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"Ketkä pesevät ruskeaa koiraa?"

Translation:Who are the people washing the brown dog?

June 26, 2020

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nanami578447

"who are" doesn't really work in English if you want to specify it's plural you'd have to add an explicitly plural noun like "who are the people washing the brown dog?" but even then that's really not necessary, "who is" just covers both functions


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

Terve! Just letting you know that we have decided to go with "who are the people" as the primary translation just make sure that the learners are able to notice the difference in the grammatical functions of kuka and ketkä. "who is" will be added as well. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for the edits show in the course. Our thanks to you and everyone else on this thread for your help. It's much appreciated. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simon486678

Yes, that is fine as" are" refers to "the people " hence is plural. But, as noted already, as a simple interrogative "who" always goes with the singular infinitive verb "is washing" "is laughing" form in english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

Just to chime in - I agree. Even though Finnish distinguishes between "kuka" (singular who) and "ketkä" (plural who), English doesn't. In fact, it's rare among Indo-European language to make that distinction. And "who" must go with a singular verb. It's the same in Czech, there's only one "who" (kdo) and it always takes a singular verb, even if the answer is in plural. Same in Hindi, most other Germanic, Slavic languages etc. Hungarian, of course, has "ki" (singular who, related to kuka) and "kik" (plural who).

"Who washes..." or "Who is washing..." are the only possibilies in English. To force people to write "ketkä pesevät" here instead of "kuka pesee", you could add an answer to the question: "-Joni ja Liisa." or "-Pojat." or something similar.

We can say, for example "Who are these people?" (Ketkä nämä ihmiset ovat?), but that's because the subject here is "people", not "who", so the verb (are) is in plural to match the subject (people).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

Many useful things in this comment. We will definitely add more two part sentences in the future versions.

PS. Keitä nämä ihmiset ovat?, not ketkä. Predicates in plural require the partitive plural. And now you know why the course does not yet teach how to say "we are Finnish" (me olemme suomalaisia). :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

Right, thanks, I forgot about this plural partitive rule. Or actually, I know about it, but I didn't apply that knowledge to using "keitä" here.

Could we use the nominative if it was definite? For example: "Me olemme (ne) suomalaiset, joita olette etsineet."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

Yes. A relative construction like the one you use is one good example. Another would be an adjective that makes it clear that we are talking about a whole group, rather than a part of some group: Me olemme viimeiset suomalaiset, "We are the last Finns (in the whole world)." :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thegreatwalle

The only exception I can think of for what you said is that Swedish does have a special word "vilka?" for plural "who?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

You're right - because it's an adjective-like "which" (vilken, vilket, vilka), not simply "who" (vem) in plural. Maybe the Swedes envied the Finns their ketkä and wanted some of that magic. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thegreatwalle

Just thought I'd add that Icelandic also has "hverjir?", plus Spanish "¿quiénes?" for plural "who?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

Hey, I forgot about "¿quiénes?". Cool :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fizixmastr

Those are not the only possibilities. Who all would make perfect sense here and do a better job of indicating the actual Finnish meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

"Who all" is pretty restricted to certain dialects in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jikisme

How the heck did y'all get here so fast?

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