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"Are there snakes in the city?"

Translation:В городе есть змеи?

November 4, 2015

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ddmits

Can есть be omitted here? I am trying to figure out when it can be omitted and when not. Any rules or guidance?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neon_Iceberg

The word "есть" emphasizes the existence of the object of a conversation.

The choice without "есть" means in Russian "are there snakes or other animals in the city?".

The choice with "есть" means exactly "does the city have snakes?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/el-montunero

What about just "Змеи в городу?", why doesn't this work? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spleens88

I imagine because "The snakes are in the city?" implies you already know about the existence of the snakes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veronica420402

Ok, but "there are birds on the tree" is "на дереве птицы" without есть, isn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noonresh

I think(if understood well from an answer above)if you ask about its existance then you need есть but if you know already and you tell this information then есть omitted. But still I don't know weather you add anyway есть, when you can omit, then it is supposed to be a mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krlis179736

It would be incorrect to ask "В городе змеи?". That would mean "Are the snakes in the city?" The Russian language does not have articles, so it indicates definiteness in different ways. If you could use a word like "the", "this" or "that" in the translation, then it's a definite reference. Есть would only be used for indefinite references.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThorGloey

So is it a construction like "У ... есть" as it means "by ... there is"? So that "В ... есть" means "in ... there is"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shivaadh

Ok, it emphasizes the existence. But can ectb be omitted? (Duo marks it wrong)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lovazianina

I don't think the existence of other animals would be implied, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lovazianina

The only case I can think of in which you could omit "есть" in this QUESTION is if somebody has already told you that there are snakes in the city and you want to make sure or to express surprise. Example:

-Осторожно! В городе есть змеи (or В городе змеи. It is not a question, so "есть" is being used just to emphasize the existence of snakes)

-В городе змеи?

-Be careful! There are snakes in the city.

-There are snakes in the city?! (Like What?! I'm outta here! or Never heard of city snakes)

Unfortunately I can't support my opinion with grammar rules. It is how it sounds more natural to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andyemanu

Would one always say "In the city, there are snakes?", or would it be correct to write "Есть змеи в городе?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slycelote

В городе есть змеи? is the most natural translation. As it's often the case with word order, Есть змеи в городе? is not wrong, but feels unnatural out of the context. It could be used in a dialog like this:

--- В городе есть крокодилы, панды, жирафы...

--- А змеи есть в городе?

--- The city has crocodiles, pandas, giraffes...

--- But are there snakes in the city?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucFrancoi2

Lmao you must live in an interesting city


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kdammers

But it got marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth736652

Это так полезно! Спасибо!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tholm

Yes, it just affects the emphasis depending on context, as slycelote says.

In conversation, though, inflection is more than half the battle. As a rule, spoken Russian word order is VERY free, so long as syntactical units stay together (like prepositions and their objects).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/medwuast

That's exactly the impression I've got from my own very limited exposure and understanding of Russian. To be able to communicate effectively, you can use a lot of things that are "wrong" here on Duolingo (and what people, including me, spend a lot of time discussing in detail).

I think I'm developing a real instinct here!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lindap130

I wrote "Есть змеи в городе?" and it said I was wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardKeo2

I think the order defines the question here. It seems like what you wrote would be a sort of rhetorical question after discovering, surprisingly, that there are snakes in the city (of all places).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidenCotnam

It's marked wrong because it's an unnatural word order for this statement. To me, «Есть змеи в городе?» sounds like the beginning of a story or like someone is doubting that the snakes are in the city (maybe they are in some other place). It's a less conversational word order.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanilegoPlays

I think it's just a difference of emphasis: usually, new information would go at the end of the sentence. So, if you somehow lost a group of snakes, you could ask the question "Есть змеи в городе?", and it would mean "are the snakes in the city?(or somewhere else?)". But I could be wrong, if anyone could confirm this I'd be grateful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SebastianKwasny

I feel dumb for asking this, but could someone please explain the sentence structure in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shivaadh

There are few grammatical rules in Russian that stipulate word order. In general, you're free.

However, word order can be used for emphasis. Duolingo often marks sentences as wrong although they are grammatically aoubd, in order to teach you emphasis.

Two rules of thumb for emphasis: 1. Whatever is emphasized is put at theend of tge sentence. 2. Using ectb emphasizes the existence of the relevant noun, rather than it's characteristics (adjectives).

There are more subtleties regarding emphasis, but I don't understand them - yet. Look out for comments from the users zirkul and Theron; they provide good explanations :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shivaadh

Also, I've found that (in my limited experience of Russian, based on a few Duolingo exercises), you put the place/time at the beginning of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ravi546080

Why is "змеи есть в городе?" not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neon_Iceberg

It's ok, I think it will be added soon. Report it next time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrcmdee

I did the same now and still marks it as wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nico86873

I think I understand why but I cannot explain it. It has to do with A → B rule. Cities cannot be from snakes therefore snakes must be from cities hence, city is first, or "В городе есть змеи?". (probably).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ricojes

when framing the existence of something as an inquiry, the premise (город) goes first, followed by есть( the existence query ), then the subject (змеи).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john204

What's wrong with 'В городе - змеи?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guenter212784

I think this should be correct, too. Another DL sentence reads там мухи "there are flies there", so it would be very hard to understand why the analogous construction в городе змеи should not be possible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/private_Dramba

"Есть ли в городе змеи?" Why this translation is not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdvKz

С третьего раза смог подобрать порядок слов, который принимается. Может добавите и другие?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bicthb0iqtee

why does it have to be in this order. in city there snakes? why not there snakes in city? or city have snakes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RebeccaMer85016

Hello! Please somebody can tell me why "на камне мука" (without есть) means "there is a fly on the stone" and in "в городе есть змеи" I have to put in есть?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Icethebear

I don't think there are snakes in the city. Why doesn't someone check?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scian4

This is Auckland. There are definitely no snakes in the city, nor in all of New Zealand :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sethmalory

I put "В городе находятся змеи?" It marked it as being wrong, but what interests me is how the correct answer was this:

"В городе водятся змеи?"

Why was my previous answer wrong, and more importantly, could someone explain the word водятся?

Thank you in advance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rissadea

Находяться is purely geographical. I've only heard it to describe or ask where something is located, not if it is there. I'm not familiar with водятся


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sethmalory

Would not snakes being in a city be classified as "geographical?"

In my near 2 years learning Russian, including the eight months since I posed this question, I have never come across водятся, save for this sentence. Not even my Russian dictionary has an entry for it. So I'll probably survive without it. But if anyone knows this word водятся, then please do expound on it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/private_Dramba

"Есть змеи в городе?" - не принято


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rovvanberr

"Есть ли змеи в этом городе?" Can I write like that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scottled1

Sometimes "есть" means "to eat," except when it doesn't. So why does it mean "to be" this time? Totally random confusion; I'll NEVER figure this language out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andyemanu

”Есть“ does mean “to eat”; it never means “to be”, though, that is “быть”. It also means “is/am/are”, and the way to distinguish the two meanings is that one is an infinitive (to eat), while the other is a verb in the present tense (is/am/are). If you see “у (noun in genitive case) есть”, this always means that the noun in the genitive case has something. Don’t worry, you will get used to it faster than you could ever imagine!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shivaadh

ест = (he/she/it) eats; the verb's infinitive form is есть ="to eat" .

есть = "(he/she/it) is"; the verb's infinitive form is быть ="to be".

Explanation: https://russian.stackexchange.com/questions/14278/%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C-eat-or-have

Warning: I'm a beginner too, so it would be great if a native speaker could confirm that!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TumultuousDon

Seems more like it's saying, "In the city, has snakes."...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vanof

В самолёте есть змеи?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cridili

What about У города змеи? Because there were other examples with "у" in this lesson and I cannot see a difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7otineb3

I thought "tam" meant there


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ma5ons

This is written out like, " in the city it has snakes" right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LisaBertaud

could someone tell me why "в городе это змея?" is wrong? I'm a bit confused because the exercises "there is a tree here too" and "is there a bathroom in the park?" use "это" if I remember well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Freddy-Jason

That's because you're supposed to use the plural form of the word snake (i.e змеи)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nwwsl

"В городе змеи есть." Это грамматически неправильно? Почему?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenNilsson

Is "змеи есть в городе?" correct, and how does it differ from "в городе есть змеи?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BraedenPapi

Can someone explain the word order in this please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gyertya

I think doesn't exist correct answer with latin alphabet because the ь (if i'm not mistaken) is a sign and not a letter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe7863

So when translated to english the order of each word in the question is backwards?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G00d1n1

Есть змеи в городе? Почему нет?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john204

What's wrong with 'Есть ли в городе змеи?' Is it too formal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/h223vTQv

my dictionary says the translation of snakes is zmei but Duolingo does not accept this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/h223vTQv

why does duolingo not accept zmei as plural of snakes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bicthb0iqtee

why is в есть змеи город not correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jwbards

В belongs with городе - in the city - and you haven't conjugated город. It needs to be in the prepositional case (location).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DapperWould

why isn't the genitive used here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dima229120

In city have snakes? Unga Bunga


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjpWPR

We talkin bout people? Yes. Animal snakes? No


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qU4Z4

В городе змЕи is absolutely correct but marked wrong. I reported it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elias.M.A

How about "Ли змеи есть в городе?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E-chan.

"Ли" should go after the word you question ("есть" in this case) and this word should be the first in the sentence/clause. So it should be: Есть ли змеи в городе?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1Wildone

Есть ли в городе змеи? Was accepted but why??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mich858400

Why not : есть ли


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mich858400

Есть ли змеи в городе ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacob339787

I remember a time when this word order was strange...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1Wildone

The more foreign languages I learn from English. I more sound like States United from not. :)

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