are being eaten"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gurupatik

for me as a Russian speaker 'and' is more common for 'と' in this kind of sentence and I was a bit shocked to see only the 'or' option in the English translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phoenix87

Why isn't the particle wo here? Isn't the subject an implied watashi, hence the rest is an object?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KuronosuKami

The わたしは can be implied after にくとさかな.

Think of it as: "Regarding meat and/or fish, I do not eat."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyDarm

There is no need for 私 (or わたし in Hiragana) here since it's obvious from the context. (Also, side note, わたし is only used when being very polite or when a female is speaking. Males use 僕 or ぼく usually. There are many other ways to say "I" though. ☺)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/punkdoabc

Because the object particle を ("wo") was substitued by the topic particle, は ("wa"). The implied part would be 私が, which is "I + (subject particle)".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davedavido

魚は肉です…


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kokawa1

Not in all cultures ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DroppedBass

Is it necessary to specify fish in this sentence? Does にく apply to any meat that is not fish, or meat in general?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KuronosuKami

Fish is not meat, so niku does not refer to fish, afaik....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanSny

Fish is meat. Meat is the muscle of an animal, and a fish is an animal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ycUvuSap

When discussing foodstuff, fish is typically not considered meat. Food terminology and languages in general are often arbitrary in this way, regardless of science or logic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kokawa1

Fish is not traditionally considered as meat because of christian customs : in Lent, people was not allow to eat meat. It was really difficult for the fishermen, so the Church decided to accept fish during Lent. This is why we make the distinction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/punkdoabc

Does that mean drinking wine and driving is okay in Vatican?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blikkkk

This is interesting. Thanks for sharing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CowgodundP

Typed do not istead of don't, counted as a wrong answer..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiero80211

I'm confused about the 食 character. The reading doesn't seem to say that character (shoku), but tapping on it says it means 'to eat' or something similar. What is this character?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masterp443

Welcome to the world of Japanese where Kanji characters have multiple readings with now way for a new speaker to know how to them without context or memorization. I suggest using Kanjidamage.com or some other supplementary guide to learn Kanji.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SherylHohman

But the APP should be Smart Enough to show us the correct translation of any particular sentence. It should at least be Smart Enough to show us the pronunciation they are Teaching Us in a Particular Lesson!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jugglejunk

kanji usually have 2 or more meanings, although there are some that have only one reading, most kanji have 2 or more readings depending on the context that they are in. they have often a kunyomi reading that is used in combination with kana or as a stand alone and onyomi is used in combination with other kanji. 食 character has the following most common readings kunyomi ta like in たべます and the onyomi like in the word meal 食事 (しょくじ).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HansHansemann

constantly chooses "meet" instead of "meat" smh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hollt693

Could someone explain this particle use to me? Like, は isn't acting as a topic marker here, else this would mean "meat and fish don't eat." If it was を, then would it be more like "I won't eat the meat and fish (in this instance)."? If all of that is correct, then I still wonder why the particle isn't が. I think I remember hearing that は implies that there are more items than listed, i.e. "I don't eat meat, fish, eggs, etc." where が might suggest that you have no other dietary restrictions? Is that it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jugglejunk

を is usually used when an action is happening to a topic. 'I eat the sushi' the sushi is getting 'eaten' if the sentence had been 'jack walks to the store' the store wouldn't say 'hey I just got walked to'. In the case of '肉と魚は食べません' it is more like talking about your habits or preferences, if you have a plate in front of you and you don't want to eat the fish and meat you would use 'にくとさかなをたべません' (I think)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DocOx

I am not a native English speaker, but isn't "I do not eat meat or fish" grammatically wrong? Shouldn't it be "I neither eat meat nor fish"?...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaysonKost

I used "I do not eat meat nor fish" which was accepted. Your form is also correct but I would put the "neither" right after "eat" instead of before it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndeanGakusei

Maybe but native speakers would never say it like that. Native speakers would say: I don't eat meat or fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamRam42

Any reason why duolingo doesnt use the kanji for fish or meat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metleon

They haven't taught is them yet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MirN398150

Can someone break down the part of NOT eating... (in comparison to I DO eat). Every time I think I got that it confuses me somehow


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noobjAb

食べます = eat. 食べません = do not eat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leo240

Is it critical that positive form uses "ni" particle and negative uses "wa" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hollt693

They're completely different particles, but neither is tied to positive or negative, to my knowledge.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mellocado

肉 is easy to remember because it looks like a piece of meat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yuuzora

So, one cannot say "meat or fish" or "fish and meat" as if they aren't, for all intents and purposes, the same thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThisOneIsNice

野菜を食べません、ご飯を食べません、肉と魚をたべません。。。じゃあ、いただきます!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TravisGarr1

肉と魚は食べません。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TravisGarr1

There is no "my solution should also be accepted", so I'm spamming here:

肉と魚は食べません。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neolit1

that's the spirit!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kokawa1

Haha, first thing I learnt to say for my travel to Japan :')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hecarimkekw

I always wondered why the 食 is silent...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kokawa1

It's not, it sounds た when it's used in the verb 食べる


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anpek

Can it be translated as "I did not eat meat and fish"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SidMaron

It's present time. I assume we will learn about past tense later.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtyomLuch1

why it requires fish, doesnt sakana means snacks? (sake food, including all stuff eated with alchohol?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/weljo1

I put (and) for (to) and i was wrong.?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A4fx3uW1

Shouldn't the correct English translation be "I do not eat meat AND fish?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GlaucoAbil

Niku to Sakana a Tabemasen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Opeth2010

Why cannot we write "肉と魚を食べません" instead of "肉と魚は食べません" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GothiQhaQer

と means both and and or?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandon153837

Is there not a way in saying "Or" on japanese?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandon153837

Is there not a way in saying "Or" in Japanese?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenryCheng17

と always means "and", so the Translation seems to be: I do not eat meat and fish. right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corrine720997

looking though the comments, it seems im the only one who didnt get the kanji OR hiragana for fish at all to complete the sentence, i just got "niku and" the sentence finisher, i did not get fish or Ha, i had bread though. i couldnt get the sentence right because the right answer wasnt there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NguyetTran270928

肉と魚は食べませんが 、野菜はたくさん食べます。( I do not eat meat and fish, but I eat a lot of vegetables.)

私は肉や魚を食べません。( I do not eat meat or fish. )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris542688

What indicates the difference between NOT eating and eating?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laja.max

Again found a bug where listening exercise won't accept kanji. Makes the exercises crap for pc users trying to type Japanese as it's awkward. 肉と魚は食べません equals にくとさかなは食べません lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TravisTalbot

Based on the comments on other questions, I'm piecing together how particles are used. Let me see if I'm on the right track.

Because the "ha" particle is used here, the meat and fish are the subject of the sentence. So it could stiffly translate to "Meat and fish are not things I eat."

If "wo" were used instead, I would be the topic of the sentence, so it would literally mean "I do not eat meat or fish."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesander650837

I just wanna know if natives speak this fast because damn smh I'm often rewindimg at least 2-3 times to try to get my ears trained.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rafa3980

Reading the comments get me more confused. I guess japanese is easier and more similar to my mother language (portuguese) than to English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ycUvuSap

English is a very strange language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tubafore

I put ”I'm a vegetarian” and it marked it wrong. Honestly, i just wanted to see that it would.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Biklar

Fish IS a kind of meat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamoru-San

How do you say "thet"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hollt693

Is that even a word? What does it mean? Is it related to the word epithet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roee790945

I accidentally pressed meal instead of meat :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandi302159

Is fish not meat? The heck


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Falak98

What indicates "they" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamScott794079

That's cool. I don't live in north america or the US


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnesLee7

The translation should be I dont eat meat and fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClareC.1

Probably should be "i do not eat meat nor fish", actually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel513800

For that to be correct in english, it would have to be, "I eat neither meat nor fish." Saying, "I don't eat meat or fish," is like saying, "I don't eat either meat or fish."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamScott794079

That would want a neither.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

Spot on, but rarely heard now, as most speakers will say or, rather than nor, here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AkaiSamurai

It's a shame really. It's already hard for many people to make a differentiation between basic words like "there", "their" and "they're";


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngelIris

To me, that sounds unnatural in English though. Never in my life have I heard anyone use 'and' in this type of sentence. 'I don't eat meat OR fish' is more natural sounding and is still a correct translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AkaiSamurai

Actually both OR and AND would be incorrect. Technically, NOR replaces OR whenever negative sentences are concerned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamScott794079

Only with a neither


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

No, it shouldn't, actually. As discussed above, that carries a different meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaMTherese

Join me haha SZHRMT

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.