My father grew up on a Finnish farm, and one of the customs of daily life there was to use the sauna. My mom must have been pretty scandalized by the routine because she told us the story multiple times: the family would "parade through the house, everyone naked, on their way to the sauna."
"The good sauna..." was marked wrong. While the construction is very formal, it is correct. (I'm a native American English speaker and a professional writer.) Regardless, there simply must be a way to tell if the article is definite or indefinite --yes? Any advice would be welcome.
I also got this one wrong. It made more sense to write a good sauna, but a moderator was explaining in another SD that the word order (syntax) defines the meaning. He said if the nouns are placed at the beginning of the sentence, they are something we have already talked about and therefore get the definite article in English. So, I wrote "the good sauna" despite my inclinations.
Please, if you are a native speaker will you explain this and give a few examples?
Most often "Se" is used when they mean The. or "Yksi" if they mean One. But sometimes it's context and this context the rest of the sentence signifies that it's an indefinite article.
"The good sauna is always Finnish" is not grammatically correct in American English either. Which sauna is "The good one" there is nothing signifying that they are discussing one specific sauna. No one would say that in English unless the name of the Sauna was "The Good Sauna" but even then, you wouldn't use "Always" because if you're speaking of a specific Sauna always doesn't work in this context. You could say "The Finnish Sauna is always good" in English. or "Suomalainen sauna on aina hyva." but that's a different sentence, in which you are specifying a sauna.
Sorry for the info-dump of an explaination. Hope it helps!
So would it be "Se hyvä sauna on...[etc.]" to be more emphatic about it being "The good sauna..."?
Actually, "The good sauna is always Finnish" is grammatically correct, just as would be "The good cook is always creative" or "The good first responder is always prepared." As I said, it's a very formal construction, but it is correct. Perhaps, as a professional (American English) writer, I'm more accepting of esoteric constructions, but saying it's incorrect is, well... incorrect.
Yes, agreed, but what Dylan was saying is that it is not "grammatically incorrect" to use the definite article.
I am skeptical about JCG's statement that "se" = "the." AFAIK "se" means "it" (a pronoun). Articles don't exist in Finnish. You can begin to understand once you're fluent enough to move the words around in a sentence - syntax indicates if you'd translate with 'the' or 'a.'