I'm a native speaker. For the polite form, the pronoun "Вы" would be used. This is a bad translation. Because in the English sentence there is a phrase "by any chance", then in Russian there should be a word "случайно". Ты у него? - A common question. Ты случайно не у него? (Ты не у него случайно?) - A question with the assumption or the hope that you are at his place. Ты у него случайно? = Ты у него. Это произошло случайно? - You are at his place. Did it happen by accident? This should be written awkwardly. It's hard for my level of English.
If you meant "are you at home?" then "Ты дома?" = "Ты у себя дома?" = "Ты у себя?". Google translates "Are you your place?" literally as "Вы на своем месте?" but this has a different meaning. More often "Кто-либо на своём месте" is an idiom to express the conformity to abilities, qualities, knowledge, place in society. Less often it is used to indicate a place, for example a place in an airplane.
I think more apropiated translation is "are you with him" Or "aren't you with him?", this last one is not common in inglish but is common in Spanish. I am a Spanish native speaker, and we share more things with Russian than inglish. So if I understand what you mean this translation have a bit more sence
You can say "Are you not at his place?" or more colloquially: "Aren't you at his place?" to confirm something you're not sure about.
You can say "You are not at his place?" or "You aren't at his place?" to confirm something you are sure about (but could be wrong about).
- Aren't you at his place? I thought you were!
- You aren't at his place? You're supposed to be there!
Alright, so you might be having two problems here.
If you're familiar with the 'у него есть' part of the sentences we've had so far, you know this to mean 'he has'. So, 'у него есть кошка' means 'he has a cat'. So you are stating he owns a cat. By removing the 'есть', you are no longer emphasising possession, but rather location.
If you strip 'есть' from all of these lines, you get 'at x place'. So 'у него' becomes 'at his place'. So in the sentence given above, the 'Ты у него' part means 'Are you at his place?'
Second, by adding the 'не', you turn it into a polite pattern for a question as described here for Phrases 2 ( https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Phrases2 );
" [One of the] two very common polite patterns for questions that English does not have is;
'Negative questions give a shade of "by any chance": «Извини́те, вы не зна́ете Михаи́ла?» = Excuse me, do you happen to know Mikhail?' "
It's kind of like saying "I'm sorry, but don't you know Michael?" as used in polite conversation, instead of going "Dude, you know Michael?"
(Keep in mind, I'm still learning the language and far from a native speaker, so if anyone spots any incorrect information, let me know so I can edit or point towards the correct info.)
Minor correction. "By removing the 'есть', you are no longer emphasising possession, but rather location." True in this case, but not always. Omitting есть means you are emphasising a characteristic of an item and you would leave it out when talking about an item in his possession. For example, you just told me he has a cat. Now you want to tell me his cat is Siamese (and therefore evil). You would say "у него кошка сиамскаяя".
By the way, a pattern I'm noticing is when you talk about possession, whether using есть or not, it's normal to put "у него" first and then talk about what he has. If you're wanting to say something is at his place, you say what it is first and then put "у него" afterwards. I can't confirm that's always the case, but it certainly would make sense.
Thanks for the information/correction. I haven't really run into adverbs yet. If I remember correctly, the word order for those also implies emphasis - much like it is in the rest of the Russian language as already covered - so it'll be interesting to see how that goes.
I have to agree with your observation of the placement of the words/phrases. So far, that seems to hold true for Duolingo, at least. (Not that I've gotten beyond the first checkpoint yet, but whatever, I'm learning, I'll get there.)
The bit in the lesson helper text about negative questions giving a tone of politeness, a form not found in English, puzzles me somewhat. We do have negative questions, and they are sometimes used to add a polite tone to the question. "Aren't you the guy I talked to earlier?" -- that communicates that I'm pretty sure you are, but I don't want to be confrontational about it. Is there nuance to it in the Russian usage that makes it distinctive from this effect?
Having studied 3 languages, this, Italian and Swahili. one of the great features of Duolingo is its reasonable flexibility in accepting written responses. Even if one were to write "by chance" instead of "by any chance" it is marked wrong, which is ridiculous. Obviously something will be lost in translation for this particular phrase no matter what and to insist on a verbatim English word ordering is too harsh for this question.
I think the implied "...by any chance" is a stretch. The native Russian speakers I have shown the screen shot of the question, my answer, and subsequent "wrong" grading all disagree. They understand how the answer was arrived at; it is an idiom, but not considered proper translation
not sure where you read that ' у него ' is 'by him', it's not. even the hint says it's 'his place''. I'd translate it as 'at his...'. so if you translate it word by word it is- "are you not at his?" if the question was about an object (and not about "you") then you could translate "is it not in his possession?". btw "by him" is "s nim"
When "г" is in the letter sequences "его" and "ого", it generally adopts the "v" sound. A quick Google search seems to indicate that this sound sequence shifted over time so that the spelling reflects the historical pronunciation, but you just have to internalize this exception for correct contemporary speech.
(Note: I am a native English speaker, only halfway through the Russian course, so if someone else replies claiming to be a better authority than me, there's a good chance they are.)
With regard to "него" and other similar words: is it still correct to pronounce the "г" like a "G"? If so - Do native Russians ever do this?
I'm not a native speaker, but from what I understand, this a colloquial way to say that something/someone is at somebody's place. "у него" means "at his", so the phrase "Ты не у него?" literally translated would mean "Are you not at his?", which makes no sense just like that, so the place is implied. Now, the "by any chance" is just politeness, and I don't put in the translations
This exercise teaches how to make a question polite: in English we add a phrase such as "by any chance", in Russian (and French) you negate the question. It is an important distinction to know- "Did you not see that?" in English sounds angry (with overtones of "How could you have missed it?") whereas in Russian it sounds polite and slightly diffident.