1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Finnish
  4. >
  5. "Tuolla on pari saarta."

"Tuolla on pari saarta."

Translation:There are a couple of islands over there.

July 29, 2020



This is a question that has been bothering me for a while now: does "pari xxx" means "a couple of xxx" in the narrow sense (two of xxx) or in a broader sense (several / a number of xxx), or both?


Technically it means only two of something but "pari" is also used in the broader sense, as long as the number of things is not too great.


If only there were two islands over there my answer would have been accepted


This should be "there is" in English. There is just one "couple of islands" so "is" and not "are" is correct.


"There are a couple of islands" sounds quite good to me. Granted, in quick, casual speech, "There's a couple", or even "There's two", would also sound okay to me.

But if I deleted the dummy subject 'there', I'd absolutely say "A couple of islands are over there", not "A couple of islands is over there".

I've read that when the word 'couple' precedes the preposition 'of', it takes a plural verb.

If it immediately precedes the verb, and doesn't refer to two people, it still uses the plural verb. Thus: "Did you find the balls? A couple are still in the backyard; the rest have been put away."

If it immediately precedes the verb, and does refer to two people, then Americans and Australians like the singular verb. Thus: "A couple is cuddling on the bench". But I guess people from Britain still prefer the plural verb, even in that situation.


Why not "there are two islands over there?"


Why isn't there is a pair of islands correct?

[deactivated user]

    Duo creators don't give a shit anyway :D

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