"Guttenes smørbrød"

Translation:The boys' sandwiches

June 3, 2015



There is a mistake here. "Guttenes smørbrød" should have an apostrophe in English. The choice is "The girls sandwiches" when it should be "The girls' sandwiches". You're missing the plural possessive apostrophe in English. It is essential in English.

November 29, 2015

  • 161

Was this a multiple choice task, or a regular translation task?

The apostrophe is present on our end, but I've seen several reports like yours, so there seems to be some kind of bug affecting apostrophes at the end of words. However, I haven't been able to replicate it when I've tried, so I'm wondering under which circumstances it happens.

December 28, 2015


I wrote "The boys' sandwiches", It then came back and said "You're almost correct (The boys sandwiches). Another correct example: "The boys' sandwiches."

Hopefully that makes sense.

June 10, 2016


Yep, same problem here. Did it with the girls' version as well.

June 17, 2016


Same for me (still) and the problem was also in the previous NO->EN translation task "Jentenes epler" (posted a link of screenshot there)

February 22, 2017


I saw no apostrophe on this as a word selection task. I figured what it meant as forgetting the apostrophe is a mistake even many native English speakers make.

February 16, 2016


I have just had the exact same problem twice in a row now, first with the girls' apples and now with the boys' sandwiches. Answers with apostrophes are being counted as containing typos, even though they are also listed below with the apostrophes as "another correct solution".

July 14, 2016

  • 161

Thank you. It's a known issue, so we're just waiting for a fix at this point.

July 14, 2016


Do you know if anyone has tried adding a backslash before the apostrophe and yielded a positive result?

December 28, 2016


[Oct. 7, 2017] Tried adding the backslash today and I'm amused that it actually works. The "almost correct" error didn't appear. I guess someone forgot to escape single quotes :P

EDIT: It worked for one item, but not for all the others sigh. My answers got marked as wrong when adding the backslash. Strange enough, the correct answers for those items showed the apostrophe.

October 7, 2017

  • 161

Not that I'm aware of, but since it's only an issue when the apostrophe is placed at the end of a word, do you expect it to make a difference?

January 20, 2017


Mutliple coices of words at the bottom of the screen. During a strength building session.

November 6, 2017


4.19.18 still a problem with missing apostrophes at end of words. Doing a strength-building exercise and nearly every one missing.

April 20, 2018


For me it just worked correct, but maybe it is just flaky and sometimes works and sometimes not. :-/

May 18, 2018


Still there. Regular translation task.

May 29, 2017


I encountered it during the strengthening of words exercise for possessives

February 2, 2018


Multiple choice and no apostrophe choice here. 3.17.18

March 17, 2018


Same, 10.26.18

October 28, 2018


Hei. It was a multiple choice task for me

October 20, 2018


This happened to me as well on a multiple choice answer (picking correct words from a list) where the only option was boys without the apostrophe

December 20, 2018


Exactly the same happened to me today! When you type "The boys sandwiches" the system accepts it without any correction for the missing apostrophe.

January 30, 2019


*I meant "boys'". Grrr. Sorry, it was "girls' in my sentence.

November 29, 2015


I don't quite understand why this could mean either plural "sandwiches" or singular "sandwich" (I guess context tells me it's sandwiches as multiple boys rarely posses one sandwich, but would like to know the rule here)

June 3, 2015

  • 209

The context is always going to tell you this. Sandwich is the same in singular and plural:

Et smørbrød - smørdbrødet - smørbrød - smørbrødene

"Dine smørbrød" vs "Ditt smørbrød"

"Gode smørbrød" vs "Et godt smørbrød".

This sentence is ambiguous however, so it could translate to 'sandwiches' and 'sandwich'. A way to distinguish these could be to write "Smørbrødene til guttene" vs "Smørbrødet til guttene", but context should leave out this ambiguity.

June 3, 2015


great info, cheers

June 3, 2015

  • 209

Sorry I made a small mistake regarding how to remove ambiguity from the sentence. I've made a edit that should be better and more common in Bokmål.

June 4, 2015

  • 161

If you have issues with the plural possessive being graded incorrectly in this sentence, or are being shown a possessive without the required apostrophe as a recommended answer, please take a screenshot and make a thread about it in the Troubleshooting forum and/or report it as a bug.

Remember to make it clear that this is a recurring issue affecting all plural possessives, and not just a case of a missing accepted translation.

We made the developers aware of this issue over a year ago, but new features keep getting priority over bug fixes. Perhaps a little more user attention in channels they actually read might do the trick.

May 22, 2017


never knew there was a difference between boys, boy's or boys' .... I'm learning Norwegian and English at the same time i Guess....

June 1, 2016


I think that English accepted the Germanic/Nordic possessive style, but, at the same time developed the Latin (Romance) based plural form with the "s" suffix, so, to make the distinction between the two, an apostrophe (') was added to indicate the possessive form of the noun. This is my guess, anyway :).

April 3, 2017


It's 2018 and the apostrophe bug is still happening

January 4, 2018

[deactivated user]

    It seems to be something that happens across Duolingo. I have come across it in the Dutch and German courses, and now here in Norwegian. I have reported it as a bug, but as many have noted, the problem still exists. It seems strange that we have to write incorrect English in order to avoid getting a message saying that there is a "typo", when there is not. The strange thing is that the "Correct solution" given at the top of this comments page does have the apostrophe.

    March 21, 2018


    The problem still exists. I'm surprised it is taking this long to fix.

    I would guess it's the programmers' issue.

    Do you see what I did there? It is an issue that belongs to the programmers, thus, the apostrophe after the S is required. Showing it as a mistake or "another correct choice" is actually incorrect.

    June 25, 2017


    hahaha that's true. well yes, the problem still exists. i hate that you can't report it - tbh, why can you report a norwegian issue? us here are learning norwegian - we can fix the english issues!

    August 17, 2017


    The apostrophe in "boys'" is still not visible if the word has to be chosen from a set of words. There's only "boys" to choose.

    February 23, 2019


    Yes, apostrophe bug is still there as of March 2019.

    March 11, 2019


    Does the owner always have to be definite? Can we say "(some) dog's apple" or just "the dog's apple"?

    August 12, 2015


    No, but the ending on the word shows that Guttenes is definite and plural.

    March 12, 2016


    How would I say "The boys' buttered bread?", meaning bread with butter on it that belongs to the boys? I actually thought that's what this was, as most people in my area seem to use 'sandwich' or 'smørbrød med pålegg'. Smørbrød seems to be used with something.... 'smørbrød med reker', 'smørbrød med skinke', etc.

    Also, smørbrød is almost always open-faced, not technically sandwiches. I think I would have translated this one incorrectly, even if I were more fluent.

    July 13, 2016


    smørbrød. it is the same thing. and yes, open face. they are still considered sandwiches

    February 22, 2018


    I think the problem could be that the code you have entered for the apostrophe is different from the one used on an English keyboard.

    September 8, 2016


    Can someone explain why this is not written "Guttenes smorbrodene" since "the boys'" is both plural and definite or am I wrong about that? (note: on my keyboard I can't type slashed o's)

    May 1, 2017


    Because the definite article goes with the boys, not the sandwiches. You would use smørbrødene if you wanted to say something like those sandwiches are the boys'. De smørbrødene er guttenes.

    p.s. you can use the 'character map' in windows or ascii code to type ø on any computer.

    May 1, 2017


    So this is kind of a distinction-without-a-difference situation. I mean, if the stress is on the boys then you can leave the definite article out of smørbrød but if the stress is more on saying something about the sandwiches, "those sandwiches," then they both take the definite article?

    Character Map, that works! Tusen takk. Can't use ASCII on my computer b/c I don't have a NumLock key and my peripheral keypad doesn't either.

    May 8, 2017


    Just thought I'd revive this discussion (as the problem is still there). When translating possessive plurals into English, the website doesn't like the (correct) apostrophe after the word: while it doesn't mark it wrong (it simply says that there's a typo) it is still quite annoying (especially as an English teacher!!) It happens on all kinds of exercises, mainly translations into English where you have to type out the full answer.

    July 30, 2017


    I understand it's probably contextually obvious that there is more than 1 sandwich. But how do i know grammatically that "smørbrød" is plural?

    October 25, 2017


    Unfortunately, you don't. It's the same word, singular or plural, unless there is a definite article (the, those, etc.)

    October 30, 2017


    Should be "the boy's"

    October 28, 2017


    It's plural possessive, so it should be: the boys'

    October 30, 2017

    [deactivated user]

      I agree. Does all this mean that there is no difference in Norwegian, if there was only one boy, between "The boy's sandwich" and "The boy's sandwiches" - one boy in both cases, but the number of sandwiches differs?

      May 30, 2018


      Yes, as described in https://www.duolingo.com/skill/nb/Plurals/tips-and-notes there are cases where it is impossible to tell, without context or an accompanying adjective, whether a short word is an indefinite singular or plural.

      May 30, 2018


      The wordpad didn't offer sufficient options to construct "The boys' Sandwiches" or indeed "The sandwiches of the boys", nor any other valid construction that I can see - possibly this is still an outstanding issue.

      July 29, 2018


      Why 'The sandwich of the boys'? Where is 'the' article for smørbrød?

      September 22, 2018


      As a correction I get: The boys open-faced sandwich.

      September 24, 2018


      It's a long thread here, so just to make it clear to anyone who is wondering, that issue about the apostrophe after "The boys' sandwiches" is now fixed, so you do not receive an error of any sort. In fact it might now be helpful to cull those replies that refer to it as a problem.

      January 21, 2019
      Learn Norwegian (Bokmål) in just 5 minutes a day. For free.