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  5. "Maassa on helmi."

"Maassa on helmi."

Translation:There is a pearl on the ground.

July 16, 2020

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mpre53

"On the ground is a pearl" is a grammatically correct literal translation that will sound horrible to a native English speaker. English likes subjects in a sentence, even if it's a demonstrative pronoun like there.


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

That sentence has a subject: "a pearl". It's "on the ground" which is the copula's predicative.

When a sentence starts with a locative adverbial phrase, the dominant word order in Modern English is location-subject-verb. But the dominant word order of Old English, location-verb-subject, is still occasionally used.

But most people would indeed rather say "There's a pearl on the ground", "A pearl's on the ground", or perhaps "On the ground, there's a pearl".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenn334994

On the ground is a pearl should also be correct.


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

If Duo doesn't accept it, the reason is because eventually there will be a "reverse tree" i.e. an English for Finnish speakers course. We would want to teach them to say "There is a pearl on the ground," rather than the literal translation. Imo we should not enter phrases that nobody would ever say.


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

Sorry, but this is just silly. "On the ground is a pearl" is perfectly grammatical English and, assuming it is a correct translation, should be accepted, even if it is not the most common or idiomatic way a native speaker would usually choose to say this.


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

Don't throw your pearls to the swine. =D


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

What about "A pearl is on the ground"? This is much more natural in english and in other questions Duo shifts the 'where' at the start of the Finnish sentence to the end of the English.


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

Could "maassa" also be translated as "in the mud"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mpre53

There are several more specific nouns for mud, muta probably being the most common in my area. In fact, on the Finnish calendar, October is lokakuu. Loka is an older word meaning mud or dirt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VinnHoward1

What kind of pearl would be on the ground? I have not seen or heard that expression in the past 5 years of studying languages to Duolingo challenge. The unique native cultures of the translators is one of the things that makes Duolingo such an awesome way to learn a language...or three.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antti546484

Just a normal pearl, maybe dropped by someone.


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

Are pearls common to Finland?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antti546484

No, they're not.


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

Can it be "the pearl is on the ground"? If not, why not?


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

I think that would be the accepted translation for 'Helmi on maassa.

In the existential and possessive sentences in this course, a definite subject like 'the pearl' precedes the location/possessor, while an indefinite subject like 'a pearl' follows the location/possessor.


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

Could it be "There is a pearl in the earth"? )


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

"On the ground there is a pearl" should be accepted.


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

I second that ----jenn334994


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sadam501487

How does it sound in Finnish to say Helmi on maassa, because it can easily be translated this time; there is a pearl on the ground.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antti546484

That would emphasize that the speaker knew about the pearl. Maybe he lost the pearl, and was searching for it, and finally found it from the ground.


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

Shouldn't the answer be ''the pearl is in the ground''? Can ''Maalla on helmi'' not be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antti546484

The "Maassa on helmi" means "There is a/the pearl in/on the ground", "There is a/the pearl in the country" and "There is a/the pearl in the Earth".

The "Maalla on helmi" means both "There is a/the pearl in the country" and "There is a/the pearl in the countryside".

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