Why isn't this "We are out of the toothpaste." Can someone explain please? Thanks!
Arnauti is correct. "We are out of the toothpaste." sounds very odd to my ears. (native English speaker). It would sound more natural to say "We are out of toothpaste."
Thank you both Jayway223 and jairapetyan for your input. I've added the option with "the" as approved. I can't think of a better main English translation that would give us "Tandkrämen är slut" back when translating into Swedish, so I'll leave that as is it.
The closest thing I can think of that uses a similar construct is "The toothpaste is out of stock." which would translate to "Tandkrämen är slut på lager."
I'm not a native English speaker, but saying just "The toothpaste is out" sounds weird to me. I don't think you would say "The toothpast has come to an end" either.
As for the difference between "Tandkrämen är slut" and "Vi har slut på tandkräm" I would say that the first phrase would be used if you either had an empty toothpaste tube or a have a stock available. So if you just took the last toothpaste (either from the tube) or the storage, then you would use "Tandkrämen är slut". You would also use that phrase if you still have the empty tube or the empty toothpaste shelf in the storage and were referring to the specific toothpaste that should be in the tube or on the shelf. You wouldn't use "Vi har slut på tandkräm." to say that a tube is empty. It is rather that there is no more toothpaste anywhere in the household.
"The toothpaste is gone" (as in 'used up') may be a fitting word for word translation. Personally, I would use 'out of stock' only for matters relaited to retail. I am no native speaker though, so I don't know if you would actually use this phrase in everyday speech.
You are very much welcome Arnauti. I'm always glad to help language learners in need when I can. :)
Somehow "We are out of the toothpaste" sounds odd to me, but I'm not an English native speaker so I hope we'll hear from someone who is.
In fact I'd probably translate "We are out of toothpaste" back into "Vi har slut på tandkräm", so maybe we didn't pick the best possible translation.
Arnauti, you are absolutely right. A native speaker would not put the article here. Of course, Maurice's version ought to be included as an "accepted" translation, for those users who "play it safe" and put in literal translations. (Though now that we don't lose hearts, a mistake is not painful). :)
Except I am a native speaker, and I would in certain cases, which is why I asked why it wasn't accepted. They're not a lot of cases, but they do exist.
As I understand, it is now accepted. Can you believe a year has passed? Time flies.
We have figured out that time flies. Now what will we do with that knowledge? Btw, some people hypothesize that time is not linear at all, if you find out more about that let me know. I will be waiting for you. ;)
Svensk fysiker Bodil Jönssons bok "tio tankar om tid" handlar om tiden om hur man använder den och varför den aldrig räcker till.
I was always taught that time is actually more like a ball of wibbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff. When the Doctor returns, I'll ask him to fill in more details.
Thorr, that sounds super interesting and fun! I just found and ordered it on Amazon. :) Thanks for sharing.
Time has always been an interesting topic for me. Especially the way we measure it, based on the rotation of our planet, and its navigation around our sun. As one moves out of the solar system and even galaxy, there seems to be a good argument that time does not exist. What then is eternity, and why are we here?
The reason is probably that with the Swedish construction, we previously had some toothpaste, which is known and therefore definite, but with the English construction, the toothpaste is just seen as a "mass" or "substance" that we are lacking. So in English, when the focus is on not having it, there's no specific toothpaste that we're missing, we're just missing "any" toothpaste, and therefore it's indefinite.
Edit: PS, if you saw how I'd prefer to translate the English sentence back into Swedish, it would be the same for us: Vi har slut på tandkräm. It would need to be indefinite for us too.
[I suggest] don't use "the", without special reason, when the toothpaste is the object:
. "We've run out of toothpaste!"
. "We're out of toothpaste."
Do use "the" when it's the subject:
. "The toothpaste ran out!
. "The toothpaste is gone." (works, but sounds like it might be lost or stolen)
Unless maybe you are being short / idiomatic / fun? You can try announcement-style:
. "Toothpaste's out!!"
Makes no sense, in English. over is used to conclude things that span time: the show is over or perhaps: Sadly, our toothpaste-having days are over.
i did the same "the toothpaste is over" and apparently was wrong answer. i agree with islsa on this. "over" should be accepted as correct answer.
When I lived in India and visited Nepal, I heard this [mis]usage of over, a couple times. In my home country (U.S.), I never hear that usage by a native speaker. I'd say it's wrong, and I would also guess you would be unable to find a single written work that demonstrates that usage, including dictionaries. I think the reason people are using it in this exercise is because it shows up in the hint. Duolingo hints show alternate translations of that specific word, but not necessarily the correct translation in the context of that specific sentence. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/over
I would say one of the following if I needed to buy more toothpaste: We are out of toothpaste. The toothpaste is empty. We have no toothpaste left. You definitely cannot use "over". As mentioned several times by others, "over" works with time spans. At some point we had "Festen är slut", meaning "The party is over." That works
I put "the toothpaste is empty" and got an incorrect answer. Is there another swedish phrase to say that it is empty rather than "gone"?
When you finish drinking a glass of water, you might say the water is gone or the glass is empty but you are less likely to say the water is empty. It wouldn't make any sense except that people will know you actually mean the [glass of] water is empty. Swedish has a similar shorthand. Perhaps you could think of a tube of toothpaste in the same way. The tube is empty, the toothpaste is gone, and if you say the toothpaste is empty it only makes sense because you are using it as short-hand for [the tube of] toothpaste is empty. I'm not sure if it would be better for them to accept the short-hand English translation for this one because I think it would mislead learners. Empty and gone are different words, after all. Also, I don't think the Swedish has a similar shorthand for this one, the way it does for some other things.
Since a lot of people asked the same thing, I'll just reply here and hope everybody sees it. :)
I've added "I am out of", "I have run out of", and a few similar variations now. Obviously, English lacks a direct equivalent to the Swedish phrase, so there has to be some leeway in translation. Technically, this could mean any person - but I think e.g. "they have run out of" is stretching it a bit. Accepting both "we" and "I" seems like a decent compromise.
In the Swedish, are we not expressing the situation that the tube of toothpaste (a particular one) is used up? We may very well have a new tube in the cabinet. So, while "we are out of toothpaste" may be natural-sounding, it is not a faithful translation. A more straightforward translation can work and would be better -- "The toothpaste is out | finished | used up."
I knew this as it popped up. I thought Duolingo had a mistake. I wish Duolingo would be more literal as English is so similar therefore it's easy to accept and understand the literal translation
The reason we didn't choose one of these as the main translation is that English native speakers can't agree among themselves about which one to use. It's all too regional: what some of them like sounds weird to others.
The other translations are accepted answers though.
I feel like a more literal translation could be "the toothpaste is finished", perhaps. EDIT: I've come across this again and found that it's an allowed translation. I might still argue that it is a better translation than "we are out of toothpaste", though.
English lacks a good, direct, idiomatic translation, so we need to change the phrase into something that's actually idiomatic in English.
I don't understand why 'We have run out of toothpaste' is incorrect. To me it means the same as 'We are out of toothpaste'. Could someone please explain? Thanks.
I've added that. I don't think it's a great translation, but to be honest, there is no great equivalent.
I translated it to literally the toothpaste is finished but this was marked as incorrect.