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  5. "He korjaavat vanhaa tuolia."

"He korjaavat vanhaa tuolia."

Translation:They are fixing the old chair.

June 25, 2020



They are fixing an old chair. There is no context that this is some particular chair that the speaker is familiar with. In fact in Finnish there's no a and the words. When I learned English (as a person who is fluent in Finnish) we were told that the is some specific chair and we don't know that here and I was taught that in single sentences where there is no context about what chair we are talking about but it's just some chair it should be a chair.


I believe in thic case, depending on context, it can be either.


All of these sentences require you to imagine them in context. That's the nature of translating individual sentence. Without doing this, you should have just as much of an issue with the use of "they" as with "the". Both rely on context to have meaning. If a complete stranger walked up to you on the street and said this sentence to you in English, you wouldn't only be wondering "The chair? Which chair?!!!!" but also "They? Who are you talking about!?"

[deactivated user]

    I agree, without context one should not assume "the". The way I learnt it in the course, if the noun comes before the verb, it is "the", otherwise it is "an". Unless of course context is provided that says otherwise.


    Why is "They repair an old chair." wrong?


    Tuolia (roughly "some of the/a chair") indicates that we're not talking about the completed (telic) action, but the incomplete (atelic) process before completion. This fits very well with the present continuous.

    Also, we would just about never say "They repair an old chair" in English. It sounds habitual. "They repair old chairs" sounds fine, but if you habitually "repair" one single old chair, that's very strange. (With extra information in the sentence, it could mean different old chairs, for example: "They repair an old chair every Sunday" means it's a different chair each Sunday.)


    ¨Also, we would just about never say "They repair an old chair" in English.¨

    I think that we could say that in a quite ordinary context:

    IN A WOOD REPAIR WORKSHOP "Are they still working on the theater´s new chairs at the workshop? - No, They finished them. They start now to repair an old chair¨.

    [deactivated user]

      Why is repairing not accepted here?


      Because the course is still incomplete and in beta. If you wrote a correct translation that wasn't accepted, click the flag and report it as "My answer should be accepted".


      ok, I now the "a" added in that words are there due to the partitive case, but what is the rule to add in this sentence? "korjata requires partitive? i am really confused about that


      I'm also curious about this. From this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_noun_cases, it seems like it has to do with the action being finished or not. As they are fixing the chair, it would mean that they are not finished with their repairs yet. That is, there are some parts of the fixing left to do, and therefore the direct object is in the partitive case.

      This is just my guess as to why this case is used. I hope some native could shed some light on it.


      Your interpretation is spot on. It's about telicity. You'll probably get a lot out of reading this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telicity


      I know about telicity, but thanks for the link anyway. I didn't know, however whether this was the case with Finnish or not. Now I know.

      EDIT: And I see that the article I mentioned myself actually states that it is about telicity. For some reason I missed it.


      In this case you can say:

      1) He korjaavat tuolia or 2) He korjaavat tuolin

      1. They are repairing a/the chair: They are currently doing so (unless there's some other word that indicates it will happen later), they won't get the job done or you don't know if they will or not, they may be repairing it partly.
      2. They repair a/the chair or they will repair it: They are doing it currently or in the future and they will get the whole thing completely done.


      Sorry, I put numbers to the explanations, but DL seems to make things vanish sometimes.


      So ´tuolin´ with the genitive, may also indicate ´a chair´, the indefinite article? I thought that the partitive would have been used then.


      'Repairing' should fit


      I wrote 'They fix the old chair' because I didn't want to write the whole sentence, 'They're fixing the old chair.' And I got marked wrong. :(


      Are the -a affixes some kind of grammatic cases? What's important - would there be more other ones, Finnish so far seemed to be light on cases, now I dread the worst is yet to come :))


      It's the partitive, i guess. At least that's what I can gather from the wikipedia page on finnish grammar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_grammar#Cases.
      There are about 15 cases in Finnish, so it will get worse. I'm saying about 15 since the accusative is weird, and can either be a single case, several cases or not really a case, depending on how you analyse it. Fortunately it's quite systematic, so it's definitely possible to learn it. The latin case system is far worse, although it has only 7 cases.

      I do however wish the course creators would give us a primer on the different cases as they appear. The partitive has now been used in three skills without being explained.


      I think people are relying too much on Duolingo as the only way to learn Finnish. Everytime we don't understand something, it is very likely that we will find the aswer in the comments, now that the course has been going for a month. Using that information, there are plenty of resources in the internet to figure out how the language works gramatically. In fact, just the effort we'd put on doing some research would help us remember what we're learning much more than just repeating.

      Duolingo is a good tool, but not the only one.


      It's an excellent tool. And in general, the Finnish course has been good so far. But in this particular case, they are not using the capacities of duolingo to the fullest.


      Yes, but that doesn't mean Duolingo should operate on a strict trial-and-error basis. There should be some instruction in addition to the quiz model.


      If you login on a desktop computer or notebook you will find grammar and other helpful explanations for every topic - also for the partitive. I don't know why the information is not provided in the app for Finnish (some languages do have this button next to the key for unlocking a stage...)


      thank you vtopphol for saying about 'action incompleteness' - I had forgotten about this aspect of partitive, and was a bit unsure about the sentence


      "They repair the old chair" should be accepted.


      Fixing vs repair. If I repair the old chair it would indicate a proper job rather than just pushing the leg back in, or a quick fix. Therefore repair should be accepted.


      "They're repairing the old chair" is now accepted. However, I imagine "They repair the old chair" wouldn't be, as that would normally have the object in the accusative case, vanhan tuolin.


      the, is not possible before a vowel in English.You must correct by, an.


      Before a consonant, the indefinite article is 'a'. Before a vowel, the indefinite article is 'an'.

      Before a consonant, the definite article is 'the', typically pronounced /ðə/, rhyming with 'uh'. Before a consonant, the definite article is still 'the', but may be pronounced /ði/, sounding like archaic 'thee'.

      See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/the#English.

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