"We are in America now."
Translation:Мы сейчас в Америке.
Is it correct to have the time word at the end of the sentence, or does it need to follow the subject? i.e. could you say Мы в Америке сейчас?
You can but it sounds unnatural. Consistent use of words like "here" and "now" at the end of the sentence sounds very English because in Russian they are rarely there. In this course we work in the area around the neutral word order that feels natural and needs no justification.
In colloquial speech сейчас and здесь are sometimes "appended" to the end of a sentence with a disemphasized falling intonation (as a last-moment remark from a speaker) but it is not what we teach here.
You can.. You can even say сейчас Мы в Америке . depands what part you want to stress.
Okay, thank you very much! I know some languages restrict that order.
I am Russian native and I think Мы в Америке сейчас should be accepted. I answered so
Agreed, my girlfriend is native Russian and said it's fine... Duolingo can be annoying it must just be someone's opinion that they don't like this order
Аме́рика is the name of the place. It is used as a subject of a sentence. The preposition в is used with two cases: Prepositional a.k.a. Locative (when you want to express place) or Accusative (when you want to express directional). For example :
- Я живу́ в Москве́. I live in Moscow.
- Я е́ду в Москву́. = I am going to Moscow (not on foot).
The name of the city is Москва́. Nouns like Америка, Мексика, Луизиана all follow the same pattern. Nouns like Испания, Калифорния, Италия, Франция, Германия, Англия are very similar but use -и instead of -е in their set of endings.
This is a course of Russian. A more common and neutral word order is expected.
Why instead? Теперь implies a contrast between what was and what is:
- Я теперь живу во Франкфурте. = I live in Frankfurt now (instead of the place where I lived before)
- Теперь давай откроем страницу 19. = Let's open page 19 now (now that we finished reading the page we had been reading)
- И что теперь делать? = So what shall we do now? (now that the situation changed in an unexpected way)
Сейчас is more about things that happen at the moment without looking into the past. English does not provide any contrast between these two uses, so most our sentences accept both if the sentence is vague enough.
I believe there's a slight difference between теперь and сейчас - теперь is more like "and now" or "but now" implying a change, whereas сейчас is just "now."
In my dictionary, the first meaning given for the two words suggests that they are strictly synonymous when used with that meaning:
"сейчас 1. В настоящее время, теперь."
"теперь 1. В настоящее время, сейчас."
I think теперь is more formal because I frequently see it in the scientific literature and cannot remember ever seeing сейчас.
Also, сейчас has several other colloquial meanings listed in the dictionary, and I don't think теперь could always be substituted in the examples:
"2. Очень скоро, немедленно: Сейчас приду. Делай сейчас же!"
"3. Только что, недавно: Он сейчас здесь был."
"4. Сразу, с первого взгляда: Сейчас видно, в чём дело."
"5. Непосредственно рядом с чем-нибудь, следуя за чем-нибудь: Сейчас же за деревней начинается лес."
Finally, сейчас can be used ironically with the opposite meaning (like it won't happen):
"6. Насмешливое выражение уверенности в том, что чего-нибудь не произойдёт, не нужно и ждать: Будет хорошее угощение. --- Сейчас! (т.е. конечно не будет)."
It is very hard to explain basic concepts like "now" or "good". Explaining сейчас and теперь through one another in the dictionary should not be taken as evidence for anything in particular.
As for their formality levels, both сейчас and теперь are more popular in spoken speech than in academic writing and official correspondence. In speech теперь is less frequent than сейчас but still more frequent than теперь in academic writing. It might suggest a difference in formality levels, but there dos not seem to be one. There is, in fact, an easier explanation for the discrepancy:
- spoken speech has a steeper frequency distribution overall, i.e. a few hundred very common words are even more overused than in the language in general.
- сейчас is very commonly used in that "in a moment", "wait a sec" meaning in spoken speech. Not so much in writing.
- теперь is very commonly used to introduce your next point in longer articles ("Now we shall consider the last equation in more detail"). There is little need for such a device in spoken speech. Still, this use depends on the difference between сейчас and теперь very much: you cannot use сейчас this way. You can use "а сейчас" but it is more characteristic of free-style writing of a magazine article that of an objective official style.
Be very careful with "4. Сразу, с первого взгляда: Сейчас видно, в чём дело.". It does not sound right relative to the explanation provided, and, in fact, at least some modern dictionaries (the ones by Kuznetsov and the one by Evgeniyeva) do not have this entry. Even though it is marked as "colloquial" I wonder where you can find it in colloquial speech. To a denizen of Moscow it no longer sounds acceptable in this interpretation, be it in speech or in writing.
Some major semantic differences were laid out nicely in a corpus study I read a few months ago. It will take some time to find it, though Corpora are very interesting in that they even defy our own expectations. For example, it is widely accepted that тут and здесь mostly mean the same ("here"). However, careful study of the actual usage suggests that they mean the same differently :), otherwise it would be hard to justify how some contexts boost the frequency of only one of them.
Сейчас is more immediate than теперь. Теперь она живёт во Франции. Now she lives in France. She may have been there for ten years already, but perhaps you were talking about her from way back when, when she still lived in Russia. On the other hand, она сейчас в аэропорту -- she's there at this moment, and perhaps she's waiting for you to pick her up. :-) (By the way, "right now" is "прямо сейчас," lending even more immediacy.)
Prepositional case. The prepositions в and на take the prepositional case for location (static, where) and the accusative case for motion (dynamic, whence). Мы едем в Америку. We are going to America. Сейчас мы в Америке. Now we are in America.