«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..")
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?
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.
Because even a significant number of English speakers shun it?
There are absolutely no legitimate arguments for its utility: for every example you can offer where it clarifies the meaning I can come up with an example where it actually creates ambiguity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma#Ambiguity And simple reordering usually helps clarify the meaning even in the absence of a serial comma. So why use an absolutely redundant punctuation mark? IMHO, Russian makes a perfectly reasonable choice here.
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".
I'm having trouble hearing the words - it sounds like "дом" to me, instead of "Том"...
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 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?
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.
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 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).
Clearly a program bug. Here is how you report those: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-
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.'
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.
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 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.
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
What is the "standard punctuation conventions"? I have never heard of such a thing. The english translation is incorrect because the punctuation is incorrect. No comma should be there. In the english language, there is a never a comma placed immediately before or after the word (AND). The english language is slowly being changed and/or dumbed down due to the world becoming smaller (as in, we are so close to each other via the internet) that mistakes in the english language are slowly creeping in, to becoming the norm. You will see in a couple of decades, i bet, the word, "your" being naturalised to mean "you are" when in fact, the correct word is "you're" & even worse, added to english dictionaries. And this is simply because either non native english speakers have learnt it wrongly or what is an ever present problem; native english children leaving school with a poor command of literacy.
I can't believe not one person on this thread has noted the error except for the person who asked a question about it. Does Duolingo use native english speakers proof readers to ensure that translation mistakes are not made? Or even if the people are not native speakers, at least, do they have sufficient english proficiency qualifications?
I believe you're wrong about the comma thing. You use a comma before any conjunction that links two independent clauses. The second use is for when linking the last two items in a series, with the exception that you may skip the final comma if the last two items are clearly distinguished from each other.
I have a "problem" with translating "a" as "and". I'd like to translate it as "but" because I'm used to it. (What are English speakers in Russia taught to translate "but" as then?") I decided to consult a few dictionaries. The first was Wordreference and for "a" the first two results it gave were "but" and only then "and". "But" always means contrast anyway. (Too much contrast for Russians?) Then I used an Estonian-Russian dictionary (so you won't have much use of it if I gave you a link although there are example sentences) and typed "aga" ("but") and found 3 entries. The first one of them was the most useful. It said that there are contrasting "а, но, же, однако" and interrogative "а". Then I typed "ja" ("and") and learnt that there really can again be both joining (и, да) and contrasting type (а, но, однако) under one entry. As the probable situation around this sentence can be understood many ways (maybe Anna and Tom are babies or dogs), I suggest making both answers correct. As "but" means contrast anyway, I think that you are making things a bit too messy and complicated by introducing something as "contrasting "and"". At the same time it was nice to learn new things. But you are right that for native English speakers "and" might sound a lot more natural under some circumstances.
It's always harder with those who have some (stubborn) previous knowledge. .... Maybe you could explain me/us why "Я Анна и это Том" would be wrong, instead.
«И» is used to combine items into a list (a bag and a box) or to join sentences that follow the same idea (Snow is melting, and trees are growing buds). It is also used as an implied "so" when the second part of e sentence follows logically from the first (I was late, so I missed the beginning of his speech). It is used as a sentence-starting "so".
Sentences like "I am Alice and he is Bob" can only use «а», so there is really no choice here.
A full-fledged "but" also exists in Russian. It is «но».
Having a hard time remembering this. I was switching between the Roman and Cyrillic alphabet. I think I was looking for я but was unable to find it on the keyboard. I am using a phonetic keyboard, so д is where d is on my English keyboard.
I think it was the Cyrillic one that pronounced Ee while the Roman one pronounced it as Ee ya.
It may be the other way around.