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  5. "– Who are the people looking…

"– Who are the people looking for a black pony? – We are."

Translation:– Ketkä etsivät mustaa ponia? – Me.

July 10, 2020



Why can't the answer to the question just be 'Etsimme'? I'm sure a repeat of the verb in the question, without the subject, has been used in other similar examples.


I assume (not a native speaker) it's because it's not a question about whether or not somebody is looking, but rather about who is looking, and the answer to that is "me". The "me" implied by the verb ending is probably not enough.


Literal translation would be ketkä ihmiset etsivät mustaa ponia. Me etsimme. I wonder why this answer wasn't accepted. :/


"Me etsimme" is "we are looking", which apparently they don't want.


How come the full "Me olemme" isn't accepted for "We are."?


I reported the version with 'Me olemme' on the 3-jan-2020. Hopefully some native speaker would drop by and clarify this..


"Me olemme" still was rejected today, 07-03-2021, and I reported it again.


Not a native speaker, but I don't think this is correct. "are" is only here because it forms part of the English present progressive "are looking". The Finnish equivalent is present verb (etsimme) + partitive. So it doesn't make sense to use the verb "to be" here in Finnish.


Should (Me?) etsimme be an acceptable response?


I put a mispelling of "Me etsemme" and Duolingo green-lighted it as a typo, correcting it as an underlining at the bottom of the screen. However ... I've noticed they'll correct a typo of an incorrect answer before now, so who knows?!


Why not "Olemme", "Me olemme" or "Etsimme" in the Finnish sentence? (Dec. 2020)


Etsimme should be accepted based on previous instruction


I agree, but it was not accepted.


I think the idiomatic English for "Me" here would be "us". "we are" = "we are looking" = (me) etsimme


We wouldn't really say Who are looking for ......? even if the answer is plural. Natural English would be, Who is looking for the black pony? We are.


"who are the people" is not natural English. It would be who is or who are.


They might use this to highlight that ketkä is the plural version of kuka, which doesn't exist like this in English (neither in my mother tongue German)


Sounds plausible! Hopefully this is mystery solved :)


That is not true. "Who are the people" is used. Just think "Who are the people behind this?". To be sure, I checked in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, NOW Corpus, iWeb Corpus and GloWbE Corpus, and "who are the people" appears in all of them.


I think TheWordPunk meant that the sentence shouldn't have included "the people" ... so "Who is looking for a black pony?" I agree with them - "the people" is kind of superfluous / redundant. I mean, it's unlikely to be a flock of geese looking for the black pony, is it?


I am not saying that "who" or "who are" are less common. But there is difference between being common, redundant and unnatural. Anyway, "Who are the people you were talking to" doesn't seem too odd to me, either. And on the other hand, this is Duolingo. It wouldn't be any surprise to me if at some point Duo asked us to translate "who are the geese" hahaha


... but, at least in literature, who might refer to, for example, a pack of wolves, without being odd. Anyhow, it is DL here using "the people" as a mistranslation to empasize that a plural form has been used in the Finnish. That's suboptimal, but unless they find a way of marking up "who" as singular or plural it seems hard to avoid this messy solution.

[deactivated user]


    The accusative(total object) isn't used in this case. As there is many looking it will be Ketkä.


    Olemme, or me olemme should be an acceptable response


    what is the difference between Ketka and Kuka?


    Both mean who, but you can expand "ketkä" into "who are the people" (as Duolingo has done here) because it's the plural of "kuka".


    I, too, used just "Olemme" as the response, and it was marked wrong. Is this intentional, and if so why, or is it just a "beta" problem that hasn't been addressed yet?


    In previous questions, the accetable answer would be Olen in response to I am. So why isn't Olemme acceptable for We are?


    And to make it extra clear, I'd like to add that any verb used in an answer should correspond to the verb used in the question. "We are" can be used as the answer in the English translation firstly because "are" is the finite verb in the verb phrase "are looking" that was used in the question, and secondly because "are" can be used as an intransitive verb, meaning that it doesn't require an object. "Olemme", on the other hand, doesn't correspond to the verb used in the question, which is "etsivät". A more fitting verb would be "etsimme", but it's a transitive verb, so using it without an object would be about as odd as saying "we are looking", which sounds like an unfinished sentence.


    It seems like this answer should have all the upvotes


    Thank you for this response...i keep putting "etsimme" and getting this wrong due to other sections teaching us that this is how to do it .

    Ex: (Korjaatko autoa? -Korjaan.)

    I still don't really understand what you mean by "transitive verb" but at least there's a logical reason. :)


    Some verbs require a target for the action that they express, and those verbs are transitive verbs. For instance, one can't look for something without there being something to look for, so "to look for" would be transitive, whereas one can be without targetting something/someone with the action of being, so "are" can be intransitive.


    Wow! That is super abstract in my brain, and will probably take me forever to memorize them all, but thank you so much! I understand now. :)


    Well.. in the context of the question, the english answer "we are looking" is just fine, as long as there is emphasis on the "we". The object, the black pony, is understood.


    The formation here is different in Finnish and English. The Finnish question can't be answered with Olemme, because that's not what is being asked here. I'll try to clarify by adding what's missing from the exchange:

    Who are the people looking for a black pony? We are (the people looking for a black pony)

    Ketkä etsivät mustaa ponia? Me (etsimme mustaa ponia)


    I still not get it why "Ihmiset" was excluded. Who are looking for the black pony? then = "Ketkä etsivät mustaa ponia?" then OK.

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