Hi! I'm wondering how you know where to place 'всё' in a sentence. In one of the earlier chapters there was the sentence 'у нас есть всё' where it is placed after the verb and then in the sentence above it is placed before the verb. Is there a rule to follow?
In general, the placement of "всё" does not matter.
Собаки всё ЕДЯТ
Собаки едят ВСЁ
ВСЁ едят собаки
All the three versions are correct and have same meaning. Well,there can be a nuances.
For example, the first sentence sounds a bit like you say it with annoyance, just like "Oh, dogs eat everything! They chew my chair, my shoes, and my rubber plant!" The second one sounds more encyclopedic, like "Meat, cereal, vegetables, etc. Dogs eat everything (from this list)". And the third sounds like you are pointing to the box with meat, cereal, vegetables, etc and explaining to your guest: "That's the food for my dogs. Dogs eat everything (from this box)".
But! The intonation is the queen of Russian language. You can use any of the three phrases in any meaning, just do a stress on the most important part of the sentece. Russian has a tendency to put the logical=intonational stress to the end of the sentence, and sometimes in the very beginning (I marked the intonational stress by CAPS LOCK).
Ты хочешь ЧАЙ? — Do you want TEA (exactly tea, or, may be, coffeу or juice)?
Ты чай ХОЧЕШЬ? — Dou you WANT tea (or you don't)?
ТЫ чай хочешь? — Do YOU want tea (or your friend wants)?
How would you say, "Everything eats dog"? How would you arrange it and where would the stress be?
Well, if you mean that the dog is eaten by everything (oh, that's creepy!), the Russian sentence will be "Всё ест соба́ку". "Собаку" = accusative case from "соба́ка". The intonation stress can be whatever you want, you just pick what piece of information is the most important.
A lot of the flexible word ordering is because most nouns decline in Russian. So I can see that if at least one of the nouns - subject or object - can decline, all is well. But many nouns of foreign origin often don't decline. So what flexibility would there be in ordering in a sentence using 'есть' (to eat) in the case of two nouns, neither of which decline? Would you have to stick with Subject Verb Object? Or could you use Subject Object Verb? Would there be any cases where the Object could come first if neither subject nor object are declinable?
"The dogs all eat" as in "All the dogs are eating"? Все собаки едят. Все = everybody (used for anything alive), всё = everything (inanimate/uncountable) as well as "all of ". Thus you can also say "Все собаки едят всё" - All dogs eat everything.
I hear that Russians almost always omit the "ё" writing just "е" instead. I wonder if that brings any trouble for sentences like "Все собаки едят все" (ё omitted) : Which of the two "все" should be "всё" here? .
This is indeed common for printed text. I have wondered this myself, but reality there is actually very rarely any ambiguity because of context and syntax. For example "Все собаки едят все" is only valid if the first "все" is interpreted as such (at least without extra punctuation) and the last one can only be "всё", because "всё собаки" would mean something like "the dog''s everything" (singular) and if you wanted to say that they're eating everyone, you'd say "все собаки едят всех". It gets to the point where you don't even notice whether the text prints the dots or not, but are able to read it correctly without thinking.
I ran into this problem today. The translation was the same where I looked, so this clears things up immensely. Спасибо. :)
I thought всё was "everything" but here is translates as "anything". Is there a way to tell the difference besides context?
Всё means both, no matter what. That means you can easily use it wether it means "anything" or "everything" in English.
However, when you translate to English, you need to know when to use "anything" or "everything"... in English, not Russian. Here, you need to check an English grammar book/dictionnary, not a Russian one.
In this case, because the context is wide, you can use both "anything" and "everything". If your answer "Dogs eat everything" wasn't accepted, report it. It should be.
Does that mean that все is simply the lazy man's writing of the word всё, then, and there is no inherent difference between them or their pronounciation?
Whilst a lazy man could write всё as "все", the pronunciation would remain. They are distinct words - the "lazy" way would simply make one look like the other. If ё isn't written out in full, you'd be able to tell from context which word is used.
Alright, so one is not the lazy man's way of writing the other. If both mean something else, what is the difference? My online resources all seem to suggest it's the same thing.
всё - singular neuter, все - plural. Although an English speaker might expect this to take genitive, it is in fact just a normal adjective.
Edit: or here, a pronoun - I think? My English grammar is not all it might be. But the declension is the same.
Bear in mind that "ё" is rarely actually written as such in Russian, not just for все/всё.
But since 'ё' is usually written as 'е', "Все собаки едят" could instead really be "Всё собаки едят," which would mean "Everything here is eaten by dogs" and not "All dogs are eating," right? How do ambiguities such as this get dealt with in Russian? I imagine if it occurred to someone that this might be ambiguous, they might put the dots on the 'ё', but often, I guess the creator of the sentence might not notice the other way the sentence could be read.
Ambiguity would most likely be avoided by not using word order like "всё собаки едят" - that to me seems extremely unnatural, although I'm not a native speaker.
Also, context helps with everything :-)
If I saw всё собаки едят I'd be expecting a pause between всё и собаки and I'd immediately think "Well that's it, the dogs are eating"
With this order of words 'The dogs are still eating' should certainly be an allowed translation
The word "still" (еще) is neither stated nor implied in the Russian sentence.
It is a very common type of phrase in spoken Russian: "Он всё говорит" - "He is still speaking" / "He keeps on speaking"; "Они всё ссорятся" - "They are still quarrelling" / "They keep on quarrelling "
The thing is, "всё ещё" and "всё" can mean the same.
The interpretation would be clear if you were to hear the sentence ("всё" receives much less weight when it means "still").