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  5. "The television is out of ord…

"The television is out of order on the second floor."

Translation:اَلْتِّلْفاز مُعَطَّل في ٱلْطّابِق اَلْثّاني.

July 19, 2019



isn't the floor usually said before the rest of the sentence

  • 1353

you can say it so as well but probably on Duolingo they wouldn't accept it that way.
You can say: في الطابق الثاني، التلفاز معطل (on the second floor, the TV is out of order). Notice how the comma is presented here to separate the two phrases. It's actually about the flow of ideas and the thing you want to bring into focus first to the listener. The thing to be in focus, is to be brought first in the sentence. In this case it's the TV so it is better to bring it first in the sentence.


I find that generally, Duolingo wants responses in the exact order of the original sentence. Otherwise, they'd have to anticipate every possible version of an answer that technically means the same thing.


There are plenty of sentences where they want answers in a different order from the English, as dasyad seems to recall. My understanding is that in those sentences where the prepositional phrase comes first, the main noun (in the Arabic) is an indefinite. So (a) /in this picture is a funny woman/ --> "There is a funny woman in this picture", vs. (b) /the television is out of order on the first floor/. Note the television vs. a woman.

But yes, sometimes a perfectly good answer is not accepted because the software isn't infinitely flexible and they haven't predicted every possibility. Safest to stay as close to the original sentence as possible.


TJ_Q8, السلام عليكم.

Question: How about if we remove the "،" (comma) from your sentence above? في الطابق الثاني التلفاز معطل. (In other courses, Duolingo oftentimes doesn't put any comma when the adverbial of place is written at the beginning of a sentence). Is there any different meaning in Arabic? If it is, what is the difference between both?

جزاكم الله خيرا.

  • 1353

The meaning won't change actually, but the comprehension of the reader might be affected. Generally speaking, commas, in any language, is added to elaborate and divide the sentence to chunks so that the reader (or listener) understand them by bits. They are meant to be a short stop. Imagine a comma as the superscript ج in Quran, where a reciter can stop, to have a breath, and continue, but the reciter can also complete the verse without stopping at it. The meaning of the verse does not change, but the narration or reciting style does.

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