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  5. "Onko heillä koskaan koti-ikä…

"Onko heillä koskaan koti-ikävä?"

Translation:Are they ever homesick?

July 5, 2020



Why does "never" not work here ?


Because "never" is negative! That would be "Eikö ole heillä koskaan koti-ikävä?"

A negative question like that is usually asked when someone is surprised. The speaker expects that they would get homesick at some point, is surprised that that seems not to be the case and asks that question for confirmation.

In a neutral context with no expectation either way, a positive question is usual: Are they ever ... / Do they ever get ... and those correspond to the positive Finnish question: "Onko heillä koskaan koti-ikävä?"

To translate that negative sentence with eikö into English, there would be a few possibilities:

(1) Aren't they ever homesick?
(2) Don't they ever get homesick?
(3) Are they never homesick?
(4) Do they never get homesick?

Personally I find #2 the most natural followed by #1. They're all possible, but English has a tendency to negate the sentence as early as possible.


I think "Do they ever have homesickness?" should probably be accepted too, unless I'm missing something.

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