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"Drengen og pigen finder en ost."

Translation:The boy and the girl find a cheese.

4 years ago

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/chaander
chaander
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These comments don't really explain why this is funky in English. It's called a plurale tantem. Cheese is an already plural noun, like pants. You can't REALLY say, "the boy and the girl find a pants." because the noun needs to be shown to exist as a part of a whole or as an indefinite quantity, hence "some", "a slice of", etc.

You can make it work without attribution (or added adjective), but only through attaching it to other things: "I'm looking for a cheese to pair with a vintage Cabernet Sauvignon."Or "There was a cheese that he had not tried yet." It works with pants too. "I'm looking for a pant that slims my physique."

Ultimately, you can say "a cheese" but most of the time you wouldn't.

Sorry to add clutter, but I know there are other people that are interested in this kind of thing.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertJ.Ed
RobertJ.Ed
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This is what we (an ESL instruction course) referred to as "countable vs. non-countable" nouns, is it not?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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I agree, generally.

I probably would say "I'm looking for a pair of pants ...", but this may be a British versus American English distinction (although I'm from Canada - we Canadians started to get too much American television over the years o_o).

I think when we say something like "I'm looking for a cheese to pair with ..." or "There was a cheese that he had not tried yet", we really mean "a kind of cheese" or "a type of cheese". I think that we like to drop words that can be easily implied and inferred by context.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chaander
chaander
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Yeah, I'd normally say "a pair of pants" too. Or even "some pants to go with..." My sister works in fashion, and so she says "a pant" to me on occasion, but I wouldn't say it's common whatsoever.

Context and structure of the target language are important. We like to think of things such as "a water fountain" as two nouns and an article, but in reality "water" describes the fountain and not vice-versa, and so is therefore an adjective. Which, I think, makes a case for the importance of synthetic language structures and declension.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlspotting
Owlspotting
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  • 1551

Cheese is a mass noun, not a plural. In fact, "s" can be added to it, to indicate types e.g. "Many aged cheeses are used in this recipe."

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel_B
Daniel_B
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You can't have "a cheese". Wouldn't it be "some cheese" or "a piece of cheese"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jtd112018

You can say it in English, I think we would just normally qualify it with something, i.e. "The boy and the girl find a cheese with holes" or "I need a cheese without a rind" etc. But it's still correct to say "a cheese"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottFerg88

I agree. You can say "a cheese", but it sounds very high-end/fancy. I think it's the same with wine. Casually, we'd say "We have some/this/that wine", where as a wine-taster/maker might say "We have a wine here from...". I don't know, it's hard to explain!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/p8c
p8c
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true. good examples. but without qualification, think about the many things that may be permissible in a language are not necessarily used, and i think this example is one of them as it stands. of course if used in the context of your examples, then it makes sense.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Reisam
Reisam
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Why can't you have 'a' cheese? I think the translation is correct. For example, see saveacheese.com

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper
BaconChomper
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  • 103

In English when we can count something individually we use a/an. For example: an apple, a car, an egg, an airplane.

When we can can not count something individually we use helping words like some or we otherwise specify a form of measurement. Some cheese, a piece of cheese, a block of cheese. We usually don't speak naturally in the context of this sentence unless it is only a fragment. Like "The boy and the girl find a cheese" (that goes well with wine).

I have noticed this same problem in the Danish section with ice cream and juice. Anything that can not be counted including liquids and powders unless they are packaged or otherwise separated.

Do you want an ice cream? An Ice cream what? An ice cream sandwich? An ice cream cone? A bowl of ice cream?

This will all get worked out in time. We are still in beta.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kingthatcher
kingthatcher
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First off, you can say "a cheese". Second, you can say "an ice cream", and it's suuuuper common. These are nowhere near wrong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper
BaconChomper
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  • 103

Are you American or English? It's not correct in American English.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kingthatcher
kingthatcher
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I am American. I live in Minnesota. English is my native language (although my native dialect has some quirks -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjr2CexQ5V4 ) It is completely correct. Everyone here says "I'm going out to get an ice cream." Usually that means a cone, but it can also mean a cup. I don't know how it would differ from part to part. I would say "a cheese" if it is a prepackaged cheese, such as a wedge of cheese or something like that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Oooh, do you think that they found a whole big round wheel of cheese? That would be an exciting find, not just a wedge!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zariuq
zariuq
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Yeah, when saying "an ice cream," what form its in is implicit ^^;

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrcurtis.english
mrcurtis.english
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Just to clarify, cheese is an uncountable noun, as are milk, wine, bread and an assortment of other foods.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Martinosau
Martinosau
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A cheese is quite fine as long as it is the whole thing (like a whole ball of Edam) or it is qualified (like a cheese that goes with wine).

As for an ice cream...nothing wrong with it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JacobJWS
JacobJWS
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some cheese also makes sense to me. but that's an opinion more than anything else.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jytte465010

I don't feel that it is so much that a cheese would be wrong, although it isn't common around here but "some cheese", a piece of cheese" or "cheese" would also be a correct translation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaquesCroi

In Spanish "un queso" -"a cheese" also means the whole piece. Is it the same in danish?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/silverthornfire
silverthornfirePlus
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  • 1480

Un fromage (French) also sounds as wrong as the English; some cheese or a piece of cheese sounds better to my British English ears. I have also reported it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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Yup, the French love their partitives! They would say "Le garçon et la fille trouvent du fromage" (The boy and the girl find (some) cheese).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hoyunmyoun

Why can't I say "The boy and the firl look for a cheese."?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LinhCao11

Hope not on the floor

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beaumains13
beaumains13
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This sentence sounds...cheesy.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lionpige

Who cut the cheese?

4 days ago