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  5. "Who are they hugging?"

"Who are they hugging?"

Translation:Ketä he halaavat?

July 26, 2020



Shouldn't it be "whom"?


Either is correct in English in this sentence.


As a non-mother-tongue speaker of English, the "who" instead of "whom" is totally putting me off balance, and I have to re-think the sentence to make sure what is ment here.
Using "whom" could be the better choice here - to show English mother tongue speakers, why "ketä" is used and not "kuka". Not to mention us non-mother-tongue speakers who stumble over the fact that the m is missing here.


Is the "he" strictly necessary? I left it out and was marked wrong. As I'm unsure, I don't know whether or not to report.


Yup! With the third person (hän/se or he/ne), you can't skip the pronoun.


Thanks - have not noticed this before, oddly. Is it just with the partitive?


No, this is always the case.

(Edit: Well, there's always a "well..." :-) If one asks "Halaavatko he?" = Are they hugging?, you can reply simply "Halaavat", instead of "Kyllä, he halaavat". But you can't just start with "Halaavat.")


Also, does "he" necessarily go before the verb?


Yes, it cannot go after the verb.

"Ketä halaavat he?" would be wrong.


Why "ketä" and not "ketkä"?


"ketkä" is the plural form of "who", so I guess in this case the "who" that "they" are hugging is just one person.


Ketkä is nominative plural. The nominative plural would be used for multiple subjects of a sentence. Thus "Who's hugging the grandmas?" "The girls": 'Ketkä halaavat mummoja?' 'Tytöt'.

Ketä is partitive singular. It's often used for a single object of a sentence, as one of the translations of formal English 'whom'. Thus "Whom/Who are the grandmas hugging?" "The girl": *'Ketä mummot halaavat?' 'Tyttöä'.

So 'Ketkä he halaavat' doesn't work, because he is marked as the subject, but so is ketkä. It would be a bit like "Who is hugging they?"


What's the difference between keta and kuka?


Kuka is the nominative, ketä the partitive form. Don't drop the dots from the ä, that makes it a completely different letter.

(Nowadays you will sometimes hear people use ketä instead of kuka (Ketä oli siellä? Who was there?), but that's wrooooong.)

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