"Kuka pesee koiraa ja ketkä siivoavat lattiaa?"

Translation:Who is washing the dog and who are the people cleaning the floor?

June 25, 2020

This discussion is locked.


This English is incorrect.

It should be 'is' both times, even if you needed multiple people to clean the floor, i.e.:

"Who is washing the dog and who is cleaning the floor?"


Ketkä is used for plural, while kuka is used for singular


Fine, so we need a dialogue to understand this issue.


  • Who "are" washing the dog?
  • The kids.

  • 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.


Indeed, "the people" should not be included, makes bad English. (Dec. 2020)


How about, "By whom is the dog being washed?"


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...".


This is unfortunately a problem in every question in this course that has "ketkä".


I get why they use are, but I dont think its necessary to require "the people who". Who is fine.


"who are the people cleaning the floor" would never be said. This is incorrect. Who is or who are.


Could ' who are those who are cleaning the floor' be an alternative translation?


So the other question, cleaning the floor and washing the dog and got marked as wrong. it should be washing the floor. now in different question i put both washing the floor and washing the dog and im wrong again, it should be cleaning the floor aaaaaaaaaa


" . . . and which people are cleaning the floor" was marked wrong, but it seems it should be correct. In a previous exercise in this set, "which people" was allowed as correct for "ketkä," and it sounds more natural in English, I think. Reported.


For whatever it's worth, "Who are cleaning the floor?" is perfectly acceptable as far as I know, although it does sound a little stilted and many people would just use "is" instead, as if "who" was a collective pronoun.


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?"


"Who are cleaning the yard" should work too right without "the people"?


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.


I see that is very complicated to solve in English, but it's very didactic. That's the merit of the Duolingo developers. I think that much Finnish cases are easier to understand comparing them with other languages. In Spanish we use "quién" for "kuka" (singular), and "quiénes" for "ketkä" (plural).

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