"The cat is in a tree."
Translation:Кошка на дереве.
I don't think that's usual. When someone says the cat (or bird, or kite, or child) is in the tree, I'd think the cat (or bird, or child) was climbing around or sitting in the branches of the tree. If the cat is in a hollow in the tree, or embedded somehow in the wood, I would say "in a hollow" or "embedded in the wood," or "in the tree trunk."
Agreed. As a 41 year old native English speaker, I would assume, "The cat is in the tree," to really mean "The cat is in the branches of the tree," or "The cat is on the branches of the tree."
If we intended to imply the cat was literally a part of the tree or in a hollow of the tree, we would say, "The cat is inside the tree," or would use more specific words to give it context.
I wouldn't say that the cat is literally "inside" the branches, but is rather among the branches. English is heavily idiomatic, and therefore allows for quite a bit of colloquial flexibility. It's perfectly acceptable to say that a cat is "in" a tree without literally meaning that the cat is inside the tree, or imbedded in the tree.
Prepositions are a little weird when translating across languages. I've been having trouble with Russian prepositions myself. You just have to figure out how different languages apply their prepositions. Coming here to ask questions helps.
Growing up as a tree-climbing child with a tree-climbing sibling and tree climbing cats, we would definitely say "so-and-so is in the tree" when that person or cat had reached any branch. Also, "the kite is in the tree," even if it was only stabbed on an outer branch. Native speaker from Western Massachusetts, here.
Yeah, if someone tells me a cat is in a tree, I am imagining the tree is hollow and the cat is inside. Or inside the leafy crown of the tree. If you say the cat is on a tree, I see that the cat is climbing on it or sitting on a branch. Duo get it right, I refuse to do this lesson unless it's corrected. In a tree means в дереве.
In English, the conditions for which we would say "the cat is on the tree" are different, and somewhat unusual. For instance, if a cat is climbing a tree and has stopped half way up the trunk, you could get away with saying that the cat is "on" the tree.
Another, slightly more likely and less specific scenario would be if a tree has fallen over. The tree is laying sideways on the ground, and the cat is sitting "on" the tree. However, if the cat is within the branches if this fallen tree, we would still say "in". It would probably be something like "the cat is in those tree branches".
It's very context sensitive and isn't exactly intuitive, but I hope this helps.
What you want to look for is motion, or lack thereof. For instance, stationary prepositions such as in, at, on, above, below, etc. will take the ablative case. Prepositions that indicate motion such as into and onto will take the accusative case.
Now that I think about it, looking up Russian declensions and conjugations might not be a bad idea.
Are you sure you mean "ablative"? None of the cases that Russian uses are called ablative. There is an ablative case used in some other languages that roughly refers to "motion away from" - that doesn't line up with Russian usage. The case you're referring to is usually called prepositional case or locative case.
Does "Cat in tree" make sense to you? You can't judge his Russian sentence using English rules. His sentence makes sense. It's just that the team decided that only sentences with neutral word order would be accepted, otherwise they'd have to enter every possible sentence with those words. They talk about it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13955228
So don't patronize him with your faulty logic.
Actually, Beingfollowed has a point. While the word order may make sense in Russian, why does diesch want to change a valid Russian word order which parallels the English to force his/her own personal interpretation on the programmers of Duolingo?
It's like the numerous people studying other languages who insist on not using valid cognates, instead expecting Duo to accommodate their own personal flights of literary fancy with synonyms.
So there's a point to the question, although it might have been stated more diplomatically: Why does diesch want to change the word order when the "correct" answer is quite obvious and readily available?
This isn't a course in creative writing, it's a beginning language course.
Well, he is NOT trying to force anything on anyone. He is simply arguing that another word order is also possible. Plus, one of the advantages of having cases is precisely to have a more flexible word order - and that is also important to teach. So, it does seem like you are trying to apply a logic of "the best word order" to a language where it doesn't make much sense to use it. Most likely, the real reason is the one pointed out by someone else: in a program where every acceptable response has to be introduced by hand, many valid options will have to be left out. BUT in the forum, it is important to point this out, instead of ridiculing people who ask about alternatives.
In their base form, и sounds like ee and е sounds like yeah.
But Russian has a complex system of stressed and unstressed syllables that change the vowel sound, so that there is a variety of sounds possible from these letters such as eh and i.
This happens to a lesser extent in English, e.g. the "i" in "credit" sounds like "uh".
I think folks can't see the forest because of the tree but what I am following the goal main point in this lesson which I think is to show us our 1st examples of what the Prepositional Case "на дереве will look like given the prepositional case, but as a 60 year old learner, don't hold me to it.
Well, perhaps if the english sentence explicitly said "the cat is inside the crown of the tree" (sounds strange, but...), you would use "в", but even then you would have to translate "the crown of the tree" to Russian. On the other hand, if you are trying to argue that one should be able to use "в" because it sounds logical to you, remember that is not how langauges work, and you shouldn't even try to apply the "logic" of one language to another. Languages are more about usage than logic, and this is especially true when it comes to prepositions (that's why it's so difficult to translate them). In the case of "на" and "в", Russian native speakers can explain this much better, but the main points are: a) There is no one-to-one correspondence to English; b) There are some "guidelines" as to when to use one or the other, but sometimes you just have to learn it.
The English sentence should be "the cat is on a tree" not "in". Makes it very misleading when translating the sentence into Russian.