"You play the guitar."

Translation:Ihr spielt Gitarre.

April 13, 2018

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
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Why is "die" (the) not required?

April 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod
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The English sentence can have two meanings:

  1. You (can) play (any) guitar - You know how to play the instrument generally.
  2. You (do) play (that) guitar - You play a specific guitar.

If you include the article in the German sentence it means (2), if you leave it out it means (1).

April 13, 2018

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az_p - I wasn't asking what the English sentence meant.

I was asking why DuoLingo marks the answer as being incorrect when utilizing "die".

"Du spielst die Gitarre" was considered wrong.

April 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/a_ae_f
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It is just because in German you say

'Ich spiele Gitarre.'

without the 'die', if you are telling someone that you can play the guitar.

It's the same with every other instrument. :)

'Ich spiele die Gitarre' sounds more like telling someone which instrument you play in a band or in an orchestra.

April 14, 2018

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a_ae_f - I see what you mean. I guess this is just another rather poorly written typical DuoLingo translation example. Since what was being translated could as well have just been:

"You play guitar."

The lack of context doesn't help much either.

It's the same in Spanish. One can either say, "Yo toco la guitarra" or "Yo toco guitarra." The former means "Ich spiele die Gitarre" and the latter means "Ich spiele Gitarre". When one employs the definite article, it can be interpreted in the same way as in your example, but it can also just mean that it's the specific instrument that you play with or without a band, so more than anything it's open to interpretation, which would be clearer provided that there was more context.

April 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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Looking at the edit history of this sentence, at some point previously it was "You play guitar" but people complained that "the" was missing. Can't win :)

For what it's worth, both German sentences (with and without die) are now accepted. The important thing is that you know what meaning they each carry, so you can express the sentiment from the English sentence how you choose. I guess despite Duolingo's frustrations, you've learned that now.

April 14, 2018

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az_p - Thanks for adding the possible answer.

April 14, 2018
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