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  5. "How many spruces grow on the…

"How many spruces grow on the moon? Six or none?"

Translation:Montako kuusta kuussa kasvaa? Kuusi vai ei yhtään?

July 7, 2020



Would "Montako kuusta kasvaa kuussa?" also be correct?


Yes. I’ve added it as an alternative translation, but it will take a couple of weeks for the system to start accepting it. Please remember to use the flag to report anything that might be missing or that seems odd.

Please note that your sentence works, because you can only ask something like that about something that is known by the person asking (plus, our planet has one moon). In many other sentence types a noun and verb swapping places means that the article in front of the noun changes in the translation. In your sentence, the moon is less important and the verb more important than in the sentence given by the course. :)


Seems "ei mitään" should also be acceptable, no?


mitään is in the partitive and much like the very similar looking question word/relative conjunction mitä, it refers to uncountable things. yhtään, on the other hand, can be used with countable things. It's the cousin of yhtä, the partitive form of yksi, "one".

mikä - the basis for pronouns/adverbs in negations and questions

  • mikään anything/nothing (nominative, used in subject position): Kun mikään ei ole hauskaa... When nothing is fun...
  • mitään anything/nothing (partitive, uncountable, used in object position): Onko tuolla mitään? Is there anything (over) there?
  • missään anywhere/nowhere (inessive, place): En asu missään. I don't live anywhere.

joka - the basis for non-human pronouns/adverbs in positive sentences (both statements and questions)

  • jokin something (nominative, used in subject position): Jokin syö perunaa! Something is eating the potato!
  • jotain something (partitive, uncountable, used in object position): Haluan jotain syötävää. I want something to eat.
  • jossain somewhere (inessive, place): SE on jossain. IT is somewhere.

yksi - the basis for non-human pronouns in questions and negations

  • yksikään none/not a single one (nominative, countable, used in subject position): Yksikään ei pelastunut. None of them were saved.
  • yhtään none/not any/not a single one (partitive, countable or uncountable, used in object position): Meillä ei ole yhtään. We don't have any/a single one. OR We have none.
  • yhdessäkään in none of them/not in any of them/not in a single one (inessive, place): Monessako omenassa on mato? Ei yhdessäkään. How many of the apples have a worm in them? None of them.

kuka - human pronouns in negations and questions

  • kukaan anyone/no one (nominative, subject position): Eikö kukaan halua lisää jäätelöä? Does no one want more ice cream?
  • ketään anyone/no one (partitive, object position): Onko täällä ketään? Is there anyone here?

joku - human pronouns in positive statements and questions

  • joku someone (nominative, subject position): Joku syö salaattia. Someone is eating salad.
  • jotakuta someone (partitive, object position): Ehkä hän rakastaa jo jotakuta. Perhaps s/he already loves someone.

Related to yksi are also the adverbs yksin, "alone", and yhdessä, "together", which have specialised, more limited functions.

If this seems confusing, note that THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS MATCH WITHIN EVERY GROUP. For instance, every word in the joka group begins with "some-". So all you have to remember is that the nominative is for subjects, the partitive for objects, and the inessive for places, just like in other types of sentences. :)


Makes perfect sense, thank you. Sure hope you didn't have to type all that ! (j/k)


Thank you for posting this.


Thanks. Great explanation. Now I have to remember it!


Could you not substitute none for zero(nolla)?


Not really. nolla in Finnish is very closely associated with the digit 0. So it might work if you're talking about writing about a report and you have just written down 0 in a column of numbers. That's a lot of context though, so we're not going to accept it in Finnish. English is more liberal about "zero", but since ei yhtään is a very specific expression we're not going to accept "zero" either. At least for now. :)


There is no English phrase that says "Six or none?" I'm not sure what that means. English phrases "six or more" and "six or less" are used regularly. I'm really interested to know.


Oh, it is perfect english. Wierd usage, but perfectly good.


Beautiful DL! Beautiful.


This is an amazing exercise... but mow I am so confused LOL


Kuusi kasvaa kuussa. A spruce grows on the moon. Spruce is the subject and therefore nominative. Or would that be interpreted as Six grow on the moon? So, in your example, is kuusta partitive because a number is expected? or that it is questionable that anything grows on the moon? Kuinka moni... is used other places in lessons.


It's "kuusta" here because "montako" is partitive and there needs to be agreement, just as when using "kuinka moni" it would be followed by "kuusi." Yes, "kuusi" can mean either "spruce" or "six" (homonyms), but in this case the context makes it pretty clear that it's spruces being discussed.


So why is kuinka moni kuusi... wrong?


You would be right to report that. Several Duolingo questions have this issue (or, at leaset, did when I was running through the course last year) where not all correct answers, even some real obvious ones, have been keyed in to be accepted.

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