"Pensil dia sepuluh."

Translation:She has ten pencils.

August 16, 2018

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

Report: The English sentence is unnatural or has an error.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/adrianwhatever

It didn't give that option in the "report" section.

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

It's there for me. Second option from the bottom.

Also note that they're not exclusive checkboxes - most of the time with the unnatural English ones, you'll have put a better translation and been marked "wrong" - so you can tick both the "unnatural English" box, and also the "my answer should be accepted" box.

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaLR

This is grammatically correct, but we would be far more likely to say, “He has ten pencils.”

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

This is grammatically correct, but we would be far more likely to say, “He has ten pencils.”

Yes, you're right.
“He has ten pencils.” would sound more natural.

On the other side, if you have to translate the English sentence “He has ten pencils.”, then it would be something like this :

“He has ten pencils.”
"Dia punya sepuluh pensil"

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaLR

So, which of the two sentences would be more common in Indonesian?

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

It depends on the context.
This sentence sounds like an answer to a question.

Try to imagine the following context/questions :

Dia punya berapa pensil ?
Dia punya sepuluh pensil.
Berapa banyak pensil dia ?
Pensil dia sepuluh.

It depends on the question and how the question is phrased.

BTW, from which skill is this question ?
Possesives ? Numbers ?

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

I think it is Possessives. I am just past the first test-out-of-a-bunch-of-lessons marker and I have not had a lesson on numbers yet.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

I think it is Possessives.

Yes, it makes much more sense now.
This sentence is about the use of "dia" as a possessive.
3rd person singular form.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

And actually, I would tend to think of an exercise like this as explaining to English-speakers how to express the "to have" construction in Indonesian using possessives, as one might use a dative in Turkish or Hungarian. Of course, Turkish also uses precisely this sort of possessive construction to express "He has ten pencils" as well.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/danfur65

Is this like in French/Spanish when you are asked by a waiter how many are you???

September 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

Yes, it's a bit like that.


Regarding how well it works in English, it still sounds a bit unnatural to my ear like that, even if asked by a waiter.

You'd be much more likely to hear "How many of you are there?", "How many are in your party/group?" or something like that. "How many are with you?" is the closest to that wording that actually sounds entirely natural; but that changes the meaning a bit, and creates potential ambiguity in the counting (whether you include yourself) - so I think they generally tend to avoid phrasing it like that.

September 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustaCiupol

Yes, actually-- I had not considered it that way. It works that way in English, too. Good observation! :D

September 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

So, which of the two sentences would be more common in Indonesian?

You can use both, depending upon context.
But I prefer your sentence.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaLR

I meant in Indonesian - can you tell us whether it would be more likely to hear “pensil dia supuluh” or “dia punya supuluh pensil”? Or are they both equally common? Thanks.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

My wife says "Pensil dia sepuluh" is fine, but is maybe a little strange. "Pensil dia ada sepuluh" would be better and more common; and "Dia punya sepuluh pensil" would be slightly more common than that.

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcusWhel1

My Indonesian wife agrees with what Rick said above regarding different contexts/questions.

e.g.: "Dia punya berapa pensil ? Dia punya sepuluh pensil. Berapa banyak pensil dia ? Pensil dia sepuluh. "

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/antspants01

Report: The English sentence is unnatural or has an error.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/gringoton

Once again, the English side of this needs to be cleaned up, so that the intended meaning in the target language is clear. I'm sure the BI is perfectly OK, but we usually don't keep track of a pencil's age in English. ;-)

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PerryR.Lan

Same as the other one. Quantities in English cannot be employed as subject-adjectives, unlike Indonesian. This is better translated as "his ten pencils", which cannot be a full sentence in English (but works in BI).

"He has ten pencils", or "Dia punya sepuluh pensil" is how English speakers prefer to say it.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

Wouldn't "his ten pencils" be "pensil sepuluh dia"?

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FalahMs

It would be "sepuluh pensil dia"

September 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike

Quantities in English cannot be employed as subject-adjectives, unlike Indonesian.

This is not true. The sentence is grammatically correct, and the construction would look fine in certain literary contexts; it is simply not a common way of expressing the idea of having ten of something in most common circumstances.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

'How much time has your commute?" That is grammatically acceptable, but an English speaker would not say it in place of "How long is your commute?" What kind of literary context would "his pencils are ten" look fine in? If you are using that construction to fit the meter in a poem, for instance. Then I would say your poem needs work.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike

What kind of literary context would "his pencils are ten" look fine in?

The Bible (Authorised Version), for example, is full of these types of constructions. E.g.:

Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six (Ezra 2:66)

And their pillars were four, and their sockets of brass four (Exodus 38:19)

And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty [..] (1 Chronicles 20:6)

The golden spoons were twelve, full of incense, weighing ten shekels apiece [..] (Numbers 7:86)

And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side (Ezekiel 40:10)

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. (Daniel 7:17)

The third to Zaccur, he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve. (1 Chronicles 25:10)

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred (1 Chronicles 12:32)

All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. (1 Chronicles 9:22)

All the sons of Judah were five. (1 Chronicles 2:4)

I'm going to stop there, but there are plenty more examples from this single source. There is certainly nothing grammatically wrong with employing quantities as adjectives seperated by a copula; here is a much later example from Sir Walter Scott:

while I was in the very earliest bloom, scarcely older than yourself, the famous Passage of Arms at Haflinghem was held in my honour, the challengers were four, the assailants so many as twelve. (Quentin Durward, Ch. 14)

I'm not arguing that there aren't good reasons for re-writing the English sentence above to make it sound rather more colloquial, but it really isn't the case that there is anything grammatically wrong with it as it stands. No doubt the contributors chose this construction in English to emphasise the word-order in Indonesian.

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajeev.V.S

The sentence structure in many translations of the bible are unquestionably unnatural to a native speaker. That they are intentionally unnatural doesn't alter the fact.

September 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Henry122426

Only unnatural to a modern native speaker of English! But we really should stick to the 21st Century English rather than that of the 17thC or earlier.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

There's the old-fashioned construction "are ten in number" - that's a context in which it's fine (if a little archaic, and requiring additional words).

I think there's another old poetic style that goes like "his something something and his fingers ten" - it's possible something like this could work as a variation of that.

I can't think of any specific examples of just "something are ten" on it's own referring to quantity; so I'm somewhat dubious about that being acceptable on its own; but it wouldn't surprise me if it was an old-fashioned literary style at some point.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

I read a lot of older English literature, and, like you, I don't really have any memory of "his X are ten." It does sound like bad, pseudo-archaic translatorese of the sort one might see in translations of Greek or Persian from the turn of the 20c, but even there, it is odd. I am sure I have seen things along the order of "how many were his X" or possibly even "many were his X," but with a specific number, I just don't know. In any case, I would want anyone taking this course whose first language was not English to know that this sentence would be not only odd but unacceptably vague to most English-speakers. The other thing I wanted to know was whether this was a typical way to talk about having a particular number of things in Bahasa Indonesia, and apparently it is.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

I'm still confused by what the intended meaning is here.

Is it "His pencils are ten in number" - that is "he has ten pencils"
or
"His pencils are ten (years old)"?

I think it's the former, but is the latter also a valid interpretation or not?

The normal English understanding of "His pencils are ten" would be referring to age, although it would be most unusual to say such a thing about pencils. Even if "His pencils are ten" is a grammatically correct translation, I think it might semantically be incorrect.


Edit: from what I've learnt since, I'm confident that the Bahasa here can refer only to quantity, not age - and thus the suggested "correct" answer is basically wrong.

August 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Llamasarebest

shouldn't it be "he has ten pencils"?

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/berblanja

This is not correct English. "He has ten pencils" is.

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/berblanja

This English translation is incorrect. We would say:"he has ten pencils"

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/anno35

You are asking for an English translation of this, no native English speaker would say, 'his pencils are ten'. He has ten pencils has the same meaning.

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nan608889

In English you would say. He has ten pencils

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

Well happy birthday to his pencils!

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

Haha. That's how most people would read the supposedly "correct" translation, yes. That's not what the Bahasa means, though.

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/qZzR1d1d

Agree with the above, given it is an unnatural phrasing in English, it might be better to use a different type of phrase to help the Possessive section eg ‘his pencil is red’

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/berblanja

This is not English. He has ten pencils, but not his pencils are ten.

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexandre56761

Dia sepuluh pensils?

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

Not quite sure what you're asking?

First thing to point out; you've added an "s" - Indonesian plurals don't work like that.

Second thing: I think your word order is off. Putting "dia" at the start, to the best of my understanding, would act to imply including the verb "to be" (ada). Maybe that's intentional and you're trying to say "He is ten pencils", of course...

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/boringtomi

How about translating it as "Your cats are twenty in number"? If you answer to the question "How old are you?" you can answer "I'm twenty" without always saying "years old"... so it would just feel like you have to write the full sentence out in English while in Indonesian you didn't... I understand that this structure IS used and even popular in Indonesian, so I don't have a problem in teaching it, and I can understand that the contributors didn't want to simply translate to "You have 20 cats", because that would be "Kamu punya dua puluh kucing"... but with the translation of "Your cats are twenty in number" you would have your cake and you could eat it, too! What do you guys think?

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

That's a reasonable translation, if a little old-fashioned. It's not currently accepted, but should be.

I don't think it should be made the only translation though. "He/she has ten pencils" (or in your case, "you have 20 cats") would overwhelmingly be the most common translation, and should also be accepted.

I don't think your point that "have" = "punya" is really important here. There doesn't have to be a one-to-one conversion; we can accept that there is more than one way to say something in Bahasa and still be translatable to the same English sentence.

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustaCiupol

Go home, Duo. You are drunk.

(English sentence makes no sense.) (Did you mean, "He has ten pencils?")

// EDIT: Actually, I take this back. "His pencils are ten" does make sense in the same context as answering, "We are ten" to the question, "How many are you?" or "How many in your group?"

This is a correct, though rather florid, English sentence. It just seems odd to apply it to inanimate objects. It may also be a facet of Indonesian that translates strangely.

September 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/YukiPiaos

Whats with the His/her items are numbers sentence structure in english. shouldnt it be He has number items?

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joeHF

Yes. The course is still in Beta, so there's plenty of issues like this. I think it's happened because most of the course contributors are native Indonesian speakers rather than native English speakers, so the English versions of things are often a little unnatural.

What they're doing is using the number like an adjective. That makes a perfectly fine sentence in Bahasa, but doesn't work for modern English.

These should be translated as "He/she has (number) (item(s))" in English, yes. (or similar structures).

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertEddy

Another fruitcake Duolingo sentence -- let's just leave it at that.

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulHenry533412

English solution is uncommon not a good translation

October 23, 2018
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