"Pojken äter dem."

Translation:The boy eats them.

November 18, 2014



Is the boy's name Hannibal?

November 20, 2014

  • 5

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....

October 14, 2015


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

November 6, 2015


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

February 11, 2016


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.

March 27, 2016


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

March 28, 2016


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

September 8, 2016


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.

May 30, 2016


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??"

February 15, 2018


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

June 20, 2018


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

October 24, 2018


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

January 15, 2018


I have found out about Twinkies from Zombieland :D

January 21, 2018


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".

March 27, 2016


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

November 18, 2015


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.

December 21, 2015


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.

April 6, 2018


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.

May 12, 2018


I think the voice says "dom". Why?

November 27, 2014


Read the "tips and notes" ;)

December 12, 2014


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

December 7, 2014


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

March 26, 2015


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

July 17, 2015


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

July 23, 2016


False dichotomy. He could be eating chimichangas.

July 18, 2018


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

July 13, 2016


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

July 14, 2016


that can be the reason for mishearing it :)

July 14, 2016


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

March 7, 2016


Present tense: eat(s) = äter

Past tense: are = åt

March 14, 2016


Thx was wondering the same thing

November 18, 2017


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

October 24, 2018


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. :)

December 9, 2018


The use of "them" in English generally follows an established noun, otherwise we wouldn't know what "them" refers to specifically and would default to people, which I would say in my experience makes up a enormous portion of the use of the word "them" and other collective nouns.

So if there was a "What about insert food item here?" we would reply with "the boy eats them."

Just saying "The boy eats them" makes for a rather concerning sentence.

April 24, 2018


I doubt this sentence would ever be used without context, though, so just imagine the sentence was preceded by your suggestion. :)

December 9, 2018


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?

August 25, 2018


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

August 27, 2018


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?

March 13, 2019


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?


December 9, 2018

  • de = they
  • dem = them
December 9, 2018


Using a slightly oldfashioned provincial grammar your line is actually a correct Swedish (oldfashioned) sentence - but meaning "They eat the boy"... Most Swedes would say that it sounds like Yoda if you use that kind of grammar, though... :-)

January 31, 2019
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