Translation:Who is washing the dog and who are the people cleaning the floor?
Fine, so we need a dialogue to understand this issue.
- Who "are" washing the dog?
Who is washing the dog?
- The father
In two different sentences of the same unit, I think.
The issue might be properly addressed in a paragraph of the tips, when the course advances.
@mod: feel free to delete my replywhen you solve it.
There's just no great solution. "Who are Xing?" isn't good English. You'd say "who is" even if you knew it was several people. "Who are the people Xing" actually works, but it's a bad way to translate the Finnish since "the people" isn't used in the original. I get why Duolingo doesn't want to get cluttered with grammar but it would potentially be valuable to mark plural in situations like this. Same way with singular/plural you - this way English speakers would be forced to practice the te forms more. If the context doesn't make it clear I always go with singular.
Ugly but correct. Of course pöllö is getting us to recognize plural forms in finnish that aren't used in english. "The people" is clearly wrong as direct translation, but apart from the complicated dialogue solution suggested by flander, it is the only easy variant that covers it...
No normal english speaker would use the grammatically correct but passive form"by whom is...".
No , you would always use "is" whether the 'who' is one or many.
If you explicitly state that the ones doing the action (cleaning) are multiple (the people), rather than solitary (the person) or an unspecified number (who ), then you must use "are", because the question becomes "Who are they who clean?". For solitary or unspecified the question is "who is it who cleans?"
Apparently in English, "who" is always a singular pronoun and therefore requires a singular verb even if it has several referents. In Finnish, a distinction is made between a singular "who" and a plural "who". "Ketkä" is plural, which is probably the reason for why "the people" is added; the verb can't be plural otherwise. The "proper" translation would be just "who is", but that is arguably the worse option from a pedagogical perspective, since the learner may not otherwise realise that "ketkä" is plural.