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"Hevonen potkaisee yhtä tai kahta puuta."

Translation:The horse kicks one or two trees.

July 22, 2020

23 Comments


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

I answered "the horse is kicking..." and it was incorrect.


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

Potkaista describes one single act of kicking (obviously possibly two single acts of kicking if it was two trees). It's a momentane verb and very difficult to translate with a continuous tense in English unless you're saying this sentence in th middle of watching the horse kick in slow motion.

Hevonen potkii could be "the horse is kicking" as potkia describes repeated, continuous kicking.


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

I see what you are saying, but as there is potentially more than one kick occurring, the English version implies that a process of kicking is going on, whether the simple present or the present continuous is used. Functionally they are indistinguishable, and in most circumstances, the present continuous sounds much more natural, unless it is a reply to a question that specifically requires that tense ("What does a horse do if it's annoyed?") In English, even if describing a single instantaneous action (shooting something for example), I think most English speakers would use the present continuous over the simple present.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphakilo4

the horse is kicking one or two trees is another correct option


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

Potkaista describes one single act of kicking (obviously possibly two single acts of kicking if it was two trees). It's a momentane verb and very difficult to translate with a continuous tense in English unless you're saying this sentence in th middle of watching the horse kick in slow motion.

Hevonen potkii could be "the horse is kicking" as potkia describes repeated, continuous kicking.


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

The inconsistency gets me again. All this time simple present was not accepted and present continuous was the only accepted form. Now it is completely reversed!


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

I don't think that's inconsistency. I think it's the contributor team trying to teach the concept of "potkaista", to kick once, which would (if one wants to be strict about it) would be translated using the simple present.

It would be great if the team could confirm or clarify this.

In general, I would much more often use the verb potkia, which is just kicking without any connotation of either once or repeatedly.


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

This is inaccurate. One single act is usually expressed with the "present continuous" (which is inaccurately named in this case). The simple present is rare in English, and in this instance would imply to me a habitual, repeated act, although a time adverb would clarify that, e.g. "The horse kicks one or two trees every day." Any non-habitual time word would force the verb into the present continuous, e.g. "The horse is kicking one or two trees today". Basically, this sentence needs some pretty specific context to make sense with simple present in English, and I don't think that the simple present includes the meaning that the Finnish sentence conveys.

Incidentally, I am guessing that potkia does not take an object in the partitive, which is why we haven't learned it yet. But I haven't looked it up; is that right? I would love to learn the accusative, and the difference between partitive and accusative objects, earlier in this course, because it seems like such a vital part of expressing oneself in Finnish.


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

I think we might partly have to agree to disagree, but at least partly there is also still a misunderstanding here about the meaning of potkaista: The sentence here says nothing about what may or may not happen tomorrow. It is entirely possible to say Hevonen potkaisee yhtä tai kahta puuta joka päivä (joka päivä), ie this action can be repeated in that sense.

The difference between potkaista and potkia is about how sustained the action is in the moment: Hevonen potkaisee puuta joka päivä means it does so maybe once or twice every day. Hevonen potkii puuta joka päivä means it keeps doing it, maybe all day every day. There's no specific number of kicks that demarcates the difference between these two, but there is a definite difference in meaning.

I don't know why potkaista was chosen to be included in the course and potkia wasn't picked (yet). It's not the type of object they take. Both take the partitive object in this case, where there's no indication of a material change in the object: there's no mention of anything happening to the trees. If a tree were kicked (using either verb) into two halves, the object would be the "whole" one (which isn't called the adjective anymore, apparently): Hevonen potkaisee/potkii puun halki. If it's one or two trees, I'm afraid we get the partitive again because of the number rule: Hevonen potkaisee/potkii yhden tai kaksi puuta halki.

I'm not sure that the whole object isn't covered at all in the course so far -- I have a vague recollection of having seen it. The issue with that one is that it's not one, separate case, but can take the form of any of three different ones: https://uusikielemme.fi/finnish-grammar/syntax/constructions/the-finnish-object-objekti. And this course doesn't contain a lot of the partitive just to annoy the users; the partitive is really used soooo much and for so many different things in Finnish.


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

why is yhtä and kahta intead of yksi and kaksi? i still don't get it


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

The verb needs a partitive object. So just like it's puuta it has to be yhtä and kahta.


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

so, if it was another verb, the form should be yksi and kaksi? this is like an exception?


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

It's not an exception, it's just one in a looong list of verbs that normally take the partitive object. (I'm on my phone so I can't dig out a link, but the uusikielemme website has a good list.)

And the point is, if the noun takes the partitive, so does its attribute(s).

So I am eating one apple = Syön yhtä omenaa (both partitive), but if I eat one (whole) apple = Syön yhden (kokonaisen) omenan (another case, for all the words involved).


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

On a slightly different question to the others here, but still related, if - as has been said - potkaista refers to a single, discrete action, why are the numbers in partitive case? I thought that would only happen with "irresultative verbs", and it doesn't sound like potkaista is one of those!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan600886

My sense is that it is one of those "irresultative/momentain" verbs by virtue of not disclosing a final, conclusive result. Yes, it's a single discrete action, but for the purposes of grammar it is a moment frozen in time where the single kick (and its outcome) is not yet complete.

At least I think so. I've been tripped up by this one on more than one occasion.

Beastly nuisance of a verb to teach with, though, and I agree with annika_a that the developers could have chosen a less confusing / more useful one. Hopefully when the course moves from Beta to V.1 they'll swap in potkia. Having been on the receiving end when hevonen potkaisee miestä I know it's both a plausible scenario and a useful verb to have available to describe what happened, but I like to think there are better verbs to teach with.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/w3WLnVmI

"The horse is kicking" should be accepted as correct. If there are one or two kicks, more than a single quick instant is implied. Also, "is kicking" is parallel to hundreds of other exercise answers for a verb in the present tense like this one. I don't think "The horse is kicking" qualifies as 'wrong."


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

My answer was correct.


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

I was trying to provide feedback re an incorrectly marked response. Do these comments get checked by the app admin or is there a different means to notify them of app errors?


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

At least with the Android app, there is a little flag after the question, by which you can report that your correct answer was incorrectly rejected, that the English is unnatural, or some other problem. That's how the volunteer contributors get notifications about these things and can improve the course.

If you just write here that your answer was correct, I don't think there is any way for them to see what your answer was.


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

Thanks for clarifying that.


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

You're welcome! Good luck with learning Finnish :-)

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