Why would not " on the beach are two red crabs" not suffice ie without the "there". Eddie
Generally, the new information usually lands at the end of the sentence.
So "Na plaży są dwa czerwone kraby" starts with the knowledge that there is some beach, and ends with the notion that two red crabs are there.
"Dwa czerwone kraby są na plaży" starts with the knowledge of the existence of two red crabs, and then proceeds to say where those crabs are located.
This difference is often impossible to show in English because of English grammar, but in this particular sentence it's pretty straightforward.
Ok, but the English translation shown above is: "There are two red crabs on the beach." I wrote "Two red crabs are on the beach." These two sentences seem to convey the same idea and the two red crabs (the new information) are mentioned first in both English versions. My version uses the typical S-V-O sentence structure which omits the use of "there." Both of these versions, however, seem much more natural than the version "On the beach are two red crabs" which uses an awkward sounding O-V-S structure, but which nonetheless was accepted above
As for showing what is known (mentioned before) and not known (not mentioned before), I submit this function is performed in English by use of definite and indefinite articles, i.e. what is known/specified and what is unknown/unspecified
Four sentences: "The two red crabs are on the beach." Here, both the crabs and the beach are known, and the speaker is saying those known crabs are located on the known beach
"Two red crabs are on the beach." Here, the beach is known and the speaker is saying that the crabs (new information) are on the known beach.
"The two red crabs are on a beach." Here, the crabs are known and the speaker is saying that the known crabs are on a previously unmentioned and perhaps unknown beach (new information).
"Two red crabs are on a beach." Here, both the crabs and the beach have not been mentioned before, and the speaker is describing the relationship between these two previously unmentioned items. Both items are new information. Perhaps the speaker has been shown a photo and has been asked to describe what is in the photo.
If it is expected that we learners mimic the Polish word ordering by putting the new information at the end of the English translation, then perhaps we need to use a different verb. Would you accept "The beach has two crabs on it" as a possible translation?
Woah, that is quite an elaborate argument... and I am buying it. Okay, let's accept "Two red crabs are on the beach" :)
"The beach has two crabs on it" seems too far. As mimicking is concerned, we sure encourage it as long as it's correct and reasonably natural in English...
Thanks. I agree that "The beach has two red crabs on it" is too far. The subject changes from the crabs to the beach in that sentence.
Because that sentence starts with the knowledge that there are 'two crabs'. In the Polish sentence, this is the new information.