FYI: In a certain context, this question may refer not only to a female person, but also to anything called with a feminine noun. For example:
- Ваня, где твоя тарелка? / Vanya, where is your plate?
- (pointing) Вон там, мам. / Over there, mom.
- Что она делает на кровати?! / Why on earth is it on the bed?!
Of course, the plate is not doing anything on the bed. It is just a way to emphasize surprise and/or indignation.
It's very similar in Spanish, "¿Qué está haciendo [la cuchara] en la cama?", it has the same meaning. Like, it's not normal to find a spoon on a bed, isn't it? ;D
But we omit the "ella" for "la cuchara" (the spoon, feminine in Spanish) (or она in this case for some feminine noun).
It is the 3rd declension of nouns: feminine grammatical gender + the "ь" (the soft sign) at the end.
- N - крова́ть - В комнате есть кровать - There is a bed in the room
- G. - крова́ти - У меня нет кровати - I don't have a bed
- D. - крова́ти - Подойди к кровати - Come up to the bed
- A. - крова́ть - Я вижу кровать - I see a bed
- I. - крова́тью - Кошка под кроватью - The cat is under the bed
- P. - (на) крова́ти - Что она делает на кровати? - What is she doing on the bed?
One has to be aware that the Russian italic font is not like European fonts - which can be seen in RomanRussian's comment: when you use the Russian italic font, кровать becomes кровать. The в looks like an e, and the т looks like an m - кровать is just кровать in italics.
On the contrary, I think that learning italic Cyrillic should be one of the very first things a beginner does. There is no way to avoid it — they're used everywhere: on websites, on roadsigns, in handwriting, etc.. If you aren't immediately exposed to it, it will just trip you up badly later on.
we've already learned a whole new alphabet. If you want to use it, teach it first, I just discovered recently that in cursive "D" looks like "g", during a lesson given by my colleague who's a bit oblivious to beginners' struggle. How the hell was I supposed to know? It only made her clarification of what she was trying to demonstrate more confusing. Just an example like that...
Yep. It equates exactly with the Spanish word "hacer." It just happens that Russia got the same root we use for "to do," whereas the Germans used a word equating to "to make" (I think "machen" serves a dual purpose too). What makes English unusual is that we managed to get a word related to "machen" AND one directly related to "делать."
This isn't as kinky as you think :))) Она doesn't strictly refer to a female, but to a feminine noun. It's easy for me to understand because I speak Romanian and French and this way it's easier for me to make an analogy. Coincidence or not, the noun "plate" is a feminine noun in Romanian too. For example: - Unde e farfuria? Где тарелка? Where's the plate? - Ea (farfuria) e pe pat. Она (тапрелка) на кровати. It (the plate) is on the bed. - Ce face ea (farfuria) pe pat? Что она (тарелка) делает на кровати? What is it (the plate) doing on the bed?
Why not origami? Or a meal? Or cheese? Or anything, really. I'm not sure why those were the first that came to my mind.
Even if you were right, the sentence would still be correct with "making", and this has been discussed in other comments. "What is she making on the bed?" is absolutely fine.
Does this question specifically mean what activity she/it is doing on the bed, like reading or resting? Can it ever mean to ask why she/is is on the bed where she/it doesn't belong?
I believe that would require зачем or a similar word haven't learned here yet.
In short, is this answer completely distinct from:
Зачем она на кровати?
The object of the preposition на is in Prepositional case when на is used in connection with location. When на involves movement, the object is in Accusative case.
The Prepositional ending for (feminine) кровать is и, which is used here.
The Accusative ending is ь (unchanged), which is not used here.
My conclusion is that the movement which causes the case to change from Prepositional to Accusative is movement which is not on bed, but more like towards the bed.