"Pojken äter dem."

Translation:The boy is eating them.

November 18, 2014

86 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Is the boy's name Hannibal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
Mod
  • 16

It's rather interesting that most English speakers seem to assume that "dem" would refer to people. "Dem" would definitely refer to some edible things in this case, not people....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vincent395751

People are...kind of edible. It's a bad idea, but so is Twinkies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvelynOlson0

I don't even know what those are...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tyler-trickey

WHAT!!!! So you are telling me, you live in an English speaking nation, and you do not know what TWINKIES are!!!!! They are store bought pastries with whipped cream inside of them. They are tasty, but they are bad for the body. When the company went out of business, there were riots in the streets until some millionaire bought the company. It was madness!!! I, personally, do not care for them. But most Americans do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvelynOlson0

I don't live in the U.S... I've never seen them on store shelves or anything. I live in Canada


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

It might come as a shock to you, but most English speaking people don't know what the Hershey bar is either.


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

I know what they are but live in the UK and was under the impression they're only sold in the United States of America.


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

I only knew it was a kind of food thanks to Egon in Ghostbusters. It could have been fictonal food for all I knew. It was quite a confusing scene for a child in the UK in the 80s, with no internet to search for the answer to the question "What on Earth is a Twinky??"


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

Even i know what they are and i live in europe, finland


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elysia779

I've literally never met another american who actually likes twinkies


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

I live in Canada and Hostess Twinkies are sold here. In Alberta anyways. I dont think they are as good as they once were.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CedSgm7N

Me ... I prefer ding dongs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthew583808

First time i saw a twinkie was in that zombie movie...er...um i forgot the name...oh wait its called zombieland


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

Same for the UK twinkies aren't nearly as common for English speaking people as you might think


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

In Australia they are called the MARS bar, and there is a fried version of it along the Bondi beach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samka4eloveka

I have found out about Twinkies from Zombieland :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thorr18

I think it's because ealier lessons have primed us to think dem refers to people. Twice, I've gotten this one wrong when I recoiled from the thought and hastily tried to answer with "it" instead of "them".


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

We're joking lol, it's the exact same in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laski-Julle

Yes, who do English speakers think that? Can anyone explain?


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

Native english speaker here. This topic is referring to people mostly. Jag tycker om henne, De älskar oss, etc. We make the connection a little ways into the lesson that this is mostly referring to people and then we see "The boy eats them." so we don't instantly break the connection that this topic isn't just about people, but could actually (hopefully in this case) be about foods or something else you would eat.


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

Yes, "dem" (them) can refer to anything in plural. Potatoes, girls, footballs, eggs, socks, globes, houses, police forces.....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bridhet1

Why wouldnt it specify exactly what it eats. The boy eats food, the boy eats meat. The boy loves turtles. I guess its a response that left us out of context. "Who ate all the chocolate? The boy eats them." Idk, its just different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thorr18

Like any other pronoun, it's used for convenience but is ambiguous out of context. Most of the exercises in Duolingo lack context but you can still do them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CedSgm7N

I'm a native English speaker and I don't assume "dem" is in reference to people, especially in this case. "The boy is eating them" sounds just fine to me, and it clearly means he's eating some type of food.


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

Indeed. Or hourses. Or helicopters. Or universes. Or any other plural noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/swede100

that boy is either a cannibal or he is eating grapes.


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

False dichotomy. He could be eating chimichangas.


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

What kind of chimichangas are you eating that they're not mutually exclusive with cannibalism...


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

Ryan Renolads has entered the chat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laski-Julle

I think the voice says "dom". Why?


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

Read the "tips and notes" ;)


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

thats how you pronounce it i believe. It's weird like that.


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

Is there a way to tell between eating them (the food items) or them (the people) like there is with sin and hennes?


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

No, not really. But I suppose one would hope he's eating food, not people...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lmeitz1

is there a pronunciation difference between "de" and "dem"?


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

Not in standard Sweden Swedish, no.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lmeitz1

Greaaatttt lol thanks for the reply!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johanna153201

so De means they and Dem means them

is this correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Yes. Hard to believe, isn't it?


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

For me, it sounds like "pojkarna äter dem" with normal speed. :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thorr18

Sounds good to me. I hear five syllables, not six. The ä is long though and so maybe takes as long as two syllables :)


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

that can be the reason for mishearing it :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen874691

How can you tell if this should be eat (current tense) or ate (past tense)? It fails ate but how would it be different?


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

Present tense: eat(s) = äter

Past tense: are = åt


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redwing17

Thx was wondering the same thing


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

Is this supposed to be kinky?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

"There are strawberries in the bowl. The boy is eating them".

Is that kinky?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike999145

What I am confused about is not "den" but the translation of "ater" (sorry about the lack of accent markings but I'm not working with a Swedish alphabet). I translated it as "eat" instead of "ate" them. How do you know how to translate the verb into the proper tense when multiple forms are correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thorr18

äter = eats
åt = ate
I don't think I see what multiple forms you are referring to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Mike, the correct translation here is eatS. Not eat and not ate. But eats is present tense. We won't be introduced to past tense until later.

So I'm curious, what gave you the idea that there is a tense ambiguity in this DL exercise?


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

Ok, would anyone please let me know why "The boy's eating them" isn't considered correct here?


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

Contractions are not always created automatically, so sometimes we need to go in manually and correct them. I've done so for this sentence now. :)


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

I answered this as "Pojken äter de.". In other examples, "de" would be pronounced as "dom" too, so could somebody help me with the difference please?

Tack!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel
  • de = they
  • dem = them

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoopymoopydoo29

So "them" are humans or...?


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

Why on earth would you reach that conclusion?


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

Usually not, in this context... :-) But if you would've been referring to "dem" in "Vi såg dem" (We saw them) it could've been humans or cats or poles or waves or holes or meatballs or anything... :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColeDaBest05

what does it mean by "them"?? Because right now i am worried for "them"!! ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwainLlyfr
  • "What do you do with the potatoes?"

  • "I eat them."

The same dialogue in Swedish would be:

  • "Vad gör du med potatisarna?"

  • "Jag äter dem."

But of course "dem" could be used for humans/dogs/trees (just like "them" in English) - but just like in the English dialogue it can be used for a collection of anything. Swap "potatoes" for any plural noun and the dialogue would work (even though I doubt anyone would be eating "cars" :-) ).


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

Sandwiches? Pancakes? Tomatoes?


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

The boy eats "them", whatever that is. Perhaps "them" = "the carrots".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinglava321.

Eat who again????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaTsak2

Does dem and de sounds exactly the same?


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

Yes, they're most commonly both pronounced dom. In dialects that do say de and dem, they're distinct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kre000

I cannot but hear "pojken äter /om/". I get that "dem" is pronounced /dom/, but I don't even hear the /d/ sound. Is it something with me, with audio in this specific case, or is there something I don't understand?


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

It's very common for a d to become somewhat silent after a word that ends in an r, actually.


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

What is the difference with "de" and "dem"?


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

"they" and "them", respectively.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CedSgm7N

I was going to make a sarcastic remark about eating people a la Hannibal ... but I see many have already beat me to it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rouven1244

Uhm... I think I'm on the dark side of duolingo..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinglava321.

Who am i eating again


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinglava321.

Eat who again????m


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

This one kinda sus ngl


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

The lady said "den", with an "n". It is difficult to make the difference!


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

The lady? The "spoken" voice for this exercise? In that case "she" certainly didn't say "den", since "she" says "dom" (the colloquial pronunciation of "dem"). "Den" is always pronounced with an 'e'/'ä' sound, so it's quite different from the pronunciation used in the exercise.


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

I love those comments.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jennierose811242

The first sound, and it is wrong? Just 'P'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

What are you struggling to say?


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

Think sandwiches

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