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  5. "There were two beds standing…

"There were two beds standing in the room."

Translation:В комнате стояло две кровати.

November 4, 2015



I've seen neuter verbs in impersonal constructions, but this is new to me. How is стояло functioning here without agreeing with две кровати?

November 4, 2015


A verb in singular form can be used when the count, rather than the verb, is the important thing. If, in addition, it's in the past tense, the verb must be in neuter gender.

November 4, 2015


No, it mustn't. Tense doesn't make a difference.

When a combination of a number and a noun is the subject of a sentence, we can use both singular and plural forms of the verb. It depends on the meaning.

Singular form is used when
(1) the subject is passive (the two beds were standing = they were just existing there doing nothing);
(2) people/things are not passive, but they are doing the same thing together, and we consider them as a whole. Example: двести человек пришло на концерт (200 people came to the concert). A singular form is used, so we see these people as a mass; we're not interested in what they did individually;
(3) we want to emphasize the number, as slycelote have already said. Двести человек came to the concert. Not 300, not 400.

We use plural form when
(1) the subject is active;
(2) people/things are doing something individually. If 20 students are writing their theses, they can't do it together, right? Each one of them is writing their own thesis by themselves;
(3) emphasis is on the action, not number.

Source: http://new.gramota.ru/spravka/letters/22-spravka/letters/64-bolshinstvo (in Russian)

November 20, 2015


> No, it mustn't.
It must if it's in singular form...

> Tense doesn't make a difference.
Well if the verb is not in the past tense it can't have a gender.

November 21, 2015


Oh, now I see that you were talking about the gender of the verb that is ALREADY in the singular form. I'm sorry, my mistake. But it is still not completely correct. If the number ends with "один", the verb needs masculine gender. Also, if the quantity is expressed with a noun (like "пара" = "a couple of"), the verb should take its gender.

November 21, 2015


Good point.

November 21, 2015


What about: "В комнате стояли две кровати"? is it correct as well or not?

April 25, 2016


You are right. That is truth.

June 11, 2016


Does "Две кровати стояли в комнате" work ? If no, what is wrong ? :)

August 16, 2017


Your choice would be without "there" = "Two beds were standing in the room" or "two beds stood in the room".

December 25, 2017


I think that the frustrating thing is .... Sometimes Duo place the word "there" into their answers where it is not needed. So, sometimes, we are needing to take it literally and other times, roughly (for want of a better term) But thanks, it is good to see the subtle difference between the use of стояли and стояло. I always appreciate your input )))

September 1, 2019


Стояли нет стояло... I would say

August 12, 2017


Why isn't it "стояли"? Is it a mistake here?

January 28, 2019


I don't think that стояло is the right form. I think that this is a mistake

September 5, 2019


The answer suggests находились...

October 23, 2017


В комнате СТОЯЛИ две кровати

August 19, 2018


That's what I wanted to write. But it seems that neuter singular is /also/ allowed - Jukka S. has given a good explanation.

December 7, 2018
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