Εσείς αλήθεια πως κοιμάστε το βράδυ;

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dukaine

Senior Member
English - American
Okay, in English, the literal translation is, I think, "You really/truly that you sleep the night", so, yeah, a little awkward. The πως is throwing me off a bit, I'm pretty sure the meaing is "Do you really/truly sleep at night?", but the wording is confusing me. Does πως function as a word to indicate the subjunctive, kind of like "is it that you really..."? Thanks!
 
  • Perseas

    Senior Member
    I think it should be "πώς" (= "how"). Then I would understand the sentence as "Frankly, how do you sleep at night?".
    :thumbsup:

    πως (without accent) means "ότι" (=that).
    πώς (with accent) means "how".

    Είναι αλήθεια πως κοιμάστε το βράδυ; (Is it true that you sleep at night?)
    Εσείς αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ; (Frankly/Really, how do you sleep at night?)
     
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    dukaine

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I think it should be "πώς" (= "how"). Then I would understand the sentence as "Frankly, how do you sleep at night?".
    Oh, I get it now. I'm still getting used to the fact that Greek sometimes puts the pronoun at the very beginning. Italian does this as well. In English it comes out as "You, really/frankly how do you..." so it's repetitive. So I was reading it as "You frankly/really how sleep..." rather than seeing the εσεἰς as an emphasis.

    Thanks!
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Εσείς αλήθεια πως κοιμάστε το βράδυ;

    Any context for this?

    It may be that the other person has confessed to having done something dreadful: Tell me, how can you sleep at nights? or I'd really like to know how you manage to sleep at night.
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    It may be that the other person has confessed to having done something dreadful
    Of course, the question of the post is possible if you try to discover a possible uneasiness after a confessed dreadful event, but it could also be asked in regard with the position of the body in bed while going to sleep, that is whether on the belly, on the back or on the side; by adding an introduction like e.g. Για πείτε μου, it could be a possible question of a medical doctor needing more information during the procedure of diagnosing the patient’s disorder, illness or sth.

    Anyway, the word αλήθεια (between two commas) here functions as an adverb (frankly, really, truly) and, given the relevant freedom of the word order, can be placed at the beginning as well, followed by a comma.
     
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    dukaine

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Any context for this?
    Anyway, the word αλήθεια (between two commas) here functions as an adverb (frankly, really, truly) and, given the relevant freedom of the word order, can be placed in the beginning as well, followed by a comma.
    That's really all I was trying to figure out was the word order, because there are no commas. In English, we might write something like, "You, really, how do you sleep at night?" The "you" at the beginning most likely wouldn't even be included, unless you're trying to catch the attention of someone you don't know. That's why I was confused. I couldn't tell where the breaks were so I couldn't figure out the meaning. It wouldn't matter whether it was talking about actual sleep or something someone did.
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The "you" at the beginning most likely wouldn't even be included
    The same applies in Greek, unless you want to stress and contradistinguish the pronoun-subject from the pronoun denoting another person.

    I was trying to figure out was the word order, because there are no commas
    The correct writing in Εσείς αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ; and in all sentences having an adverb in this place demands that the adverb be placed between two commas.
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    The correct writing in Εσείς αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ; and in all sentences having an adverb in this place demands that the adverb be placed between two commas.
    "Εσείς, αλήθεια, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" So this sentence without the commas would be wrong?

    What about the following variations?
    "Αλήθεια, εσείς, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    "Εσείς, αλήθεια, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" So this sentence without the commas would be wrong?

    What about the following variations?
    "Αλήθεια, εσείς, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    The rules about the comma in Greek are not so strict like in German, but yes, this is a case you need to put commas. However, the meaning for natives is not ambiguous without commas, and probably this is why there weren't commas in the original sentence.

    "Αλήθεια, εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Αλήθεια, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    "Εσείς, αλήθεια, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" So this sentence without the commas would be wrong?
    No, it wouldn’t. As you can see, I just talked about “the correct writing”, that is in a more carefully written text. Of course, there isn’t any ambiguity, if you omit the commas, as Perseas correctly noted. The commas are just the written marks which indicate a short pause of the voice, happening when speaking or reading aloud the text.

    Perhaps, it is worth elaborating on it somehow. Αλήθεια here is a sentence adverb (προτασιακό επίρρημα in Greek) and as such it refers to, and defines, the content of the whole sentence in which it occurs, that is the speaker truly wants to find out how they sleep. And the προτασιακό επίρρημα is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence, but often after one (or rarely more) word (s) as well. That is why, when at the beginning, it should be followed by a comma or, else, be placed between two commas, just for its role to be distinct. The same does not apply to other adverbs, e.g. “Δυστυχώς, ο γιατρός δεν ήρθε αμέσως”, where Δυστυχώς is a sentence adverb, whereas αμέσως is a non-sentence adverb. See the corresponding English sentence, where the adverbs play the same roles; “Unfortunately, the doctor didn't come immediatelyUnfortunately = sentence adverb, immediately = non-sentence adverb.

    What about the following variations?
    "Αλήθεια, εσείς, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;"
    "Αλήθεια, εσείς, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" :cross: "Αλήθεια, εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" :tick: Here, εσείς should not be followed by a comma, as normally the subject is not separated from its verb and viceversa. "Αλήθεια πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" :cross: "Αλήθεια, πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" :tick: A comma is needed here, because αλήθεια is a sentence-adverb. "Εσείς πώς κοιμάστε το βράδυ;" :tick: There is no sentence-adverb here, no need for a comma. Of course, all the above are just explanatory points regarding punctuation.
     
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