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  5. "He ostavat kaksi banaania."

"He ostavat kaksi banaania."

Translation:They are buying two bananas.

June 30, 2020



I am SO sick of getting a mistake for guessing wrongly whether "are buying" or "buy" is correct


I may be wrong as I am not native in English, but: "They buy two bananas." is a correct one here, while "they are buying..." is not. However, "The girl is buying mämmi, cream, and sugar." is correct for "tytto ostaa mammia, kermaa ja sokeria", while "The girl buys..." is not. Although I "feel" the difference between two situations, I want to ask: is it absolutely clear for native speakers (or just people who now English better than I do) that in each of these two cases you have indeed only one specific way of translation? And this is not unique: in some phrases I do not feel rock-solid certainty regarding "eats" vs "is eating" and so on.


duolingo is not consistent in the use of buys/is buying and I think both should be accepted in general


I don't know if this is helpful, but anyway:

They buy = He ostavat, They are buying = He ovat ostamassa

The girl buys = Tyttö ostaa, The girl is buying = Tyttö on ostamassa


It is very helpful for my Finnish at least, thank you!


"She buys" vs "She is buying" is a matter of tense, it is nothing to do with the number of things she is buying.

"She buys" is more abstract, "She is buying" implies it's kind of happening now or soon.


I think 'He ostavat kaksi banaania' can be translated as both "They buy two bananas" and "They are buying two bananas".

In https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/42942450, someone wrote that 'Minä ostan kaksi kakkupalaa' could be translated as either "I am buying two pieces of cake" or "I buy two pieces of cake", since using the partitive object, as in'Minä ostan kahta kakkupalaa', just isn't done for this verb.


So... Why is 'banaania' partitive in this sentence instead of being 'banaanit'? There are countably two bananas, so I don't understand why the uncountable is triggered.

[deactivated user]

    It is because it is the object after a numeral greater than one. There are many cases and probably each has many uses, unfortunately. : )

    He ostavat yhden banaanin - they buy one banana. He ostavat viisi banaania - they buy five bananas. He rakentavat talon - they build a house. He rakentavat kahdeksan taloa - they build eight houses.


    So helpful. Thank you. :)

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