"Я Анна, а это Том."

Translation:I am Anna and this is Tom.

November 4, 2015

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I've gathered that there's a few ways of saying "and" in Russian. Can someone please explain them? Thanks.


«И» is used to connect two things into a "list" or a combination (a cat and a dog, "I bought bread, and you, too, bought bread").

«И» is also used to append another sentence that "follows" from what is said before (It was bad, and I knew it).

"А" is used to juxtapose two things that are not the same.

  • Это мама, а это папа. = This is mom and that is dad.
  • Я ем гамбургер, а Мария ест суши. = I am eating a hamburger and Maria is eating sushi.
  • Она химик, а я нет. = She is a chemist and I am not.
  • Это гелий, а не неон. = This is helium, not neon.

Just like in the sentence this topic is about. It is also used in "and you?" questions. In colloquial speech questions often start with an "А", which makes them softer and more natural (sort of like "and, by the way.. Let me ask you another thing then..")


Thanks now I know how to order a Hamburger in Russian.


But when you're in russia you want to get борщ not that capitalist food thing


In Russia борщ eat you.


I have always thought "a" means more like "but". Thanks for that explanation - I did not understand why my translation was rejected but this clears it up.


it does mean but in a way, look at the sentences Shady_arc used as examples for "a" and notice that you can very easily replace "and" with "but", the thing is that you can't use "a" in Russian everywhere you would use but in English, it's somewhere between,


In Estonia we were taught in school, that "a" means "but", so it confused me too. I'm just guessing that estonians use the word "but" a little differently (more often) than english speakers...


In America years ago, И was "and" and А was "but". I'm taking this as a refresher course, and their pronunciation and changing "and" to "a" is a bit confusing.

  • 2522

To make it more concise:
In constructions like this "а"="whereas".
Duo shuns "whereas" for some reasons (too highbrow?) and replaces it by "and". So before you translate Duolingo's "and" as "и", ask yourself whether "whereas" would work in its place. If so, translate it to Russian as "а".


Very clear explanation! Спасибо большое!


One thing that's really bugging me is that you don't seem to use any equivalent of ¨is/are¨.I already knew cyrillic and my first language is Croatian so i can understand this quite well,but can you explain this? If i translated Eto mama literally it would translate into that/this mom,would it not?

Again,i can understand perfectly,but would probably make a mistake if i were to try speaking in Russian.


«Это мама» cannot mean anything other than "This is mom". This mom would be «эта мама».

Think of English using "-s" to make plurals but NO ending to make singulars. Languages, apparently, can have a contrast between empty space and the space been filled with something, if they wich so.

So you have the following:

  • Я был в Америке. = I was in America.
  • Я в Америке. = I am in America.
  • Я буду в Америке. = I will be in America / I am going to be in America.

Note how Russian switches to zero-verb in the present but English does not.


That's interesting,thank you for explaining,i was doing some research a while back and it seems Croatian and Russian declension among Slavic languages are one of the most similar.

-Ja(Ya) sam bio u Americi = I was in America ,bio can be ˝bil˝ in some dialects,it's astonishing how similar Russian is,despite the historical and geographical distance

-Ja sam u Americi = I am in America -Ja ću biti u Americi = I will be in America

Hope the Croatian translation helps clarify my issue,and if i got that right this is only the case in the present?


Yes, it only works this way in the present and only when you need a copula or a verb stating where something is (or did I forget something?)


How about Маша и Медведь?


What about «Маша и Медведь?» ☺ Remember, when combining two or more items into a "list" it works pretty much the same as in Englush, minus the Oxford comma:

  • Маша и Медведь»
  • Аня и Маша
  • В такси Маша, Вася и Аня.
  • Пётр, Василий, Екатерина, Владимир и Александр живут в Нью-Йорке.


This is excellent! Any chance this can be added to the notes for this section? Those are so helpful.


This contrasting 'a' seems more like 'but' in English in most cases...

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Not really. It's "whereas", not "but".


Merci Monsieur, thanks a lot.


Thank you! I did not know any of that! This was very helpful, as I was having a lot of trouble with this subject.


Best explanation..ever! Thank you


Thank you very much ! Спасибо друг !


Why isnt the course teaching the alphabet?


That's what I was wondering it doesn't exactly teach the alphabet it teaches more basic words than the alphabet.


Thank you thefaultinmyfart.

[deactivated user]

    I'm having trouble hearing the words - it sounds like "дом" to me, instead of "Том"...


    The voice-over here is far from perfect. I recommend to listen each word separately.


    It might depend on your native language. In any case, Russian "T" and "D" are pronounced close to your teeth, and the voices consonants are quite voiced, unlike English or (especially) German.


    This has been a bit of a conflicting thing in my limited experience. Some sources say Russian in general is pronounced fronted, even "against the teeth", which would make 'д' like the "th" in "this". But the Russian recordings I've heard, they don't actually speak like that. It's never that fronted.

    German is a decent comparison point in some ways, people say it's a "hard" language. It is, but not in the way that a difference between 't' and 'd' wasn't there like some say. And the most frequent stereotype English speakers have about German is that there's a buzzing "ZZZZZZ" everywhere -- a voiced consonant. :)

    Some, maybe a lot, of the trouble anyone may have is just because of the speech synth. It isn't perfect, just an approximation.


    I like Russian because my mother language is Spanish and some words sounds like our alphabet. Many of the letters also have an equivalent Still, just in case I make use of Forvo.com for some words.


    The beginning part sounded like, "Yanna" where the two words kinda meshed together, like in french, instead of it being pronounced distinctly from each other. Is this common in Russian, and is it similar to french's liaisons?


    «Я» ends in the same sound «Анна» starts from. They will always blend into a long /a/ unless you make a pause there (why would you want to?)


    Яна (Yana) is woman"s name too))


    I put Ana instead of Anna and mark me wrong. That is the same name, isn't it?


    The name is Анна.


    Ana is not the historic English spelling. It's mostly found in Spanish/Portuguese names as well as southern Slavonic names (Bulgarian, Serbian and etc...). Just stick with whatever is in the hints for the word.


    I don't look at the 'hints' because it just gives you the answer. Should I be able to tell from the audio that Anna has a double 'n'? It sounded the same as 'она' to me.

    [deactivated user]

      "I am Anna, this is Tom" should be a correct answer


      @salpaka - Those are two simple but different clauses, you need a conjunction ("and", "but", etc.) to make it a complete sentence in English.


      No you don't, this is a common way of speaking. On the previous exercise I was marked wrong for translating a, duo didn't want it.


      I thought the russian word for and is и (i)


      а is also often translated as and, since in English you wouldn't say "but this is Tom" normally.


      I feel I got another "false incorrect" with this one :) There was another almost identical task and on the forums a 15+ graded poster said that although 'i' is not the preferred form, it is NOT "incorrect" and CAN in fact be used instead of 'a'. As far as I understood it there, the difference is minute and has to do with a sort of distancing or "contrast". Kind of like two people standing together vs. referring to a car and a truck on the other side of the market square.

      It would be appreciated if a couple of things could be properly clarified. One being: Who or what are the authorities deciding what's wrong? And the other: what IS the actual logic behind accepting/rejecting the answers? Because of the languages structure, this one could also be expressed as "Ja Anna, eto Tom." without changing the semantics (correct me if I'm wrong there). Would that then be accepted, an answer completely disregarding the particle?


      I can y type it in English letters but it demands Russian ones. How do I do that?


      The course does accept transliterated Russian, so if you're not 100% sure why it's not accepting your answer you can post it for people to explain where the mistake is.

      Otherwise, if you're on a computer you can search for "online russian keyboard" and type in a box online and copy and paste; or download a keyboard layout you like (winrus has a few options); or enable the Russian keyboard through your computer options (you'll be stuck with one or two similar layouts).

      On mobile you might have to download an extra app to enable the keyboard, or you might be able to go to your device's language settings and enable Russian there.


      Grammar: Don't put , before and please. Choose one or the other.

      • 2522

      That's how I generally feel about serial (AKA Oxford) commas;-)


      So I need a Russian keyboard for Galaxy J7 Star, how can I get one for free?


      How many letters are there in Russian


      It looks like '' I Anna, this is Tom.''


      What's the difference in using a Я instead of a У. My mind tells me to use У which is obviously wrong.


      Я means I and you use the nominative form of the name. У (Анны) means either at someone's place, or "Anna has" and it puts the modified words into genitive case. They also don't sound the same at all. Я = Ya. У = "oo" (like in the word "boo". It does not sound like a U in English which has that glide in the front of the sound).


      I typed I am anna, and ths is tom. Maybe it doesn't want a comma.


      You are missing an "i" in "this" unless that's a fresh typo.


      Duolingo doesn't care about punctuation. You could put a comma between each word and it would still work.


      I faced this question again and typing "I am anna, and this is tom" another time did work


      I have never seen anyone write "this's" in my life.


      I can see you're just starting out - don't get frustrated, take your time and keep an open mind.

      DL's text-to-speech is ... alright at best, so I recommend checking out www.forvo.com if you ever have questions on how words are pronounced. When you get in to how words change, you might check out regular old Wiktionary - they have declension and conjugation charts there. If you're on the website (maybe it's on mobile, too), make sure to read the lesson introductions to get the background and grammar rules for the exercises you're about to do.

      Also don't be afraid to read the discussions page for an exercise if you have questions - A lot of the more common questions ("why does this end in -a and not -o?") have already been answered, so I recommend reading through what's already been posted first, but if you don't find the answer, just ask and people will answer!

      DuoLingo is a great resource to get your feet wet in the language but you'll probably want to also use traditional resources (a plain dictionary will go a long way, and there are specialized books like 501 Russian Verbs that also explain a lot). This will help you increase your vocabulary a lot (DL is rather limited in this respect).



      So... does "а" man "but" or "and"


      It means "and", but in English we sometimes can use 'but' or 'while' instead because that sounds/works better.

      а - used when contrasting two ideas. E.g., "I want to go to the beach, and he wants to go to the store." or "I want to go to the beach, while/but he wants to go to the store."

      и - used when supporting the same idea. It never means 'but'. E.g, 'I like apples and oranges.'



      I'm = I am , right?


      I wish for kyrillisk alphabet under the Box we Write text in. Thanks. Regards Unn


      The pronunciation provided here has "я Анна" sound to me like it's one word, as though it was spelled "яана". Am I hearing properly? If so, is that that the standard pronunciation? Would it be incorrect to pronounce it as two separate words?


      It incorrect pronounce, interval is need.


      I need help please. I seem to have pronounciation issues with the sentence "Я Анна, а это Том." How do I pronounce the part "Я Анна" correctly, the app always tells me that I do it wrong? Thanks for the help in advance.


      Please seperate the "ya" (I) and "anna" because it sounds like "And anna, this is tom"


      What was the difference between Это and Этот?


      Its really hard to learn the alphabet this way .. I really think that it needs some sorta place that ONLY teaches alphabets n all that stuff Just like when we were in the first grade!


      "i am annd and it is tom" - why is it wrong? "это = it"!


      @SilverDrakon - We normally don't use "it" when talking to a person, except in specific contexts (like, when responding to a knock at a door - "Who is it?")


      Sometimes there is "a" for "and", but sometimes there isn't one. Can someone explain to me when to specifically use "a"?


      Surely it should be этот and not это as its masculine


      @joshua_452 - Это is "this is X" or "it is X" (or... sometimes "that is X"). Этот is "This X".

      So if you said, "Этот Том", you'd be saying "This Tom" (as in "This Tom is from America but that Tom is from Canada").


      когда ставится and а когда but


      'I am Anna but this is Tom' should be accepted. My Russian girlfriend even says it's the only correct translation. И = and, а = but

      • 2522

      No! a = whereas, not but


      Thinking of а as "whereas" or "while" (in slightly old-fashioned sense of contrasting) is definitely the best way to go.


      I learn Russian at school and "а" should mean "but" and "and". The answer with "but" should be accepted!


      is "I'm Anna, this is Tom" wrong?


      May i ask how to type in russian words on alphabeth keyboard. Tq


      Could you give more detail on what is confusing you so I can help clarify?


      how do you say this is


      This is=это


      Thank you for your help... all app developers




      Yeah i don't get why "but" marked as incorrect.


      Would a native speaker use "but" here rather than "and"?


      In British English, I'm not sure, but I (an American) would use "and" here if it's an introduction. I would use "but" if it's a clarification. For example, if my name were Tim and another man nearby were Tom and someone walked up to me and said, "Hello, Tom," THEN I would say, "I am Tim, but he is Tom."


      I wouldn't use But in any case. And would still be used as clarification. You would simply put emphasis on he's.


      It is exactly the same in British English.


      I am a native speaker of both (American) English and Russian, and I could see using "but" here. I was graded as incorrect for "but", but I have not suggested that "but" should be marked as correct because the conjunction "and" still glosses better.


      I mean if you make someone's acquaintance and introduce your friend Tom, you wouldn't use 'but'. To be quite frank, I can't image a situation where you'd use a 'but' version of this sentence.


      Me too. Imagine saying, 'I'm Dave, but this is Fred.' It makes it seem as if there is something distinctly different about Fred - either good or bad depending on how you say it. The best translation is definitely 'and'.


      I mean you're probably correct. I just always thought the "а" serves a function of comparing, and "и" is for listing things off. I am not a native speaker of English, but "my name's anna, but this person is called tom" makes sense as a situation that would happen in the world. Definitely makes sense in my native language to use the equivalent of "but".


      Yeah, it does, in this case it gives the contrast between Anna and her friend Tom. I viewed it as walking into a situation and having to introduce yourself (anna) and your friend tom. The "but" puts the focus much more on Tom whereas "and" has a much more equal feel to it. Im not a native English speaker either, so I understand the struggles why it sometimes does not make sense haha! Then again Im also a novice at Russian 8)


      I think it's an Estonian thing as well, we use "a" exclusively to mean "but", and we either adopted it from Russian or it's a shortened version of "aga" (but). Probably a mix of both. Anyway now i automatically interpret it to only mean "but". So i'm gonna unlearn that i guess.


      I also put but, but then again I was told 'а' was more like 'but' than 'and' (because of the dissimilar point you made above).

      There is an example where you might use but in the above sentence.

      If someone asked you if you were Tom, but you were Anna you might say "(No,) I'm Anna, but this is Tom".

      In this case and probably makes more sense.


      I'm anna, this is tom

      this is wrong??


      Youre missing the "and".


      I missed the "and" to and it also marked me wrong.


      Is a guttural stop used when speaking Russian? The recording seems like it meshes Я right in the Анна - so it sounds almost like "yana" instead of ya anna. It might just be my speakers or the recording - but I know in Spanish they normally do not do a guttural stop between words - and in German they do - so I just want to know how it is for Russian


      Shady_arc said in the thread below that usually no pause is made between words


      Is this "contraction" between Я Анна that I hear on purpose? And if yes, is there similar contraction throughout Russian?


      Which contraction? She pronounces first я, then Анна.


      When I listen to it it sounds like 'Я' continues over into "Анна" fluidly, kind of like "Янна". I haven't tried on other computers. But perhaps I just need to train my ears.


      It kind of happens. йа + анна = йаанна. In case you expected to hear a pause between these words, it is possible but generally people do not make neat pauses after each word :)

      Here is the name Яна if you want to have a reference of how it sounds.


      Yeah, It is probably that I need to adapt to the flow of Russian to get used to it. Thanks for the help, and for that site! Seems helpful for future words.


      is the comma really.necessary?


      Duolingo ignores your punctuation. We, on the other hand, follow the standard punctuation conventions in our sentences.


      So I pronounce 'a' as 'eih'?


      No, it's like "ah". The "a" and the "ehto" are runnin' together here though.


      anyone else not hear the difference between "dom" and "tom"?


      Hi. Where can i find Russian letters to choose from when I shall write answers. I can understand correctly, but when i shall write with latin alphabet i get Wrong. In Spanish there are special letters to choose from underneath the Box we Write in. That would have been helpful in Russian too.


      I put a comma after Anna, which is the correct punctuation in English, but the app says my answer is incorrect. (Everything else about my answer is exactly the same as the "correct" answer.)


      @KamalMosta2 - They both mean "and", though "a" shows a sense of contrast and can sometimes be translated as "but" or "while", as well.


      This would be a little clearer to grasp, if they had a woman doing the voice. Since I'm brand new to this it would be nicer to have Anna, be the voice of a female saying " I am Anna and this is Tom" instead of the male voice.

      • 2522

      Unfortunately Duo uses male and female voices interchangeably without any contextual considerations - this is simply a shortcoming of their algorithm and not something we can change.


      I thought я was pronounced like "ya" but I'm hearing it like an English long e. Which is correct?


      So.... how many times do I need to alert the program before it corrects itself?


      I am anna and its tom. I got "wrong' . You do not know the real context of this conversation to make judgement. You shouldn't guess that he is here. Не так ли. И в других упражнениях it is принимается.


      Same answer I am giving

      I don't know what the problem..

      • 2522

      Next time take a screenshot, put it on some free file-sharing server and post the link.


      Very fast speak даже for native russian speaker (for my) :)


      As I'm speaking the sentence, duolingo's detection bot is highlighting words in the sentence out of order from the way the sentence is being spoken. Is that implying that there are multiple ways to order the words in the sentence that communicate the same thing?

      I can't recall or recount the bot's highlighted word order I saw, but it seems “Tom" and “это“ were highlighted out of order, with “Tom" being highlighted first.


      This excercise called "Alphabet" has nothing to do with the alphabet. I don't know these symbols, what they mean,what they are called, aside making up descriptive words hat only apply to myself. I'm not coming into this course knowing anything, so I don't have the advantage of already knowjg Russian. If this is the best Duolingo can do, then this platform is only suitable for Latin languages


      This course is 7 years old now. At the time it was released, there was no way to teach non-latin characters. In the 7 years since, there was a way developed that we worked on, but before it could be released to the volunteer-run trees (which this was, until a few months ago), Duolingo developed an even newer method rendering what we were going to release obsolete. I believe it is currently available only on Android, but it should be available on all platforms soon. In the meantime, if you are not using Android, then I suggest doing some research online about the Russian alphabet, as there is no shortage of materials available. The alphabet takes maybe a week to get comfortable with. Once you are, you can come back to the course. If you search the forum, you will find lots of recommendations for material for learning the alphabet.


      I always forget the word "and"


      Could а also mean but (I am anna but this is tom).


      Why sometimes writing

      I am tom and this is anna is correct and in other questions if i write and this is... it tells me that its wrong to place the "and" ?

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