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  5. "Sorry, we cannot speak Engli…

"Sorry, we cannot speak English."

Translation:Anteeksi, emme osaa puhua englantia.

July 28, 2020



Is it not puhu instead of puhua in this sentence?


The verb 'osata' is the verb that is inflected so 'puhua' is in infinitive. So you would say 'emme puhu' or 'emme osaa puhua'. Sililarly in English, you don't say 'he can speaks' but you say 'he speaks', as you do not need the inflection when you already have the verb 'can'.


why is Osaa necessary, can you not just say 'emme puhua englantia'?


That would be similar to saying "we no speak English". Also, "puhua" is a nonfinite verb and thus does not have the first person plural perspective it's supposed to have. "(Me) emme puhu englantia" would be grammatically accurate, but the meaning would be a bit different because it translates to "We don't speak English". And in case you don't know, I should note at this point that Finnish verbs have negated forms. The positive form of the verb in plural 1st person would be "puhumme", but since the verb is being negated, the negative form "puhu" should be used instead.


I think plain "osata" should be accepted for "can speak" because how else can you deliver that in English? (I tried to answer "Anteeksi, emme osaa englantia." but was marked incorrect.)


As someone who can read very complicated texts in German, French, Norwegian, and Italian, but can barely order a cup of coffee in any of those languages, I have to say that the distinction is very real. Admittedly, it's pedantic to make that distinction in everyday situations, so we're going to rethink this one for the next version of the course. :)


If I can only understand what I read and/or hear in German, I would say "minä ymmärrän saksaa." I know that when some people who have studied a language at school are encouraged to speak to someone in that language because "Sinähän osaat saksaa", they might reply "Mutta en osaa puhua sitä!" Also, if you have learned Chinese by speaking and listening only and someone asks you "Osaatko kiinaa?" you would say "Osaan", but if you are asked to tell what's written in Chinese, you can say "en osaa lukea kiinaa." In other words, every other language-related ability is usually specified, but not speaking/listening skills.


Now this is good feedback. Thank you. I'll make a note of this for the second version and try to find a way to incorporate this. Unfortunately, we can’t make too many changes to a live course without breaking it. :(


'Pahoillamme' instead of 'anteeksi' wasn't accepted. Who can tell me why? Or should I report it as a correct variant?


You need to include the verb in order for that to work. :)

"Olemme pahoillamme" - we are sorry

"Olen pahoillani" - I am sorry

"Olet pahoillasi" - you are sorry

"Hän on pahoillaan" - s/he is sorry

'Olette pahoillanne" - you are sorry

"He ovat pahoillaan" - they are sorry


"Pahoittelut" - apologies

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