1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "– Can you speak English? – N…

"– Can you speak English? – No, I cannot."

Translation:– Osaatko puhua englantia? – En.

July 27, 2020

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJac885702

Surely alternative is: "- Puhutko sinä englantia? - En"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marcus310174

This would be: Do you speak ...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s.helsinki

Yeah, that's the most common form and it's actually easier to say.


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

Technically, this answer says "No," right? How would you say "I cannot"?


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

A complete negative answer to questions where -ko/kö is attached a verb is to form a compound verb(?) with the negative verb and the main verb.

  • Osaatko puhua englantia? En osaa.
  • Puhutko englantia? En puhu.

But these are often shortened to just the negative verb: en.


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

"Osaatteko te puhua englantia? Emme." Does any one know why this would not be accepted?


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

Because in the answer it's "I" not "we" therefore it's both singular


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

So the "emme" part is wrong, but the first speaker could still be asking more than one person.


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

Well, according to the principles of Duolingo Finnish is here the original language, and the Finnish sentence uses singular you and I. That English uses "you" both for singular and plural and what it causes, has been taken up several times. IIUC the Finnish team has decided to accept both interpretations, but I don't know if this has been implemented thoughtout the course.

A general issue with these exercises is the lack of context. The context means surprisingly lot. However in this particular example asking with a plural you while getting a single person answer, I, would appear strange.


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

And I'm wrong anyway, because "osaatko" is second person singular, and cannot be interpreted as plural under normal circumstances. :)

They could always bypass the problem by using "thou" and "thee" as second person singular (but not plural) as it was in English 500 years ago, and then using "you" only as plural. Who knows - they might even start a trend!

Learn Finnish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.