I wrote 'how many sheep see the child'. I know this has a very different meaning than the actual translation, but why is it wrong?
Because 'la infano' is the subject, not the object, and so does not have the accusative 'n'
.. Maybe I should relearn English before trying another language. I thought I was doing pretty good with it being my native tongue
English is my native language, and the different wording form of Esperanto threw me off on the translation to English. I had to really think what the translation is (this is a review question for me). So you're probably just fine English wise :)
Oh nice -- this is one of the good ones to teach you to be careful about the accusative.
If it means: How many sheep does the child see?, why isn't the esperanto "Kiom da ŝafojn vidas la infano?"
So how do I then know if it is "How many sheep does the child see" or "How many sheep see the child"?
If it was the latter, it would be "la infanon", if I'm not mistaken. My above post should perhaps say that the accusative is not used directly after da - it can be used later in the sentence.
That makes sense, thank you! English is not my first language, so this course is teaching me both esperanto and english ^^
Should "how many sheep can the child see" be correct?
So... 'da' may replace '-n'? In what circumstances would it be mandatory, optional and prohibited? I suppose it should always immediately preceed the object, correct? How would one say "how many sheep sees the child"?
It's not a matter of "da" replacing "-n". The accusative is marked with "-n", and any noun phrase headed with "da" is not going to be in the accusative, even if it's part of a larger noun phrase that is.
Mi donas al vi tason da teo. =
I give you a cup of tea.
Kiom da ŝafoj vidas la infano? =
How many sheep does the child see?
Kiom da ŝafoj vidas la infanon? =
How many sheep see the child?