Just pragmatically, we tend to refer to subway/tube/metro systems with the definite article "the" because the normal context is for there to be only one such system nearby, e.g. one system in any given city. Same reason we say "at the airport" instead of "at an airport".
it sounds like you're down a hole in the ground (or a particular sandwich shop). "The subway" is the whole metro system. you can ride "on"it as it has carriages, you go on the metro, not "in" it in Britain. you can go down into it. if you had no phone signal and were telling some one, you could say," I can't hear you because I'm in a subway". A subway is an underground tunnel connecting two sides of the street for pedestrians.
No you can't ride a subway, you could ride a bike, but not subway, sorry for popping your bubble and definitely this sentence is not in past tense so there is no way and 'we're' is reffered for more then one person and this task is saying that there is only one person in a subway
Is в specifically and only translated as in? Because where I'm from (Central Valley of California) the only vehicle I can think of right now that we would say we're "in" is a car. Almost all other forms of transportation we use "on" with the sense/meaning of "in".
For example, "I'm on the bus" or "I'm on the train" or "I'm on the plane" or "I'm on the boat". But always "I'm in the car". Oh, another vehicle we'd use "in" with would be a helicopter ("I'm in a helicopter"). Other than those two though, I can't think of any other vehicle that we would use "in" with.
No no, you misunderstand. I don't have a problem with в being the preposition used (as opposed to some other Russian preposition usually translated to those English prepositions that I listed), I just wanted to know how в should be translated to English. With that in mind, of course I'm thinking in English; I want to know how to properly translate the Russian to English, not the other way around.
It seems like the answer to my question is "whatever makes the most sense in English" but I'd like to get more concrete confirmation from someone who actually speaks the language.
I'm not sure if this is what your question is pointing to, but since the subway in many cities is underground, sometimes people say "I am in the metro" meaning they are in the underground station, for example, waiting on the platform. If I were actually sitting on the subway train, I might say "I am on the train" or "I am in the subway car".
I'm slightly amused to come across this observation (which by the way is something I always try to do when learning a new language, try to think in that language) after getting an answer marked wrong because I followed the Russian structure of "there is no article". :-)
this is a tough one, preposition usage in Russian. to simplify things, think about it as в is for closed spaces (bus, car, subway, buildings...). for example, if you ride a horse or a bike, you'll use на (on). Yes, fellow russian speakers, I know all you might say, but again, let's simplify for a while)
The question isn't about the Russian preposition though, and in English the idea expressed by "в метро" can be translated as "at the metro" just as readily as "in the metro".
Just the same as it doesn't matter whether in Russian we say "по-русски" or "на русском" - it's still correct English to say "in Russian".
You're right and thanks for the informative reply. I suppose what I was getting at is that when one uses "в", while it can be equivalent to "in, at, or on" colloquially it will typically express a location actually within something. Using "на" on the other hand could express a location as actually being on top of something.
Reviewing the notes for my past lessons (but obviously well ahead of this lesson), I noticed this useful explanation:
Unlike English (“at/in school”), in Russian each "place" is associated with just one preposition. The rough overall rule is: use “в”(in, at) when talking about buildings and places with certain boundaries and use “на” (on, at) when talking about open spaces or events:
- в до́ме (at home), в шко́ле (at school), в ко́мнате (in the room), в теа́тре (in the theater), в кино́ (at the cinema), в университе́те (at the university)
- на ули́це (in the street), на пло́щади (at the square), на конце́рте (at the concert), на уро́ке (at the lesson), на кора́бле (on a ship)
When you mean physically being inside/on top of some object, there is little* ambiguity.
*This confused me until I realized it was probably supposed to say "there is a little ambiguity".
What you're saying is correct, yes. However, this is specifically the distinction I am talking about:
Учебник в столе - The textbook is in the desk. Учебник на столе - The textbook is on the desk.
It is much less ambiguous when trying to describe actual location of an item for example. But yes, this does translate to what you are saying. Usually you use в when you're someplace inside and на when outside or a more "conceptual" like a country.