"Ваня объяснял бабушке, где находится школа."

Translation:Vanya was explaining to his grandmother where the school was.

November 5, 2015

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I think the original sentence does not have the word his. Could the sentence mean that Vanja explained to (a) grandmother...?


If she was someone else's grandmother, it would be said so. Here, the sentence implies it is his grandmother. Russian does not use possessive pronouns as often as English does.


What if I was talking to my brother and we were talking about my grandma?

Like in English, I'd say "John told mum where the shop is" if I'm talking about MY mum. The "my" is already implied in english for family members. But not in Russian?


находится is in present tense, yet the recommended translation "where the school was" is in past tense. Not sure if this is a mistake, or if I'm not understanding something.


Sequence of tenses is not needed in Russian.


The English word "was" indicates that the school existed in the past but not in the present. So... is this detail lost when it's translated to Russian? (for example, there is a difference between "where WAS the school" and "where IS the school)


In English, the meaning of the tense of the second verb ("was") depends on the tense of the main verb ("was explaining").

If the main verb is in the present tense, the tense of the second verb is the same as if you were reporting a quote directly.

If the main verb is in a past tense, the tense of the second verb has to be in the past tense to show action at the same time of the main verb, and the past perfect tense to show action before the main verb.

Think of it this way: the explaining took place in the past. Something that was explained as "is" in the past is a "was" now. Something that was explained as a "was" in the past is a "had been" now. "Was" comes before "is" and "had been" comes before "was."

Contrast the following: Vanya tells her, "this is where the school is." Vanya tells her where the school is.


Vanya told her, "this is where the school is." Vanya told her where the school was.


Vanya told her, "this is where the school was." Vanya told here where the school had been.


"[X] told [y] this is where the school had been" is probably the clearest way of stating that the conversation happened in the past about something that was already in the past at the time of the conversation. But "[x] told [y] this is where the school was" most certainly also leaves this sentence open to the same interpretation.


This moment when you think... Ваня is definitely feminine, no matter what the TTS says. Haha! I'll write объясняла. And then you discover that Ваня is male.


just like how миша/misha sounds feminine only to be a dimunitive form of михаил/mikhail

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    To assume that the grandmother is Vanya's grandmother and not the speaker's grandmother, nor even my grandmother, stretches the context. There is nothing in the sentence that clearly shows the grandmother is Vanya's grandmother. I would accept that the grandmother to whom Vanya spoke was indeed his grandmother if the pronoun свою were included: Ваня объяснял свою бабушке, где находится школа. It is not. And thus, the exercise is in error for refusing the translation "Vanya explained to grandmother where the school is." Perhaps he is helping my grandmother! Without the pronoun, it cannot be certain to whose grandmother he gave the explanation.


    It is: своей бабушке


    But in Russian "babushka" is also mean "an old woman", so Vanya could explain location of the school not only to the his grandmother but to any old woman, for example, on the street. I think that "Vanya was explaining to an old woman where the school is." also acceptable (just not sure about indefinite article).


    Old women are sometimes addressed as "бабушка", but we don't normally use this word to refer to old women. We'd say "старушка", "пожилая женщина".


    Strange, but in Belarus we use "бабушка" often when we're talking about old woman.


    It's not totally wrong, but just not as common.


    Maybe it depends from country or something, but here "бабушка" used more often than "старушка" or "пожилая женщина" in colloquial speech in regard to an old woman. I'm not saying that it is wrong too, but I think that this option could be added in the list.


    This course is not aimed at native speakers.


    Vanya explained grandmother where the school is.

    Vanya explained his grandmother where the school is.

    Vanya explained to his grandmother where the school is.

    Vanya explained grandmother where the school was.

    Vanya explained his grandmother where the school was.

    Vanya explained to his grandmother where the school was.

    Whats wrong about those sentences? They're all not accepted but I feel they should. :(


    At least in American English (not sure about British English), the verb "explain" requires a "to" before the person receiving the explanation. Also, and this applies to all 6 examples you gave, I think "explained" would be translated into Russian as the perfective объяснил, at least in this context. Since the Russian sentence provided here used the imperfective объяснял, I think it has to be "was explaining".


    Why is this "was explaining" and not "explained"? How woukd you say "explained"?


    Not a native Russian speaker, but I suspect "explained", at least in this context, would require the perfective verb объяснить (to be conjugated here as объяснил).


    In English, that should be "explaining to his grandmother".


    ob"yasnyal is always wrong, I write it as you, why I cannot go on?


    How do I know if it's his Grandmother?

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