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  5. "The usually fluffy dog is we…

"The usually fluffy dog is wet and dirty."

Translation:Yleensä pörröinen koira on märkä ja likainen.

July 16, 2020

5 Comments


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

I think that what they are going for here would translate to: "The usually-fluffy dog is wet and dirty." Or maybe, "Usually the dog is fluffy, but now it is wet and dirty."

"Usually, the fluffy dog is wet and dirty" means the same as "The fluffy dog is usually wet and dirty," implying something like the dog goes swimming in a muddy pond all the time.


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

"The usually-fluffy dog is wet and dirty" -- that's the one. Is the hyphen obligatory?


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

Yes, Annika, the hyphen should be there. "Usually" and "fluffy" are not two separate adjectives, but rather one combined descriptor, so the punctuation should explicate that. "Usually-fluffy" makes the sentence work in English. Alternatively, you could say, "The wet and dirty dog is usually fluffy," meaning, "Usually the dog is fluffy, but now it's wet and dirty." Conversely, saying "Usually, the fluffy dog is wet and dirty" implies that wet and dirty is the more normal condition of the dog. That's a different idea.


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

Yes, I understand the two different meanings. The Finnish sentence can mean either.

I was looking into the Finnish rules for comma usage, which are very complex and prescriptive and therefore not very often understood or followed, to see if there could be a comma after Yleensä here when meaning "Usually,". I didn't have a lot of time to look into it, but I think you can't, unfortunately.

I also did a brief search for the rule about the hyphen being compulsory in English, but couldn't find one. Do you have a source you can recommend?


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

Hmm, I take it back, Annika. It seems there is a rule that one shouldn't use a hyphen with an adverb ending in "ly." I don't find this rule everywhere (https://www.grammarly.com/blog/hyphen/), so it may be arcane. However, it's Rule 3 here (https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/hyphens.asp). And here is a PDF from the venerable Chicago Manual of Style (https://ophi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/CMS_list.pdf) that supports the rule.

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