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  5. "Barnet spiser all maten sin."

"Barnet spiser all maten sin."

Translation:The child is eating all her food.

June 4, 2015

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RahmiLale

There is no gender specified in the sentence! But the the correct solutions listed indicate otherwise: "The child eats all her food" and "The child is eating all her food."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

"His food" is accepted too, but I wrote "its food" which was rejected. I'll report it and we'll see what happens :).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OsoGegenHest

That should definitely be accepted. Traditionally in English (as in all Germanic languages), one uses the neuter "its" with nouns like "child". Nowadays, there's a tendency to either go with the sex of the child, or use a gender-neutral "their", but the traditionally correct form should at least be permitted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Candidandelion

I would never refer to a person (adult or child) as 'it' unless they actually asked me to. I think it is exceptionally rude and would always use 'they/them/their' if the gender is unknown.

People who claim that it's wrong to use this as a singular pronoun probably use it all the time without noticing. For example, if I said "Someone from the office called for you," I don't think anyone would, in real life, respond with "What did he or she say?" rather than "What did they say?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 186

What gender are you referring to?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimTroup

Would "The child is eating all their food." be acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

No, "sin" refers back to the child. "Barna spiser all maten sin" would be "The children are eating all their food" though. (I am Swedish, but it works the same way in both langauges, so I am almost sure that I am right :).)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimTroup

I could be using English wrongly my whole life but I would certainly use "their" when referencing either a single child or multiple children...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

Sorry, I had no idea. Is this "using their for singular" thing special for nouns like child when you don't know if it is male or female?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kokiri85

Some people say it's bad grammar, but plenty of people use it. For when you don't know the gender, or it's meant to be unspecified, and these days as a pronoun for people who identify as non-binary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philosowater

Yeah, technically it might be grammatically incorrect, but it has a long history of use, dating back many centuries. A lot of people object to the use of gender neutral they, but almost everyone uses in such sentences as "if anyone calls, tell them I'm not home." And as kokiri85 mentioned some people, myself included, use they/them/their in reference to themselves. Someone reference me would say something like "i really like their shirt"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

I see, that's interesting!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lewhan

Any specific reason why it's "all maten" here and not "alle maten"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deliciae
Mod
  • 487

Because it's used in the uncountable sense, just as in the English sentence.

"Alle" goes with plurals.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lewhan

Takk! That makes sense. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtyomBondartsov

It is still not quite clear to me. Shouldn't it be 'den alle maten sin' then according to the rules described in 'Combining possessive pronouns with adjectives'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deliciae
Mod
  • 487

You've understood it correctly, but "all" is a determiner and not an adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtyomBondartsov

Thanks a lot, now it is clear!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Candidandelion

If it said 'hennes' it would be referring to someone else's food rather than the child's own food.

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