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  5. "How many belts do you own?"

"How many belts do you own?"

Translation:Montako vyötä sinä omistat?

July 22, 2020



Why is kuinka monta instead of montako wrong here?

  • 1978

It's not wrong, it's just beta. Report it.


should 'montako vyötä sinulla on' also be accepted, or does that have a different meaning to 'omistat'?

  • 1978

Strictly speaking, "have" and "own" are a bit different, i.e. "how many belts do you have?" doesn't mean you need to own the belts you have now.

But of course, in real life and in the context of this course (imho) the distinction isn't very significant – so my call would be that your suggestion is all good.


What's incorrect about "Kuinka moni vyötä sinä omistat?", please?

  • 1978

That's a congruence error: all word forms are not grammatically compatible. You need to ask kuinka monta because you are talking about countable nouns (belts). Kuinka moni is reminiscent of English "many a" construction.

  • Kuinka monta vyötä sinä omistat? ("How many belts do you own?")
  • Kuinka moni vyö on sininen? (can be translated as "How many a belt is blue?")

Hope it helps.


Thanks - it does help a bit.

I'm still slightly confused, because I looked back through the instances of "kuinka moni" in my vocab file, and I'm not 100% sure why it doesn't work here. Though I did note the fact that all of the "kuinka moni" examples I found were to do with people rather than things - in particular people having nationalities ... though that might just have been the focus of the module in which they arose ... e.g. "Kuinka moni kanadalainen osaa ranskaa?"or "Kuinka moni ihminen osaa piirtää hyvin?" But these still are translated as "How many", not "many a".

And what is the differentiation between "kuinka moni" and "kuinka monta", please? Is it The Usual Suspect (partitive)??!

  • 1978

Yes, it is confusing and I'm sorry I couldn't give a better answer. Native speakers just learn it by heart and therefore it's really hard to explain.

But luckily, some other parties can give better answers.

For starters, annika_a has a good general comment here, cited below:

Kuinka monta (or montako) has more the meaning of "how many individuals". So how many people in a particular small group can ride horses, for example. They are countable.

Kuinka moni (or moniko) is more like a percentage or an approximate number of a larger group, in this case a whole population. So the answer could be X% of people or (rounded to) Y thousand people.

In practice, you may see Finnish speakers using these forms less strictly than this.

I also looked at resources outside Duolingo and the excellent site Uusi kielemme did not disappoint. They explain the difference and different use cases with examples in English: https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-vocabulary/interesting-words/moni-monta-monet-many

There were also some resources in Finnish which may or may not be useful:

  • Kielitoimisto is the authority on Finnish language and advices on the use of moni, monta, montaa
  • Some resources about the evolution and background on the word [1] [2]

So it turns out, apparently you are right, monta is the partitive case of the pronoun moni. Actually, monta is so universal in Finnish that it's cemented itself also as a basic form, and has developed a partitive form of it own, montaa. Which was, by the way, so controversial that it was not accepted in Finnish high school (lukio) final exams (ylioppilaskirjoitukset) still in the mid-90s. (Edit to add to the point:) It feels crazy that it was still as late as mid-90s because it feels like montaa has been around forever.


It is the same meaning

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