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  5. "Please answer the meaning of…

"Please answer the meaning of this word."


June 22, 2017



Uh...duo that sentence makes absolutely no sense in English...


Agreed. The English grammar in this sentence is incorrect.


Please answer with the meaning of this word


Agreed. This literally means "the intangible concept of the meaning behind this word has asked you a question, please reply to it" which is meaningless. Honestly I prefer to learn languages by literal translations ("this word's meaning, give answer please") but Duolingo usually doesn't, so I would expect "please give the meaning of this word" or something.




Dodgy Engrish, Duo-chan.


Yeah, the English is definitely wrong! You can't answer a meaning. Instead of 'answer' in the English sentence given, you could say 'say,' 'write,' 'indicate,' or 'tell me.'


But if they put that in as the English, people will also use it in the Japanese. :(


So if you want someone to explain the meaning of a word in Japanese, you ask them to answer the meaning?


Maybe it could be 'please answer /with/ the meaning of this word?' Or would that have a different sentence construction in Japanese?


Because one can't provide a response or an answer to a meaning, we must either change 'answer' to some other word, or, as SSSRoaB has opted, change the structure of the sentence somewhat, so that we can keep 'answer.' I like your suggestion to add 'with' after 'answer,' but language teachers and literally minded translators often frown upon structural change even more than word substitution.

Adding 'with' shifts the focus from a direct object to the modality, how one is to answer or do something: With [or using] (a hammer), by [means of] (this algorithm), in (English). In Japanese, such things are usually expressed by X で (i.e. で instead of を, which is reserved for the direct object), X を使[つか]って (/X を利用[りよう]して), X を以[もっ]て.


this sentence is weird tbh

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