"Можете сказать, где мама?"

Translation:Can you tell me where mom is?

November 5, 2015

128 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/KClements0927

I feel like these phrases, with their imperatives and direct objects, are too advanced for beginning tiers. We haven't learned any conjugations of simple verb forms or sentences and yet here are complex sentence structures.

December 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dempl
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Hah, the bigger problem is that ❤❤❤❤❤ is the complicated language, and you can't even use even simplest sentence without some cluserfuck of grammar ;-)

I mean, I actually get most of this, since I speak Serbian, and compared to me, Ruskies just got everything mixed up (e.g. the same word in Dative is used for Accusative case in my language, their first person singular is our 3rd person plural etc.), but even I just have to memorize the different case/word/conjugation in different usages, and you can only do that by using it/repeating it 1000 times, and often getting yourself into embarrassing situations :D

There's just not an easy way to learn Russian than to repeat and use those words in different cases all the time, until it gets into your ears, i.e. there's no point of remembering the rules of conjugations or declensions and exceptions, you just tend to feel them after a while ;-)

December 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KClements0927

That's both reassuring and daunting at the same time. I knew this would be difficult but my goodness...onward though. And thank you for the response.

December 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/George_E_burns

ha ha I am giving you a lingot for saying cluster___ of grammar. quite colorful!!

October 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandra756764

9

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/agriffin95

I agree, I don't think I'm ready to know at least three versions of "tell me" yet...

March 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Conrad736046
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I completly agree

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewCast404242

I will say that when we learned our mother language we didn't make it in any order, we just repeat and repeat.

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ataque77
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I think that this course works perfectly well when you are already in a russian course, with an actual teacher to show you all the conjugations/declinations that a verb can have.

For example, I recently took a semester of basic russian at my university, and I learned all of that, but while I was good at grammar, I couldn't make a single sentence, which is -I think- the purpose of this course, to learn vocabulary and how to make sentences.

July 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HugoAllexis

True... Had to Google the conjugation to know it was a formal sentence:
я могу
ты можешь
он / она / оно может
мы можем
вы можете
они могут

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gulpepper
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There's no imperative here. "Can (you) say where mom (is)?" It's a question.

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/duckmaestro

We ought to be learning what "Можете" is all by itself first, before we learn this phrase.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_Maria_B._

Да... Ты думаешь это проблема?

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_Maria_B._

Я думаешь это проблема.

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nate_J
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Думаю что ты забыл слово "что" в твоих предложения. На русском, тебе надо включать конъюнкция в сложных прелдожениях, настолько твоё предложение должен быть "ты думаешь, что это проблема? Я думаю, что это проблема"

I hope what I just said is right :p

August 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_._Tim_._
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There are few mistakes here ;)

Думаю что ты забыл слово "что" в твоих предложенияХ (prepositional case). На русском, тебе надо включать конъюнкциЮ(accusative case) в сложных предложениях. Твоё предложение должНО (neuter gender) быть "ты думаешь, что это проблема? Я думаю, что это проблема".

But native russians sometimes skip word "что" in such sentences.

March 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TrueCB
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why does the verb have no subject?

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nate_J
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it's implied by the conjugation. Verbs that end in ете are already conjugated for the pronoun вы. Therefore, this sentence literally translates to "(You) can tell, where is mom?" However, because we speak English (which is much more complicated in its clauses and stuff), this translates properly to "Can you tell me where mom is?"

Russian grammar is actually easier here than English :)

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Is there some kind of Imperative time in Russian? I know there is futur, past and present, but I feel this kind of sentence looks a lot like Imperative!

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaiverus
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To conjugate into the imperative mood in Russian, the general rule for most verbs is to take the stem in 3rd person plural and add -ай for -ать verbs and -и for other forms. To make it plural, add -те.

читать -> читают -> читай, читайте

идти -> идут -> иди, идите

Of course, that is a very general rule that doesn't work in all cases:

Сказать -> скажут -> скажи, скажите

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/victor.snezhko

I'd add that моги, могите are extremely exotic forms.

UPD: if they exist at all. Not sure even as a native speaker.

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nate_J
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As a native English speaker, it doesn't sound right to try to tell people to "can" do something either.

Thanks for the explanation though, Kaiverus!

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/raphier

можете. смотри куда глагол ставишь...

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tais077

мочь-могут-можешь, можете

February 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DjordjeCvijovic

Imperative would be: Скажи где мама = Tell me where mom is (informal singular) Скажите где мама = Tell me where mom is (formal or plural)

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Will709432
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Is the "me" implied

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nate_J
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I'm not advanced enough in Russian to say, as I'm just another learner. Someone in the discussion section knows better than me, no doubt. Good luck!

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dinahlalala
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This sentence is indeed in the imperative mode. :3

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/winxperror

Spanish harder than english.And Turkish 10x harder than spanish

February 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/childishfrankino
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Are можете and möchten related?

June 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dary855844

можете is more könnten in german. Можете сказать, где мама? = Könnten Sie mir sagen, wo Mama ist?

February 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gulpepper
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It's at least related to machen. The infinitive is мочь.

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Opheliia_

What is the difference between "сказат" and "сказать"?

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/bennyboy2104
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Why is this conjugated in formal address? This kind of sentence seems like something you'd only say to a brother or sister. Thanks!

November 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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You can use this sentence is so many context, not only with your family:

  • Your mother is missing, you ask the policeman: "Can you tell me where mom is?".

  • You are a kid, in the supermarket, you go to a cashier and ask: "Can you tell me where mom is?".

  • You are talking to a friend of your mother, you ask him: "Can you tell me where mom is?".

  • Etc.

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dempl
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"Skazhite pozhaluysta, Znate li gde moya mama ? " ... or " [..] Tvoya Mama [..] " .

when you just say "mama" without mine or yours, it just implies "our mum" .

Pfff, what are we even debating about here :D haha

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Of course you tend to use the possessive if you talk to a policeman or strangers. However, a kid could say "mom" instead of "my mom". Therefore, the sentence, the way it is written with a polite вы, is acceptable in a context outside of family (a kid talking to a cashier), and therefore is not that strange, just uncommon.

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bennyboy2104
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Ok, thanks for the response. I think it did just trip me up, because without a possessive pronoun, it seems like you're addressing someone who already is fully aware of who exactly "mom" is - with whom I'd use an informal register.

May 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dempl
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Yeah kinda unnatural. if instead of Mama they've used, say, Museum, it would work better ;-)

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zinthak

So...скажите ... сказать ... скажи ... difference?

June 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimidov

Polite/plural, infinitive, informal/singular, if I have it right.

October 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kongekrabbe
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Можете is formal or plural, right? What would be the informal singular version of it?

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Formal (2nd person singular) or plural (2nd person plural).

Можешь сказать (2nd person singular).

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kongekrabbe
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Sure, I understood that. The lesson just didn't teach us the 2.prs.sg. of it, that's why I asked! Я благодарю тебя!

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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If you want to learn alternatives of words (like благодарю for спасибо), you can say не за что instead of пожалуйста as a reply to спасибо. :)

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AmjedDweik
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не за что по английски = "not at all" roughly ?

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AmjedDweik
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@Lucas perhaps it would be best to say "не за что" would resemble more closely "de rien"(its nothing/you're welcome) in French.

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Thank you => For nothing, not at all.

But litterally it seems to mean "Not for which": ("Thank) not(/Don't thank me) for which (I have helped you for).

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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I didn't know "Not at all" was a way of answering to "Thank you" haha!

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gulpepper
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Yes. Like "de nada"

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Scott0073
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Can a perfective verb be used after мочь? Shouldn't it be говорить not сказать?

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dempl
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It should be skazat ;-) . If you said govorit' , it would basically mean you would expect a man to "talk" rather than say something, i.e. you would expect him to talk to you for a while, not just to tell you something and go on with his business :-)

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Scott0073
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Thanks, dempl, for the correction and explanation.

November 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Chel-lala

Why not. May you tell me, where is mom? Like do you have permission to tell me to location of mom.

January 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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Of course you could say this but, as no English speaker would say it, you would sound very quaint - and like a foreign speaker. Also you would not say 'Can you tell me where is Mum?' You would say 'Can you tell me where Mum is?' Whereas without the preceding 'Can' you would say 'Where is Mum?' Very tricky!

January 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Chel-lala

English speakers have said this and do say it, it is not uncommon at all. May you tell me where your manager is, is a common request on the Casino floor. Its probably used in the military too. Example, May you tell me your orders. The can suggests ability, do the person you ask, have the information. May you tell me assumes the person has the knowledge it is more a question of the authority to share that information.

What I wanted to know is how do you distinguish between the two meanings if they sound the same. Perhaps in Russia can and may are combined. Then if you reply -Нет- it could mean you just don't know the answer or you are not allowed to disclose the answer.

That however is speculation.

January 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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In that case "may" is different from "can" or "could" as it means "are you allowed to tell me..." I would be willing to bet there is a different Russian expression for that, but I am not a native Russian speaker so I cannot be sure.

February 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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May you tell me is a rare usage in English.

For one thing, it asks whether a person is allowed to tell you something, not whether they can.

In situations where it is clear that the person could tell you if they wanted to, using may you suggests the listener could tell you but might not want to take the time to bother with you. An exceedingly polite approach in most situations.

Generally, if you don't want to be pushy, you ask may I ask you where the manager is, or whatever.

July 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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Very interesting Chel-lala. I have never heard this. Which English speaking country are you referring to?

January 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Chel-lala

I am from South Africa, so the English people here mostly descent from the Brits and the Irish.

January 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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I'm from New Zealand - same! But obviously our countries have each developed their own traditions as well.

January 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffereyHart

My first instinct was "might you tell me" which is (I think) the correct form of "May" in that context. It was my only wrong answer! (doht!)

January 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/haa26

I hate this one. I'm a Hindi speaker and initially i thought можете meant to me because the word for that in hindi is similar and the word order is the same. It's terrible.

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hypershock
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Is please an acceptable translation of Можете? I had "please tell me, where is mum?"

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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No. "Please" and "Can you" are two different things for sure:

  • Скажи, пожалуйста : Use of the imperative for the verb to tell, you give an order. Translation: Tell me, please.

  • Можете сказать: Use of an infinitive for the verb to tell and another conjugate verb Can. You are asking if the person is able to tell you, not asking him to tell you. Translation: Can you tell me.

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/opaloma

If this sentence is 'Can you tell me where {my} mom is, how do you say, 'Can you tell me were YOUR mom is?'

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Где твоя мама, you just need to precize the твоя, like you've done before to say your (house, dog, mom, family, etc.).

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/opaloma

Thank you!

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hecknado

What's the difference between сказать and the others? And where can I learn this grammar stuff you all seem to know about, that I can't seem to find on here? Thanks :]

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ViticellaV
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I don't understand the first part of your question. Could you explain what you're calling 'the others'?

For the second part of the question, here is a link to a site I find useful for Russian grammar:

http://www.russianforeveryone.com/

March 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/thuongagri1
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It's a very useful page, спасибо Veronica

September 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ViticellaV
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Пожалуйста.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Louise213849

Thanks very much for the link, looks really useful!

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/OmarMahmoudov
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Can't I say "can you please tell me...."? It should be respectful in English as well, eh?

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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Yes you can.

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Oscar.Tov

Are commas mandatory here like in German, or just used for timing/separation?

January 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Mandatory. Some example:

  • Можете сказать, где ресторан?
  • Скажи, ты ходишь в школу?
  • Я ем, потому что я хочу есть.
January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/romilosh

Can we add "please"- "pozhaluista" at the end or does it go somewhere else?

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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I don't think it is necessary: You are already being polite by asking if he "can".

However, I'd say you should put пожалуйста earlier: Можете сказать, пожалуйста, где мама?

It is necessary if you are polite and if you are demanding someone to do something for you (like "to tell" you something): Скажите, пожалуйста, где мама?".

Maybe a native russian speaker can tell us more about all this. I really feel what I say is correct, but maybe you can also put пожалуйста at the end of the sentence.

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/diogo8484

Is it correct if I put the pronoun вы in the sentence, like: "Можете вы сказать" ?

January 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimidov

Would I use this sentence also when trying to teach a child to say "Where is mama"? (Polite form or not.)

February 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/aron_csoka

Mozhete skazat', gde mama?

Why is this incorrect? It ❤❤❤❤❤ me up everytime, however it is correct.... Tell me guys what's wrong with it... Or tell me the correct version

August 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SkyNoName
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Because you wrote it on translit but you have to translate it in English =)

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dlung1
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How cam I tell if где мама means "my" mom or "your" mom? It seemed more logical to me to assume "your", but I was marked wrong.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmjedDweik
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где мама means "where is Mom?" .. If you were asking about someone else's mom, где тбоя мама?

March 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hyper22

After learning 'пап' means 'dad' in the previous exercise, I thought 'папа' & 'мама' translated to 'daddy' and 'mummy' respectively. I was wrong...

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/andreidera
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do you may told, where is mother?

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/eaturin
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всегда ставлю mom/dad и не парюсь ваще.

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NinoVessel

I often don't understand the pronunciation! E.g. here I hear "shkavet'"!

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NinoVessel

Why I hear "shkavet'"?

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TaylorShai

In this sentence, how do you know whose мама the speaker is referring to?

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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You don't. In fact, it doesn't necessarily even mean a person. The question asks where someone or something called mama is. Like most questions, you need context to be sure exactly what is meant.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dolores210552
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Yo no sè cuando he de poner el pronombre "me".

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gerrard_SpM

I dont know but can you explane me if i anser "can you show me where is mom" it will be also right anser or not

November 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/071g1
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Мама в мой мачина

December 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Klaus650857
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(physics joke about detecting the gravitational waves caused by the acceleration of very massive bodies)

December 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Furkat12

Mam not mama

February 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/071g1
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August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KAMIXUS

.

December 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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I said 'Will you tell me where Mum is?" It marked 'will' as wrong - but in English we could say 'Could', 'Will' or 'Can'. Why is 'Will' wrong?

December 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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We would also say 'Would you tell me where Mum is?'

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/David819731

I said "may you say, where is mom", surely this is correct as well no? If not, why?

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JanF
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May implies that someone needs to give the person permission. eg. 'May I have the day off on Friday?' This would be unlikely to be correct in the case of 'where is Mom'. And never used. 'Can' and 'could' ask if you are able to tell me. So they are ok. 'Will' and 'would' ask if you are willing to tell me, so probably not so good - but often used.

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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We use "tell me" and "say something", the something can be a word or a quote, but not a question phrase. If there is going to be something long as in a story or a possible list of directions, we will use "tell".

February 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/eKenda

What is wrong with "Can you tell me where mom is?"

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/estebanmend

Можете se ve como "mollete". Y así se quedará escrito en mi mexicano corazón.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dani383974

Shouldn't we say можете "мне" сказать... Without saying the "me" part in Russian, can it be always implicit?

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AdalardRic

Can I use the word Mozhna, instead of Mozhete?

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiliew
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Mozhna it's ( Mozhna YA Sdelau Eto ) and (VY MOZHETE Sdelat" ETO

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Song-of-Sunlight

Is it really that common to start a sentence with "Tell me" or "Say" in Russian that we need to learn all these different forms of it so early on? I'm genuinely curious how frequently you'd need to use these phrases, since it's not extremely common to preface a question with "tell me," or "say," in English. People do say it, just not often enough that I'd consider it a priority for someone learning English to learn it. Is it much more common in Russian?

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BoomerangButler

I've also been curious about this. In this particular sentence it seems practical, but there are others such as, "Say, where is Vera?", that it seems a bit old fashioned for an English speaker to say. Though, to be honest, I think we may have simply substituted "hey" in for "say" as I frequently hear sentences such as, "Hey, did you see Game of Thrones last night?". But, that may just be a thing in the U.S.A. Still, I'm curious to see if a native Russian speaker can speak to the prevalence of using "сказать" in this way in their country.

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexis217645

It would be quite rude to ask a question without saying this first. It would be implying that you have a right to the answer. Можете сказать acknowledges that they have the option not to answer you.

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamara400215

Why ''Mozhete skazat’, gde mama?'' cant be translated as "Can you say, where is mom?"

May 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheWilliam7

I thought that it meant something along the lines of "Can I say where mom is?" If there's no apparent subject is there always an implied "you"?

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate574418

No, because the verb ending -ете indicates that the dropped pronoun is вы.

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheWilliam7

Ah, thanks.

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate574418

No problem, I've found this site really helpful for breaking down verbs: http://cooljugator.com/ru

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dun0ne
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Can it not also mean "Please can you tell me where mum is?" or would you say that differently?

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JarinNicole

Why can't it be "are you able to tell me where mom is"

May 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BoomerangButler

I'm a bit late to the party, but that should be an acceptable translation. It probably isn't because "are you able" is more concisely conveyed by the word "can", which denotes one's ability, based on physical ability or knowledge, to do something. I've found a lot of times, it's simply learning to play by Duolingo's rules. In the lesson that included "можете", did they originally translate it as "can" or as "are you able"? Usually, if you stick with that originally taught translation in your answers, you're okay.

Also, I think Northernguy has confused "can" with, "may" which denotes ones ability to do something based on permissions and clearances. And to be fair, many English speakers in the U.S.A. interchange these words often. It's a common, and poorly made, joke among grade school. A child asks if they "can" go to the bathroom and the teacher replies, "I don't know? 'Can' you?", because the child does not lack the ability, but permission to leave the room and so should use "may".

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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I am able to tell you but I can't because I am not allowed to.

May 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/scream.jpg

The woman is putting stress on the wrong words, making the wording of my answer totally different.

December 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ComMentist

I came here to find out what "ж" sound is applied in this sentence?

October 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimidov

Could you rewrite your question? It is unclear what you are trying to figure out.

October 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/George_E_burns

May does not work for Mozh-? May you tell me, where is mom? Not allowed?

October 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SkyNoName
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Can you tell me where Mr. Wallace is? =)))

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JaAlLuFu

It didn't accept "mommy"

November 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/raveh
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,zuku asked his father

October 2, 2017
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