"В зоопарке много животных."
Translation:There are many animals in the zoo.
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DL marks wrong "At the zoo are a lot of animals" because it wants to see "there are" and not just "are." I've seen this requirement for "there" many times here and I don't understand it. It seems to me adding "there" adds a little bit of emphasis in English, which would be equivalent to adding "есть" to the Russian, i.e., "Есть много животних." Am I wrong??
I'd say 'At the zoo are a lot of animals' sounds extremely stilted. 'There is/are' is a very neutral way of expressing existence in English, because 'to be' is a very weak verb. In Russian on the other hand, existence is normally implicit in sentences, with есть being used only for statements indicating existence by itself (not in/on a place, with someone/sth etc.)
Does it sound stilted? You mean stilted as in too formal?
I leave out the 'there' automatically and am constantly punished for doing so, rather annoying. I assumed it was because it sounded too informal rather than formal.
I was also wondering why "there" is so important. I think it's because of the declination, even there is no difference in English. After translating it to German with and without "there" i recognized that it is nominativ without there an accusative with there. I am a beginner but it seems to me that it is accusative in Russian too. So this might be the reason why "there" is used. Is there an russian expert who can clarify this?
In the zoo there are many animals is accepted. This more closely follows the original word order, but it's important to understand the function of the 'there.'
It places emphasis on the animals, rather than the zoo; whereas in Russian they must more strongly rely on the word order to do so.
This sentence is emphasizing "many animals" because it's at the end of the sentence. And DL really wants us to use "There are ...." to convey this emphasis. I too struggled with this for a long time, but after seeing all their examples, plus tutorials on word order and ways of emphasizing subjects and objects, I've finally conceded that "There are ....." constructions in English often really do correspond best to the Russian we are given to translate.
Plural genitive. See declension table here. Of course none of that would make sense to me (why genitive?!) if servolock would not have told us that много requires genitive - see that post above and give a lingot or an upvote to him! :) My brain would have struggled over this a long time without his help.