"Are these the clothes of someone?"

Translation:Hainele acestea sunt ale cuiva?

October 11, 2017

This discussion is locked.


What is wrong with "Acestea sunt hainele ale cuiva"?


When you have the article "-le" at the end of the noun in a possessive clause like "someone's clothes", you mustn't use the possessive pronoun "ale". It sounds weird and redundant if you do (and is incorrect).

So your translation should be:
"Are these someone's clothes?" = "Acestea sunt hainele cuiva?"


Unfortunately, this answer, "Acestea sunt hainele cuiva?", is not currently being accepted. Has been reported.


Thanks a lot! This is a pretty obscure grammatical rule, and something I'd never have picked up. (This is one of the drawbacks of Duolingo. There's an expectation that you can just pick this stuff up osmotically.)


@Lurch_M et al, thanks for your replies. I'm confused why such a similar sentence is considered accepted here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26892852

"Acestea sunt merele roșii ale cuiva!" - is it the adjective roșii which makes it acceptable?


Yep, your assumption is correct. If the noun has any qualifiers, then that makes the possessive pronoun mandatory. Here's some examples to illustrate the point:

  • These are someone's apples. = Acestea sunt merele cuiva. (no modifier, so no possessive pronoun)
  • These are someone's red apples. = Acestea sunt merele roșii ale cuiva. ("merele" qualified by adjective "roșii", so use possessive pronoun)
  • Are these someone's clothes? = Acestea sunt hainele cuiva? (no modifier, so no possessive pronoun)
  • Are these someone's work clothes? = Acestea sunt hainele de lucru ale cuiva? ("hainele" qualified by expression "de lucru", so use possessive pronoun)


This is completely not how a native english speaker would speak. We would say "are these someone's clothes" or "do these clothes belong to someone"


How do you distinguish in Romanian between "Are these clothes someone's?" and "Are these the clothes of someone?" ?


I'd translate the Romanian sentence as "Are these clothes someone's?", which is subtly different. In this case, "these clothes" is the subject, whereas in the original sentence "these" is the subject.


"Sunt acestea hainele cuiva?" should be accepted, too.


What does it matter whether it's hainele acestea or acestea hainele?

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