You have difference between these meanings: Это собака -> This is a dog (russian lanugage don't use verb to be) Этот мужчина читает. -> This man is reading.
The same thing happens in the sentence above.
If I understand right your answer, Это is "this" as a pronoun, while Этот is "this" as an adjective. Am I wrong?
@Britthops: no, it's different.
@craaash80: Это собака; Это муж; Это окно - gender doesn't matter, it is always это (this is dog, this is man, this is window)
On the other hand you have Эта собака здесь (Тhis dog is here); Этот человек здесь (This man is here) and so on.
See the third point here: http://www.russianforeveryone.com/Rufe/Lessons/Course1/Grammar/GramUnit6/GramUnit6_3.htm
I understood the difference between them, but what is the difference between человек and мужчина?
Этот is udes when you are reffering to a person, это is udlsed when you are reffering to a object.
I believe это is used more fore the context of "this is a boy" or "Is this a boy" And Этот is used as a demonstrative pronoun "that boy is..." or "this boy is..." Correct me if i am wrong.
Think of it this way: Это - "This is", "this", or "is this" Этот - "That is", "that", or "is that"
Ok So the main difference on which form to use is solely based on the gender of the noun? этот - Masculine эта - feminine это - Neuter эти - plural. Is this correct?
Forgive me, I'm utterly new to this language - should any question beginning with "Éto" or "Étot" like this be taken to mean "Is this ____" ?
Depending on intonation/emphasis Это/этот can be either "this is ..." or "is this ..?"
I think it's more like "это/этот" mean "this" and Russian leaves out many present tense uses of "be" (and doesn't use subject-verb inversion to indicate a question anyway), leaving intonation or a question mark to distinguish a question from a statement.
Given that "Этот мужчина здесь?" means "Is this man here?", how would I ask "This man here?" (not some other man)?
How do we know that "is" belongs in this sentence; how do we know it's "Is this man here," and not "This man here?"
Is there any way to distinguish between a statement and a question - or is it just due to emphasis when spoken, and a question mark when written?
It looks as if это собака could mean either "this is a dog", or "is this a dog?"
well, he asked what he asked. Вот is a bit different thing and the difference is more subtle.
вот is similar to 'here is' or 'here it is', like when you're handing someone something or drawing attention to something. здесь is 'here' as in the location of something.
You would use вот in this sentence: Here is your present
But здесь in this sentence: Your present is over here.
Well, it could well be that he meant vot and zdes (for which, see comments below), but maybe he was Horton, in which case, the question is a good one. Yesterday, I was told by a native speaker, "Vot ..." as she pointed to something far off in the corner of the room. Confused, I asked her why not tam, and she said if we are emphasizing the object or contrasting it, vot is/can be used.
Could someone please explain what ь does in здись? is it like an apostrophe?
First of all, it is written здесь. It's called the soft sign and softens the consonant in front of it. So you don't say zd'es, but zd'es' (softer). I advise you to take a look at russian phonetics because it's quite recommended to know phonetics rules as they are also important for grammar structures later on.
I advise you to take a look at this webpage. You can also listen to the different sounds (Part 1 and 2): http://learnrussian.rt.com/phonetics/
When you have this kind of words that have a "female ending" but are male by definition, how do you decline them? Like if it was a female noun?
Exactly. Words do not have feminine or masculine endings in Russian. It is just that modern declension classes align rather well with the grammatical gender.
If you are a learner it does not hurt to think of "stereotypically feminine" nouns like мама or кошка and "stereotypically masculine nouns" like стол or компьютер, even though дядя, Кеша, Никита, кенгуру, ноль, домишко are also masculine whereas боль, жизнь, Миссиссипи (the river) and Ивате (in Japan) are also feminine.
"guy" is informal. Here are the synonyms that the dictionary gives for guy: lad, fella, gent, chap, dude, joe, Joe Blow, Joe Schmo, hombre
Besides that guy =парень (which in this course is also used as boyfriend)
The issue isn't the word "guy." I typed "Is the man here?" And still got it wrong. I think the imprtant word here is "етот." Мужчина здес? = Is the man here. Етот мужчина здес? = Is this man here? I think this is the way this works.
What kind of statement "is this man here? " is, and how do we say " this man here?"
You are a police officer and you enter a crowded dance hall with restricted entrance. You take out a photo and ask the bouncer, "Is this man here?" (I don't know if this happens in real life, but on t.v., it happens rather frequently.
Vincent I grew up watching cold war spy movies in the 80's, этот exactly what I imagined... "Zees man...he iss here?"
I still can't understand it, and I'm having alot of difficulty with it, and its making me want to stop learning and give up!
I'm a new learner so take this with a grain of salt. I was surprised by this myself, but apparently, when the word represents a clearly masculine object (such as мужчина), then even if it looks like it should be feminine, the fact man is clearly masculine means it is a masculine noun. Much like мама is feminine and папа masculine.
I guess the advice is look at the meaning first and the grammatical structure second.
The English version of здесь is zdes' but it's impossible to write. Duo doesn't accept the ' after zdes' and it's always a problem. What to do?
Does anyone know russian and get tell me if the pronunciation the are givin is acceptable or accurate
If it's "this man" he is definitely here. If it's "that man" he is definitely there.
Why <мужчина> has a ж ? Because ч sounds like tch, so ж could be ommited ... ?
I want to say the same, is just a little mistake by the order of the words