https://www.duolingo.com/c3trash

Generic vs. Specific, omitted classifier.

c3trash
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I'm still pretty confused on when omitting a classifier makes something specific.

For example:

Tôi bán ghế in the exercises gets translated as I sell the chair. I don't get why that would be even if this was in the context of a conversation about a specific chair. I would still think it would need the classifier cái for it to be specific. To me this would translate as I sell chairs.

Tôi không có giường gets translated as I don't have a bed. Which makes sense but also accepts I don't have the bed. Which doesn't make sense.

Tôi không dùng túi gets translated as I don't use any bags, which I would think should be I don't use bags or I don't use the bag bases on the previous two examples. I would think I don't use any bags would be Tôi không dùng túi nào hết or something like that.

4 weeks ago

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Huy_Ngo
Huy_Ngo
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I would blame the course creators' irresponsibility. You're right about both sentences. I guess these mistaken uses of "the" exist because someone among the creators just learnt about the generic use of "the" (used to address the whole class, as in "I can play the violin" or "The fastest land animal is the cheetah") but don't really understand it.

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZaneNgo
ZaneNgo
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Depending on the situation, all of the sentences can be understood with either meaning. Though the classifier makes it more specific, it can be unnatural to use it depending on the context of the conversation. An advice from me is that you should never trust direct translation from English to Vietnamese or vice versa because it's relatively difficult to translate between the two languages.

2 days ago
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