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"केकड़ा पानी पीता है।"

अनुवाद:The crab drinks water.

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https://www.duolingo.com/apoorvag

Crab drinks the water is wrong, why? Plz explain

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जवाब4 साल पहले

https://www.duolingo.com/mathsislife

Hi Apoorva! English has three articles - a, an, and the. Of these, "the" is the definite article. We use the definite article to say something about all the things referred to by a noun. For example, here we are talking about the behaviour of all crabs in general, so we say "The crab..." We also do not use "the" before uncountable nouns (water is an uncountable noun) in general.

Hope that helped, and happy learning!

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https://www.duolingo.com/_gs9
_gs9
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We use the definite article to say something about all the things referred to by a noun. For example, here we are talking about the behaviour of all crabs in general, so we say "The crab..."

As a native English speaker I disagree. Using "the" means we are talking about some specific crab, say the one in front of us. If we wanted to talk about all crabs in the world we would drop all articles and make crab plural and say "crabs drink water" eg "crabs drink water to survive" - this means all crabs drink water to survive. Saying "the crab drinks water to survive" would only give us information about the specific crab we are talking about, we would know nothing about other crabs.

We also do not use "the" before uncountable nouns (water is an uncountable noun) in general

Again I disagree. It is perfectly correct to use "the" before uncountable nouns. For example "I drink the water", "I breathe the air", "I eat the food" are all correct. Perhaps you are confusing this with abstract nouns? However there is a slight difference in meaning between using and not using the here:

  • The crab drinks the water - using "the" means we are specifying what water the crab drinks, eg every day the crab drinks the water from the pond next to the big rock.

  • The crab drinks water - not using "the" means we don't specify which water the crab drinks, eg every day the crab drinks some water from somewhere.

Both "the crab drinks water" and "the crab drinks the water" should be correct answers for this question.

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https://www.duolingo.com/jitengore
jitengore
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Thanks to mathsislife and _gs9 for your great discussion on the use on the definite article 'the'. This is a tricky area for most Hindi speakers and this post can become an ideal place to refer our future users to. I couldn't have explained it better :)

In fact both "The crab drinks water." and "The crab drinks the water." have always been valid translations for this sentence "केकड़ा पानी पीता है।". So also "A crab drinks water." and "A crab drinks the water."

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https://www.duolingo.com/_gs9
_gs9
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This is not a correct English sentence. We must use either the word a (indefinite article - some crab) or the (definite article - a specific crab) before the word crab.

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https://www.duolingo.com/jitengore
jitengore
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_gs9, you meant to say a crab. Out of the two indefinite articles 'a' and 'an', 'a' is used before words that start with a consonant (व्यंजन) and 'an' before words that start with a vowel (स्वर) a, e, i, o, u.

It gets little more complex, because the rule is that 'an' rather than 'a' should come before words starting with a vowel sound - an hour, because the consonant 'h' is silent.

When it comes to abbreviations, it is again the vowel sound that matters, such as an NGO and not a NGO.

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https://www.duolingo.com/_gs9
_gs9
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You are completely right Jiten, thanks for pointing that out to me. That was my fault for not proof reading after copying from another comment I left about "an animal"!

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https://www.duolingo.com/mahaveerJa6

Okk tx

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