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"Miksi sinä korjaat outoa taloa?"

Translation:Why are you repairing the strange house?

July 16, 2020

19 Comments


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

For anyone who's wondering why the present simple Why do you fix or Why do you repair is not accepted, there are a couple of reasons.

The present simple "(do ...) fix" and "(do ...) repair" in English would generally mean a habitual action in this situation and because repairing one single house is generally a fairly temporary activity (hopefully at least), we would use the present continuous "are ... fixing/repairing". If we're talking about someone fixing mulitple houses, the present simple is much more possible and quite natural because no we are describing what someone generally does, not just what they are doing now.

Furthermore, the Finnish sentence makes it clear that we are talking about the action in its unfinished state. (It doesn't say whether you will finish fixing the house or not, but just that what we're talking about is the action while it's underway.)

(A) Sinä korjaat outoa taloa. = You are fixing the strange house.
(B) Sinä korjaat outon talon. = You will fix the strange house.

The reason I used present continuous and then future in English is that in (A), the partitive (outoa taloa) indicates an unfinished action. It indicates not the whole house, but only part of the house

In (B), the accusative case (which we haven't learnt yet) indicates a completion of the action. We're talking about you fixing the entire house. This doesn't really fit with the present tense in English. The Finnish present tense (here korjaat) is essentially a "non-past" tense and, when context allows it, can also be used for the future as well. Which time is meant can often be determined by looking at the case of the object. You can't really talk about fixing an entire house in the present moment, so if you use outon talonn, we are thinking about the future or past completion of the action (whether future or past is meant can be determined by the verb). The partitive outoa taloa means we're looking "inside" the action and describing it for a point of time where it is not completed, focusing on the action as an ongoing process rather than an accomplishment. This is very much compatible with the present continuous in English (as well as the future or past conditional, as far as the context and the Finnish verb form allow it), but not so compatible with the present simple in any usual circumstances

There's a lot more information here, including Finnish examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telicity


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoria356865

I just love the strangeness of languages! It really expands one's way of thinking about things. Thanks for this explanation, AGreatUserName.


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

Is "Why do you repair the strange house?" said differently in Finnish? If so, how is it translated? Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna839191

It's not said differently. Finnish doesn't differentiate between present continous and present simple so usually both are fine (if the verb indicates one time action then the continous doesn't work) Anyway, if it didn't accept your answer, be sure to report.


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

Some verbs do make that distinction. For example "potkia" is to kick continuously while "potkaista" is temporally confined.


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

So, "Why do you fix the strange house?" should be accepted too?


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

I reckon that would be more accurately translated into Finnish as "Miksi (sinä/te) korjailet/korjailette outoa taloa". The reason behind this is the fact that the simple present form of English verbs (which is what you used) generally indicates habitual action, whereas the present progressive form used in the suggested translation generally indicates an ongoing action. "Korjailla" is the frequentative form of "korjata", and as such is close to the meaning of "fix" in simple present as it indicates that the fixing happens in a hobby-like manner.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThoseDays44

All of a sudden 'fix' is not accepted?


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

Why outoa taloa and not outo talo?


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

Because it's the object of an unfinished action.


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

(A) Sinä korjaat outoa taloa. = You are fixing the strange house.
(B) Sinä korjaat outon talon. = You will fix the strange house.

The reason is that in (A), the partitive (outoa taloa) indicates an unfinished action.

In (B), the accusative indicates a completion of the action - the entire house is fixed. This doesn't really fit with the present tense in English, and the Finnish present tense is often used for the future as well. Which time is meant can often be determined by looking at the case of the object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan-Olav

Outo, ouDon :)


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

"why are you fixing that weird house?"

Might be an outoa sentence, but probably should be accepted, right?


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

Why are you fixing that weird house. = Miksi sinä korjaat tuota outoa taloa.

And your sentence is outo, not outoa. It's a specific, countable thing. (But also I don't think it's strange. You just added the word "that", which isn't in the Finnish sentence.) ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MathWizard7

Why does "talo" have to be in partitive case here? Is it due to the fact that you can't fully repair a house and hence part(itive) is needed?


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

No, it's because the action is ongoing.


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

What's wrong with "Why do you repair the strange house?"


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

I'm struggling to think of a natural situation where you'd use the simple present in this case in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoria356865

Perhaps Why do you repair the strange house every time there's something wrong with it?

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