Translation:The girl's father gives them cups of coffee.
Why is "The father of the girl gives to them cups of coffee" marked wrong for having the word "to" in it?
It would be correct if you said "He gives cups of coffee to them" with the "to them" after the "cups of coffee" but otherwise it sounds totally weird in English. Also, saying "the father of the girl" might sound weird too unless you're emphasizing "the father"
Ow.. I thought that constructions like "the father of the girl" were used in everyday conversations in English. Aren't they?
Honestly, I think that's fine. It would sound a little odd ("the girl's father" is the more common way to say it) but no one would have difficulty understanding what you meant. "The father of the girl" is 100% grammatically correct even if it sounds a little strange to a native speaker. There's even an American movie called "Father of the bride".
Yes, but it's much more common to say "the girl's father" as native English speakers might find "the father of the girl" more of a mouthful.
Agreed. "The father of the girl" is definitely not the most common (or fastest) way to say it. But grammatically it's fine, and no one would have trouble understanding it.
But I can only speak for my dialect of English (standard American). There are many and very varied dialects of English, so things that may sound weird to me may sound much more normal to speakers of certain dialects.
I'm a native Portuguese speaker from Brazil. I only speak English as a second language ;-)
we usually say "the girl's father" making the girl possessive, so we don't have to spell out the whole phrase "the father of the girl". I mean, it is correct, but saying it like that sounds strange and unnecessarily long
Depends on the context, of course, as a different stress will change the word order.
But it's wrong indeed, you either say "The father of the girl gives them cups of coffee" or "The father of the girl gives cups of coffee to them".
The sentence proposed by Velosareon is indeed grammatically correct. It is an uncommon, even perhaps archaic construction, but it is correct.
The father of the girl as absolutely correct, and in some cases necessary. E.g. "The father of the girl with the striped pajamas." WOULD NOT be the same as "The girl's father father with the striped pajamas." As each sentence would describe a different person wearing the pajamas. I suppose one could say "The girl with striped pajamas' father.", but in my mind, that is the clunkier option.
See my blog post about this ... at this link.
Speaking of the sports teams in the neighbourhood:
The team of my neighbours (the neighbours FORM the team) - la teamo DA miaj najbaroj.
The team of my neighbours (the neighbours OWN the team) - la teamo DE miaj najbaroj.
What I want to know is why are there two different words for of here: da and de? Father OF the girl and cup OF coffee. Once again a weird exception?
This genitive prepositions are varied whether you say about relationship between things, or you say about quantity. It's described widely in the web version Tips to this lesson.
It's not an exception. They mean different things.
"al ili" is a prepositional phrase. Indirect and prepositional objects remain in the nominative case. Only direct objects receive the accusative -n ending.
Why is the girl singular, yet the cups are plural? Wouldn't it make sense for knabino to be plural? The father wouldn't give a cup to himself, so I'm confused as to the inconsistent pluralities.
The cups are not for the girl, nor for the father, but are for them. Other people who are with the girl's father.
From what we've learned about the flexibility of word order in Esperanto, "..donas tasojn da kafo al ili" should be fine too, I would think.
Yes, I wrote a blog post about it.
Can someone help me out with Da/de? I'm not sure what the difference is exactly...
"A GLASS OF WATER". If it's about water, shaped/limited/collected by the glass, it's "da". If it's about the glass, shaped/formed/owned by Mr. Water, then it's "de".
Until someone posts here why it's wrong, let's say that: Looking at such pairs x of y, if it's about the lAst, it's dA.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.
Da is for quantities.
in this case, the girl's father or the father's girl both correct... am i wrong?
You are wrong. The father is the subject of the sentence. If you use "the father's girl", that changes the subject to the girl.
my question was "la patro (da/de) la knabino ~". so i thought, both are correct... but the meaning will be different.
Only "de" is appropriate here.
You can say "la patro de la knabino" for "the girl's father" or you can say "la knabino de la patro" for "the father's girl". If that's what you mean then yes you're correct.
'la patro de la knabino ~' is okay. the meaning is 'the girl's father'. and can't i say 'la patro da la knabino' as 'the father's girl'?
No, you cannot say "la patro da la knabino" as "the father's girl" because "da" is mainly for quantities and units of measurement, and also because "patro de la knabino" is literally "father of the girl" or "girl's father". The order is specific and cannot be reversed.
Can someone tell me the difference between "de (la knabino)" and "da (kafo)"? In English, they're both "of", so when does one use each one in Esperanto?
This a common question so I wrote up a detailed answer here
I am problems deciphering the words when listening. the tasojn da kafo to me sounded like taso en da kafo (which makes no sense) despite continuous. can anybody give me some pointers to more easily tell the words apart.