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  5. "Do you have a camera?"

"Do you have a camera?"

Translation:Onko sinulla kameraa?

July 2, 2020



Why partitive here?

  • 1973

kameraa tells that the question is about whether you have a camera at all, because it has an indefinite article.

Onko sinulla kamera? would be about a specific camera and corresponds to "Do you have the camera?"


Thanks, that was really useful!


So by this principle, "do you have a new camera" refers only to a new one, rather than to having one at all, and the partitive is no longer needed. Right?

  • 1973

As I understood it, that's right. At least I would ask Onko sinulla uusi kamera?

Then totally going to the nice-to-know section, there are some special cases where uutta kameraa could be used.

Consider a situation where a reporter had broken a camera provided by their employer. Then a colleague could enquire if the reporter has yet been provided with a new camera: Onko sinulla vielä uutta kameraa?

Another one would be if every reporter would get a new, improved camera. Then a reporter who does not yet have the new camera could ask their colleague Onko sinulla uutta kameraa? if they wanted to borrow it (and e.g. take a picture where the new camera excels).

Curiously, I would translate the first example with an indefinite and the second with a definite article.


(I'm native Finnish speaker)

The use of total and partial objects is so obvious to me, that I have really hard time to understand articles at all. After all they don't mean anything to me. In another Duolingo course, which also uses English as the teaching language, my answers have been wrong several times just because of a missing "a" or "the". That has driven me nuts.


This is a very helpful response. My understanding greatly improves by seeing examples of how different cases change the meaning of the sentence. Thanks!

[deactivated user]

    Why cant I use Onko teillä kameraa? The previous question was do you have a tablet and the ONLY accepted answer was Onko teillä, this is getting stupid


    Many languages make a difference between singular and plural second persons, incl. Finnish. English is odd and doesn't make such, which makes translations from English hard without more context. Duolingo follows a principle, where the language to be taught, in this case Finnish, is always correct. In this particular sentence they should have somehow marked that it's a singular you.


    In every sentence they need to make that distinction, or else accept both singular and plural.


    I'm confused. This sentence is Onko sinulla kameraa. There was a previous sentence that said Onko hänellä japanilainen kamera. How do we know if it should be partitive or not?


    When to use partitive in a question, is a topic that has come up very often, but unfortunately I now cannot find a good explanation at this moment. Anyway, the difference is that question

    • Onko sinulla kameraa?

    asks whether you have any camera at all. While in the question

    • Onko hänellä japanilainen kamera?

    it has already been established that the person has a camera (e.g. the questioner sees the camera on his hand) and the questioner now ask for a precision whether the camera is Japanese.

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