"This horse is also in the park."
Translation:Эта лошадь тоже в парке.
I typed "эта лощадь", then thought about it and asked myself why a horse should be female, so I used это which was wrong. (Now I wonder if это/эта even distinguishes male/female or if it is some other case distinguishment.) I am very confused at the moment…
Edit: luckily, there is help: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11536858
So far лошадь was used for "horse" everywhere, but now I see конь for the first time. It made me smile because in Croatian we say "konj" (identical pronunciation to конь).
But what is the difference? Is лошадь a female horse (mare) since it always seems to come with эта? On the other hand конь had этот next to it, suggesting it's male (stallion). Is this true?
OK then, I'll try to explain :).
Конь is the most ancient and the most common word. Лошадь appeared quite later and used to mean "a not-so-good horse". That's why you'll generally hear конь when speaking about knights and other riders, and лошадь when speaking about plows, teams of horses and so on. Note though that both of them do not specify the gender of the horse. Yes, конь is grammatically male, and лошадь is grammatically female, but they do not mean a particular gender. This might be so, but only in colloquial speech of urban people :).
To design the genders of horses, you have:
- Жеребец for a stallion
- Кобыла for a mare
- Мерин for a gelding
- Жеребёнок for a foal (or a colt)
See also here (in Russian).
I wonder if the explanation you gave and the one I found are reconciliable: http://thedifference.ru/chem-otlichaetsya-kon-ot-loshadi/
They are not correct stating that конь is a colloquial term. As I said before, there are contexts where neither лошадь nor жеребец or кобыла are acceptable: боевой конь, рыцарский конь, as well as in some proverbs. Besides that you have some words with this stem like конюшня (a stable), конюх (a groom or a stableman), конюший (an equerry), конница (cavalry) and конник (cavalryman).
First, look what a grammatical case is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case – basically different contexts will make the noun in Russian to take different forms (like in English, only more: HE is there → I look at HIM).
Then take a look at the very right top corner of this page: https://ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BF%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BA#.D0.A0.D1.83.D1.81.D1.81.D0.BA.D0.B8.D0.B9
After the preposition в you have to use a form that is called prepositional/locative, market there as Пр.
You probably mean the Prepositional ending. Am I right?
When you use в/на with a noun to say where something is or where something happens the nouns gets changed into its Locative (a.k.a. Prepositional) form. Nouns of most types get an -е ending. Feminine nouns ending in -ь as well as nouns ending in -ия, -ие, -ий get an -и instead. Имя, время also get it (имени, времени).
- школа ——> в школе (in/at school)
- семья ——> в семье
- стол ——> на столе (on a table), в столе (inside one of its drawers)
- яйцо ——> в яйце (in an egg)
- кровать ——> на/в кровати
- лошадь ——> на лошади
- конь ——> на коне (конь is a masculine noun!)
- история ——> в истории (in history)
- лекция ——> на лекции(at a lecture)
- здание ——> в здании (in a building)
Now, in case you wondered what a case is. The form you see in the dictionary is, generally speaking, used when the noun is a grammatical subject of the sentence. A different role requires a different form; prepositions also have their form requirements.
These forms are called cases. Russian system has six of them. English sort of distinguishes between the subject and everything else—but only for pronouns (I/he/she vs. me/him/her)—and also has a possessive form for pronouns (my) and nouns (teacher's). These forms could theoretically have been assigned numbers but in reality they are usually referred by their conventional "names".
The Prepositional case is not the most common one—the Genitive probably is—but its endings are simple (only two options) and its uses are few and focused. It is also the only case that is never used without a preposition (hence the name). Four prepositions use it: в, на, о (об, обо), при.
- and по in a few bookish set expressions.
- by contrast, the Genitive is triggered by over two dozen prepositions and has got numerous other uses. It is a very useful case but you will not master all of it at once.
It's far more complicate than that. With most closed spaces you use В, indeed: в доме, в школе, в музее, в коробке, but also в лесу (in the forest/wood), в саду (in the garden), в парке (in the park). But: на концерте (at a concert), на острове (on an island), на совещании (at a work meeting). Also: ехать в поезде (to travel, i.e., to be sitting in a train) and ехать на поезде (to travel by train). for instance, you can say: Я еду в Берлин на поезде (I travel/am traveling to Berlin by train) and Я еду в поезде, буду в Берлине через полчаса (I'm in the train, will be coming to Berlin in half an hour). You have В with cities, towns, villages and countries, but you may say на Кипре (in Cyprus, since it's an island, — I prefer to say В республике Кипр, though, it's an extremely tough political topic). but you have на with planets: на Земле, на Марсе, на Венере (on Earth, Mars, Venus). So yes, generally In из В, On is На, but the matter is far far more complicated than that. Use В with countries and closed spaces, but do not mix на Земле (on Earth, or on the ground, if with a lowercase з) and в земле (basically, in the grave).