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"Do they speak Chinese or English?"

Translation:Puhuvatko he kiinaa tai englantia?

July 4, 2020

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daria.T.

Why "tai" (not "vai") is used here? It's a question.


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

When you use "tai", the answer could be "yes, both", "yes, Chinese", "yes, English" or "no". If you use "vai", it sounds like you know they speak either Chinese or English but don't know which one of the two it is. It might work if the sentence was "puhuvatko he italiaa vai espanjaa?" or something. However "vai" is also theoretically correct, I have added it as a possible translation.


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

Interesting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim67564

Kiitos, Outilein!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/9eOO7

Outilein answered this aready, but I like to add an example. When you ask something like: Do you by chance speak English or French? Then you use "tai", because the answer could be , is allowed to be,: " Yes,English ", "Yes, French", "Yes, both", "No, neither".

When you ask something like: " I know it must be either Finnish or Estonian... So, is it Finnish or Estonian? The answer can only be one of the two options.


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

If that is the case then perhaps the translation of "tai" should be "both... and... " instead of "or"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linh683030

Can i also say Puhuvatko kiinaa tai englantia?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Molotov195719

No. You need the "he".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kalea7654

Does it work like that also with otherthe other person pronouns?


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

First- and second-person pronouns can usually be dropped, but third-person pronouns cannot be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Burdword00

Why do you need the "he"


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

You can't omit the pronoun in the 3rd person.


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

I'm sure "vai" works too, but it depends on the tone of the question (how it's said) and also the context.


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

If I understand it correctly, "tai" is inclusive (answers could be "both, English, Chinese, neither") while "vai" could only be answered by "English" or "Chinese"

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