Agreed. The only way it makes sense is if "Det" is translated to 'those' instead of 'it'.
"Those are its plates" is accepted as correct. 'Det' is indeed 'those' just like you want. The plates belong to "it". We don't know what it is, but it has plates. Those are its plates!
(However, it is could also be valid, instead of those are; read other comments for detail). Also, "they are" is technically a more correct translation than "those are" because it doesn't include the extra information about proximity.
It could for example be the plates that belong to a restaurant:
"Det är restaurangens tallrikar"
"Det är dess tallrikar"
The phrase sounds slightly odd. "Dess" is normally used in a subordinate clause of a very long sentence, but I guess there are not enough words at this stage to construct something more realistic.
So "dess" is used like in English when we used "its" later on in the sentence or paragraph because we already know the subject we are talking about? Ex. The dog was sleeping by the food bowl. It (food) was "its" (dess/dog's) food.
Ok if we accept this translation so what would be ...detta är dess tallrikar
Zmrzlina, you don't know how many native English speakers get it vs. it's wrong. It's my pet peeve.
I can imagine so... Many Swedes have a similar problem with differing between pronouns de and dem.
When the English are so lazy at learning other languages it is no wonder they can not be bothered to learn their own. I speak as an English person.
You are right, it would make more sense to say "de är", but that just sounds wrong in Swedish. It's more like "- What is that? -It's plates." "De är" would work if you talk about people though:
"Det är mina vänner" or "De är mina vänner".
Can you elaborate on why it sounds wrong? Do you use "de" only when speaking about people?
It might be less confusing if, when you hover over "Det", it gave "those" along with "it - what - the" as the English translation. Otherwise, it seems the correct translation is "It is its plates", which the program accepts as the right answer, which seems grammatically odd in matching "It is" singular with "plates" plural. "Those are its plates" makes sense.
Can dess be used with tge pronoun hen, when the gender is not given? Or is this just for inanimate objects?
I don't understand how det can suddenly mean those. It wasn't an option when I hovered over the word. Is there some sort of reference we can use to see all the possible translations of words like det?
In Swedish, we use det är as a presenting construction for things, and det does not change in gender or number with what is introduced.
In English however, the pronoun changes with what is introduced, so that for plural nouns, you don't want to say it when introducing them:
Det är min bok It's my book
Det är mitt hus It's my house
Det är mina sockar Those are my socks
I also thought of this phrase as the plates belonging to a restaurant.
This one had me pulling my hair out (have read all below...the only way I can structure this is in reply to a question (shown below but they were NOT the right questions, sorry) Q. what IS it you like best about THIS restaurant...will evince the reply here...of A. It is its plates!... the present tense is kept throughout as the convo is happening NOW and IN the restaurant ....So the statement CAN exist without absurdity...it is the question which is missing which can/will throw English speakers... Thanks all interesting little side topic (first time I have been moved to click the 'more discussion button...lol)
Thats helpful, thanks. Are there any analogues to non-food plates where this might be used in Swedish? Maybe for a suit of armor, or something else?
I don't think so. Tallrikar are for cutting on, etymologically. Their shape is not part of the word like it is with plate. Skärbrädor still have a different name though.
“What part of the stegosaurus are these?” “Those are its plates”
Works for me
Yeah, but you could scroll up a tiny bit and look at my reply from last time you brought up stegosaurus because I don't think it's actually used that way.
I believe "stegosaurus plates" would be "stegosaurus plattor" in Swedish.
Could it be there is a set of cups in a certain style and these are the plates that go with it? That was the first things that came to my mind when I read it. Still weird though..
That would work. I'm impressed.
If the sentence was going to be revised, I would suggest replacing "tallrikar" with something else....maybe "wings" or "legs" like on an animal. I think we all learned more by this long discussion, though.
Hej Jeanbean i think it is better to change...talrikar ...with... tallrik... or any other single object
In the given example: "Det är dess tallrikar" the meaning of "dess" is "its". "Dess" has a more widely meaning though. Let me give you an example: "Dess mer du arbeter, dess rikare blir du" can also means "Ju mer du arbetar, desto rikare blir du" (eng: the more you work, the richer you get). The best translation for "dess" would be "the" even though there's no synonym for this word in english. "Dess" is though a word very few are using in real life. I also have to add that my language is norwegian and not swedish.
In Swedish, it’s much more common to use ju…desto or ju…ju than the variations with dess, even though they exist. The primary meaning of dess is still ’its’. It’s a word that’s more common in the written language but still exists in the spoken language and I imagine it’s used more in Swedish than in Norwegian that often uses dets or some garpe-construction instead.
Thanks for the orientation! In nynorsk we have "desse" (bokmål: disse) which means "these".
i have a rather academic question. ju...desto and ju..ju sound familiar, in german there are je...desto/umso/je although the combination je...je sounds wrong to me and according to a well known grammar wise guy it is old fashioned. is it the same with ju...ju in swedish and ju...desto is more common nowadays?
I think that "ju...desto" is the correct one and that "ju...ju" is more colloquial.
This phrase 'it is its plates' does not make sense. This is not proper English, it means nothing!
Q: "What is that package in the kitchen" A: "it is its plates". This could mean the plates that belong to the kitchen are the package. They're bundled to make a package. Or Q: " What is the cause of all that noise in the kitchen?" A: "It is its plates". The cause of the kitchen noise is the plates that belong to that kitchen; collectively, they are the cause. Those plates are its worst aspect. Its plates are a nuisance. However, the version of this exercise that I actually received is multiple choice and the answer is "Those are its plates" which is easier to imagine used than "it is its plates", even if both versions are possible translations.
What's the difference between those and these? I'm kind of confused.. in both English and Swedish :( I thought I knew my English grammar :( Do you always refer to near objects by using these (here)?
'These' is the plural form of 'this', and 'those' is the plural form of 'that' In Swedish, 'this' is 'den här' or 'det här' and 'these' is 'de här'. 'That' is den där' or 'det där' and 'those' is 'de där'. There is also a literary form 'denna/detta' for this/that and 'dessa' for 'these/those'. (Following this literary form, the indefinite, not the definite, form of the noun is used.) Finally, 'den/det' and 'de' can sometimes be used to mean 'that' instead of 'the'.
Some dictionaries claim that detta corresponds to both this and that, maybe because it's mainly used in the kind of context where either works in English, because that's what very abstract contexts tend to be like. In this course however, detta/denna/dessa are only allowed to be this and these. This corresponds better to how detta is used in the parts of the country where detta is used in informal speech.
these/this are used to refer to objects in close proximity - able to be touched. Those/that are used to refer to things out of reach.
Yes. its is for inanimate things, as is dess.
You would say "The study talked about pollution and its effects on global warming". Pollution is not a person. For the same reason, you would use dess to translate my example. Both English and Swedish use different pronouns for inanimate things than for males/females.
I think it's a question of singular vs. plural rather than animate vs. inanimate. English does use 'their' for inanimate in the plural: e.g., 'pollution and industrialization and their effects ...'
its = dess their = deras
That is why "their" is not accepted in the Duolingo sentence being discussed here, I believe.
Thanks for improving my answer. I might have been barking up the wrong tree.
I think there's a good case for sometimes translating between dess and their. In English, it's so common to refer to certain inanimate entities with they and their. We can personalize it, if the entity consists of people. For example, "Microsoft put out its newest release." and "Microsoft put out their newest release." would both be common. This might be what led to the question we are responding to about this exercise. In our exercise, we don't know the context and I would generally want to say dess should only be its but, if we knew it referred to a library run by people, we might want to allow translating to their.
I would never say, "Those are it's plates" but rather, "Those are their plates."
Like if someone asks me what google does I would never say, "It does search, mobile operating systems, etc." but instead, "They do search, mobile operating systems, etc."
Some speakers do that, but you can't always use their. Do you call a light-pole "they"? No, you do not. Most inanimate objects are treated as such. We use different pronouns with inanimate objects.
The exercise asks you to translate the pronoun dess and we don't know what dess is referring to. We do know it's not plural like your reference to Google (that would use deras). We also know it is not referring to a male or female (that would use hans or hennes). It's singular inanimate, like a tree, and should probably be translated as such.
Q: "What are those things hanging on the tree?" A: "Those are its plates".
Also, there's a typo in your question. That its shouldn't have an apostrophe.
But the example used is one where "their" would be used in English.
I understand what you are saying, but the example sentences do not communicate the concept it's trying to teach in English. It is constructed in an unnatural way for English speakers.
As for your example question, "What are those things hanging on the tree?". An English speaker would reply, "Those are plates" or simply, "Plates".
The exercise does not specify. You don't know if the context could allow you to use "their". Even if it did, you don't have to. Not everyone refers to an inanimate restaurant as if it was people. The restaurant has a roof. That is its roof. The restaurant has received all new plates. Its plates are new. What are all the boxes out back? Those are its old plates. So, when translating dess, "its" can work in any context, but "their" is only possible in some contexts.
If you can't do silly, or your imagination fails to think of a scenario where we could indicate inanimate possession of plates or one that uses a genitive when referring to a tree, then read the example I gave earlier using "pollution". Pollution is an abstract inanimate thing, but it is able to possess without referring to it as people. In that comment you will see what dess is for and why we translate it to its.
If a Swedish speaker wants to treat an inanimate restaurant as people, as you do, they could instead use deras which does translate to their. "Jag kommer att gå till restaurangen och slå sönder deras tallrikar!".
I guess my point is that in English it is uncommon for a person to talk about a restaurant in its inanimate form. It sounds unnatural and is not helping to convey the concept you think it does.
Thank you for the extra examples though. I do understand better now. I just disagree with the sentence in the program.
This is wrong. What does it mean (its)? Never inEnglish com like this? The plates belong to who?! But their plates belong to them.
its is one of the top 100 most used English words in the entire language. It means "belonging to it". An example might be: "The vine grows at its own pace, casting its own shadow, and after its roots are strong, we harvest its fruit."
if the plates belongs to "it"... wouldn't "it's it's plates" be correct? idk... my english is quite horrid. not sure i remember i've ever put the word "its" to use. oh well! just a thought~
In English, it's is only used as a contraction of it is, but the possessive pronoun for it is spelled its.
Sorry, if I missed it and it was discussed previously, but why is "That are its plates" wrong and "That is its plates" right in this exercise?
You can't use singular that with plural are, in English. Try: "It is", or "They are". If you want to include extra information about proximity which is not in this exercise you would use "That is" or "Those are".
"Those are its dishes" should also be accepted.
"Dishes" and "plates" can be synonymous.
"Dishes" can also mean all the stuff you use to eat - plates, knives, forks, spoons, cups, glasses - "Do the dishes" or "Wash the dishes." "Dishes" can also mean a significant food item, such as "Lasagna is a favorite dish of mine."
But "dishes" and "plates" are used interchangeably in many instances.
If someone asks, "Where do you keep your dishes?" they are not talking about forks, knives, or glasses.
(I submitted it, so maybe it will be accepted in the future.)
Holy cow. I am a level sixteen in swedish and i went back to get some gold skills after the new update and i have never seen the word dess in my learning. I just laughed out loud because I have never known how to say its.
Sigrid, is it the translation into English that you find strange, or is it the original Swedish that you find strange?
In my opinion, the English we are given is a reasonable translation of the Swedish we are given.
As for the original Swedish sentence -- yes, it is unusual, but see the other comments on this page as to whether it is reasonable or not.
It is the English, which sounds strange to me. However - I am not a native speaker. Thanks for your answer.
I am a native English speaker, and it does sound strange. It's not a sentence I can imagine saying, even in the situations that people have brought up on this thread. I wonder if it sounds strange in Swedish, too.
If the original Swedish is strange, and the translation is a good/valid one, then the English too will sound strange.
In other words, one has to distinguish between (1) the source language, (2) the target language, (3) the translation.
If the sentence in the target language is odd, it may be because the translation is bad, or because the original source language sentence is odd.
In the case here, I don't think anyone (except maybe Sigrid?) is saying that the translation here is a bad one.
Sorry, I did not want to raise such a great discussion. I don´t know if the Swedish sentence is strange. I´m just learning, and I have to say: I am doing that with great joy. The English translation sounds strange to me. Maybe it would be easier for me, if Duolingo would have a Swedish-German-Course.
Sigrid, no need to apologize. The discussion is all part of the fun of using DuoLingo.
I agree with you, the Swedish course here is very well done.
Looking at all of the comments, with which I agree, why hasn`t someone revised this question so that it conforms with normal speach?
It's already been revised at least once, which might have made half of the comments a bit obsolete. However, it was actually fine before the revision and it's still fine after the revision. The speech (not speach) in these exercises mostly only seems abnormal to people because of the lack of context. We rely on context more than we think. Nobody would have batted an eye if they heard these phrases in conversation on the street. So, the only way to make the exercises more "normal" would be to redo the course to give paragraphs (and pictures) rather than just short phrases with no context. and seriously, what else could you possibly do to this exercise to make it better? They would have done it already if there was something. I think they gave up on developing new skill trees but the volunteers would have left this one out of the new one to spare themselves the complaints and maybe just not taught people dess at all. By the way, there are no paid Swedish course developers and I don't think it's productive to beat this dead horse any further after it's been covered so thoroughly on this page.
I think it's good that the sentence confused people. That sparked a lot of good discussion where quite a few of us were able to learn something more about the Swedish language. It's not a criticism of the DuoLingo developers. It's a frustration with not being able to understand and wanting to know for sure what is accurate.
Sometimes it's hard to know whether to overlook the awkward sentence as "it just doesn't translate easily to English," or report it as incorrect because the English translation really doesn't make sense at all or is grammatically incorrect.
But the discussion is good and doesn't necessarily mean the item needs to be changed by DuoLingo or completely explained by a developer.
I say, talk on, people. This is how we learn.