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  5. "Olemme pahoillamme, mutta me…

"Olemme pahoillamme, mutta meillä ei ole yhtään perunasalaattia."

Translation:We are sorry, but we do not have any potato salad.

July 18, 2020


[deactivated user]

    Reported: "We have no potato salad" should also be accepted. "do not have any" and "have no" are equivalent.


    How does yhtään change the meaning of the sentence? Can it be omitted? I don't see it represented in the English translation.


    This seems to be a reoccuring problem with DL, I have seen others also asking the same since DL doesn't really make it clear what is the difference and why it's sometimes needed and sometimes not.

    Basically it correlates with "any":

    • Meillä ei ole yhtään perunasalaattia. = We don't have any potato salad.
    • Meillä ei ole perunasalaattia. = We don't have potato salad.

    The second one probably sounds bit weird in English unless you can think of it as a mass noun (I'm not a native English speaker), so I feel like 'any' is used here more often even if 'yhtään' can be omitted in Finnish.


    Thank you for the answer, but I admit I have a hard time understanding. I still don't see any difference between the two English sentences (except that the second one sounds slightly less natural). Can you maybe give context to explain how yhtään changes the meaning? Are we implying that there was potato salad before? Are we talking about not any kind of potato salad? Would the potato salad have ever been on the menu?... etc.

    Which sentence is more common: with "yhtään" or without?


    Think of yhtään as "at all" then you get the meaning, although it will not always be ideomatic to say so.


    And I don't blame you for that, I feel like "any" is pretty much needed in the English sentence because of the negative but in Finnish without "yhtään" it kinda acts like the indefinite article in English - and you can't say "We don't have a potato salad." because it sounds just as wrong, so I feel like that's why "any" is there.

    I was also going to say that 'yhtään' could also be translated as 'at all' but it's not that simple. The context does not tell if there has been potato salad before or not, nor does it tell if they usually ever have potato salad. Here's some examples I can think of:

    • Meillä ei ole perunasalaattia. = We don't have any potato salad. /as in indefinite article or a mass noun becoming 'any' because of the negative. Just a statement that we don't have it but it does not tell if we ever had it to begin with.
    • Meillä ei ole yhtään perunasalaattia. = We don't have any potato salad. /we either ran out of it or did not get it in the first place, but it still exist somewhere so that we can get it if we want.
    • Meillä ei ole ollenkaan/lainkaan perunasalaattia. = We don't have any potato salad, at all. /a restaurant might say this if that is not a part of their menu. The words' meaning is also very close to 'yhtään' but maybe a slightly stronger but according to Wiktionary, they are synonyms.

    Hope this helps even a bit more, but feel free to ask if it still doesn't make sense.


    Sometimes Olemme pahoillamme is “We apologize” and other times “We are sorry” and I never seem to get it right. At this rate I’ll never move out of the restaurant!!!!


    I does not any mistake in this sentence! Why is itincottect?!!


    It's hard to imagine that you didn't make a mistake in your sentence...


    Whatever the rules are that govern typos need some work. A lot of the time it accepts nouns in the wrong case, thinking the missing or extra "a" is just a typo. Other times, like this, it marks "pahoilamme" (with one "L") as wrong instead of as a typo.


    "We apologize" ought to work for "olemme pahoillamme"


    "We are sorry" should be accepted


    Can't 'we apologise' be accepted as correct?

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