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  5. "Vakava suomalainen mies tans…

"Vakava suomalainen mies tanssii tangoa."

Translation:The serious Finnish man is dancing the tango.

June 25, 2020



Why there is "the" in between the dancing and tango. You are dancing tango, not "dancing the tango"


Both in American English and in British English people dance THE tango. Dropping the article is common in International English (especially among non-native English speakers), so we offer that as an alternative translation. If that option is missing, report it by clicking on the flag icon. :)


Maybe I am wrong, but I believe this is applies to dances in general. You dance the/a waltz, salsa, etc.


Could this also be translated as "A serious Finnish man dances the tango" - sort of implying that if you don't you're not a serious Finnish man? Please note that I am only asking about the nuances of the language, not inquiring on any hypothetical special connection between Finns and tango :)


Without additional context there's no way to tell whether the Finnish sentence refers to dances or is dancing. As is the case in other similar sentences, because Finnish doesn't differentiate the two like English does.


Exactly. I wanted to make the same point. I don't understand why only continuous form and not simple present is accepted.


With other transitive verbs, the difference between the continuous aspect and the simple aspect has often been determined by whether the object is partitive or accusative.

So could "The serious Finnish man dances the tango" be translated 'Vakava suomalainen mies tanssii tangon'? Or is tanssia a partitive verb or tango considered an uncountable noun here, making such a translation impossible?


Yes, that would be the most likely translation for the simple aspect in the present tense and also in the future tense, so "The serious Finnish man will dance the tango" would also be a possible translation. In theory, the historical present is possible with both though, so accepting also the simple aspect with sentences that use a partitive object like the one above is now on my "think list". The historical present is the verb form used in jokes and anecdotes. "An elf walks into a bar; the dwarf laughs and walks under it" type of thing. Sorry. I'm bad with jokes. :)

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