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  5. "きのう、お母さんにてがみを書きました。"


Translation:I wrote a letter to my mother yesterday.

August 30, 2017



It should be 母, not お母さん. The latter is used when you're talking to your mom, or you're talking about someone else's mom. You use the informal versions of family names to talk about your family, and the formal version to talk to your family, or about anyone else's.


True, but if you were talking to another family member it would be natural to call your own mother お母さん, so it's not wrong (but 母 is also right).


But it would then be unnatural to use the ます ending


That has not been my experience, as I have met plenty of people who speak politely to their family. It depends on the context.


Yes, here duolingo is just wrong. It won't accept "your mother" and suggests "my mother".


Yeah, that's what I thought as well. IsolaCiao brings up a good point, though.




I don't understand why this answer isn't accepted. Is this not correct?


But how do you report it when there's no option for "My sentence should be considered correct"?


This sentence is really difficult for me. Is it basically Yesterday, mom to letters I wrote? I think に is tripping me up.


It is 'To mother'. japanese particle is put after the word. お母さん(mother)+に(particle for mother), 手紙(letter)+を(particle for letter).

This is my personal opinion, I think particles resemble prepositions. Though the position is different. (The role of them. They help other word.) Those are so difficult to me.

What do you think? :D


This was helpfull. ありがとうございます


I wrote "Yesterday my mom wrote a letter" and it didnt accept it just because I didnt write "My mom wrote a letter yesterday". I think both should be acceptable answers, right?


You probably looked at it too quickly. The mother is the intended recipient of the letter not the author. The particle に shows here that she is the indirect object of the verb 書きます, and てがみ is the direct object, indicated by the particle を. Unfortunately, に has many uses besides for the indirect object, and it takes a while to sort these out. They include: direction, location of existence, point in time, purpose, and frequency. There are two more grammatically complicated uses in which に actually does indicate the person doing something (unlike here): in the passive, it indicates the person BY whom or thing BY the means of which something is done, and in the causative, it marks the person made to do something by someone or something else.


"I wrote to my mum yesterday" should be accepted but that report option could not be selected for some reason.


If you omitted "a letter", it might not be reasonable to accept it. I wrote word for word the suggested translation, but chose "mum" instead of "mom" or "mother", and it was marked wrong.


I was also marked wrong for "I wrote a letter to my mum yesterday" even though "mum" has been a correct option for "mother" throughout the app thus far.


Simply report it, although perhaps it’s because お母さん is more polite, and “mum” is more informal.


why isnt there something to show possession to mother? like with "watashi no" meaning "my". i read the sentence as I wrote a letter to mother... without my. I know that's not much different but I am curious none the less. Maybe something like this? きのう、わたしのお母さんにてがみを書きました


Japanese speech is highly contextual. When the context is established or known by both the speaker and the listener, the subject is often omitted for brevity.


I think mother will always be referred as "my mother" as long as you are the one speaking it. It will be の お母さん (e.g. tomodachi no okaasan) if you want to pertain to one's mother.




Why is 'I wrote to my mom a letter yesterday' incorrect?


Indirect objects without 'to' come between the verb and the direct object, but with 'to,' they come after the direct object. So, 'I wrote my mom a letter ....' is correct, but with 'to' it must be 'I wrote a letter to my mom ....' A number of time or place adverbials can't be put between the verb and it's direct object either. So, for example, we must put 'yesterday' after 'letter' and not before in the given example.

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