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  5. "They are a man and a wife."

"They are a man and a wife."

Translation:He ovat mies ja vaimo.

July 1, 2020



Maybe "husband" (not "man") would be more correct?


Yes it would, but only because the course contributor that made this sentence used the "man and wife" fixed phrase incorrectly by adding articles. Without the articles, "man" would mean "husband".


The "a" before "man" and "wife"


Doesn't make sense


In some languages "man" actually means both a man and a husband, but Im pretty sure not in English.

"Man" does mean "husband" in the fixed phrase "man and wife" as I've already stated. Look up for instance "man" from the online Cambridge dictionary and you'll find an entry titled "man and wife", and underneath that it says "If a man and a woman are man and wife, they are married to each other". Also note how the announcement of an opposite-sex couple's marriage traditionally involves uttering the words "I now pronounce you man and wife". I've never heard "I now pronounce you a husband and a wife" in that context.


Try putting the phrase "I now pronounce you man and wife", with the quotes, into Google. This is a fixed, formulaic phrase used in wedding ceremonies. Not all, obviously, but the Google results may convince you that this is a real, not yet extinct, usage.


Hey there =) I'd say while the above sentence is technically correct, and might possibly be used in some odd circumstances (almost implying that this particular man and this particular woman are not married to one another!), you'd normally hear this oldie without articles if the two people are married.

I've probably misunderstood you and am making no sense (sorry, it's very late) but where I live, "man" takes on all sorts of varied meanings, or replaces words like "husband", "boyfriend", "son", "person-doing-a-job-who-is-male" depending on context, of course. Ex. "Eey oop, Doris is bringing 'er new man around Friday!" (She's bringing her boyfriend) etc.

Another thought: I wonder if "wife" is related to German "Weib"? A fun old word is "fishwife" (job description).


If you'd be a bit more specific I may be able to clear the confusion.


I have never experienced "man" being used in the meaning "husband". The correct and acceptible way of saying the sentence would be "They are a husband and a wife". In some languages "man" actually means both a man and a husband, but Im pretty sure not in English.

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