Lets say it's a discussion on wildlife how would you say, "What eats horses?" ?
Кто ест лошадей? (Since it can only be animals or humans it is Кто, not Что). If you speak about meat, horse meat is called конина (from конь = a male horse). So, speaking of humans, you are more likely to say "Кто ест конину?"
In Croatian, конина is an insult meant for males! Equivalent to telling someone they are being an idiot or ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤.
Что едят лошадей I think. You need the accusative case since the horses are the object of the verb (eating)
For pronunciation purposes: I was under the impression л made an "l" sound, but at the beginning of лошади, the recording sounds more like a "w". Is that correct? Am I hearing it wrong? Should it be "LO-shi-di" or "WO-shi-di"? Or something else entirely
Pronouncing Л as W is characteristic of Polish people. There are also some Russians who simply cannot say Л, replacing it with W. It is a defect of articulation.
Л is the equivalent of L. The words are text-to-speech, so they may not always sound right. I once had one that sounded like she said "oolawooga", but the actual thing was completely different.
How would you tell if someone meant "what do horses eat" or "what are the horses eating?" Both are accepted in this lesson.
Russians don't care about this distinction. If they do, the progressive meaning is rendered by using the word сейчас after Что
No, that would be "Что эти лошади едят?" эти is not in this sentence, so it means what horses in general eat.
Ok, thank you, I didn't know that это was used for that kind of precision! :)
EDIT: Well, the moderators decided that my answer was also correct. So it is accepted in general, even if it is better to add эти if I want to emphasize on THE horse.
For me it accepted 'What are the horses eating?'.
When I first read it I thought it said 'What is eating the horses?' !
Actually, you don't need to say эти, if both you and your conversant are looking at the horses in question. 'The' will be implied in that case. Thus, the translation suggested by LucasSherluck IS a correct option, after all.
Alright, so even though "What do the horses eat?" is accepted now, you're saying "What do horses eat" is better because there is no emphasis by way of эти?
Actually you don't have to insert "эти" when you talk about particular horses. You can render "the" by emphasizing the word едят in your queston. In that case the entire pitch fall will be on the -дят syllable and лошади should be pronounced on a low flat uninflected tone. To make лошади indefinite you either spread the pitch fall throuhout the sentence (start high, then make one step down on -дят, then another step down on ло- and the final one on ша- wich is pronounced on the same level as -ди) or make a fall to the ло- syllable pronouncing it really low and then a rise to the beginning level on which you say -шади. The second pattern is used to express curiosity. Thus, in Russian you can apply various intonation patterns and play with the word order to achieve differet effects.
would it also be acceptable to change this sentence around to "что лошади едят?"
I gave this as an answer to translating the English sentence "What do hoses eat?" and it accepted my response. This question confused me, though. Does word order not matter? Because "что едят лошади?" Looks like "what eats horses?" to me, and I was truly baffled.
The singular form “eats” translates into Russian as «ест» and direct objects of verbs are put in the accusative case, which coincides with the genitive case when the objects are humans or animals. Therefore, the Russian for “What eats horses?” is «Что ест лошадей?». The presence of cases in a language makes it flexible in terms of the word order; in other words, most of the time, the word order doesn’t matter. Intonation does though. You can say, «Что едят лошади?» or «Что лошади едят?» - both sentence are common and have the same range of meanings. By stressing «едят» you will be saying, “Now that we’ve discussed other aspects of [the] horses’ life tell me what they eat”. By stressing «лошади» you will be saying, “Now that we’ve discussed other animals tell me what horses eat”. By stressing «что» you make the question sound like “What is that that [the] horses eat?”
Thanks for the explanation! I guess when reading it would be wise to go with what makes sense if there are no context clues to determine the word order translation, then? Since there is only stress on words when you speak? But that makes sense now. I think, haha.
Are there any clues to whether a word is plural? Are there any letters or words to look for
Generally(very generally), they end with either -и or ы. There are, however, many exceptions to this.
Why isn't, "Who has horses?" accepted? It maks grammatical sense, right? Or I might have just been completely off.
I'm not sure where you're getting that from. "Who has horses?" would be translated as "У кого есть лошади?"
"what do horses eat?"? Is that right? Wouldn't be correct "what does the horses eat?"?
"'Does" is ruled out here because "horses" is the plural form. Whether it is "the horses" or just "horses" depends on the intonation. Definite things are never marked by 'colored' intonation' (change of the tone pitch within the word). In other words, if лошади means "the horses", it is pronounced monotonously. Otherwise, it is just horses.
Что [сейчас] едят лошади? As I said earlier, Russians don't care about the distinction between “eat” and “are eating”. If they do, the progressive meaning is rendered by using the word «сейчас» after «Что».
I wish i could pull an example to mind, but i feel I've seen questions on Duolingo of both theses orders: что-verb-subject, and что-subject-verb. Are both these orders fine? Would they mean the same thing?
Are both questions что-subject-verb and что-verb- subject permissible, and would they mean the same thing?
Yes. The что-subject-verb questions are mostly used when you make inquiries about definite subjects. It should be noted though that definite subjects are never stressed. For example, Что СОБАКИ едят? means “And what about dogs - what do THEY eat?” whereas Что собаки ЕДЯТ? simply means “What do the dogs eat?” or “What are the dogs eating?, depending on the context.
I think it's not correct grammatically, but I don't know (and "¿" is not in English alphabet) It is very possible that I'm wrong because I'm Polish :')