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  5. "The cat is in a tree."

"The cat is in a tree."

Translation:Кошка на дереве.

November 6, 2015

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knowingisgrowing

Why can't you use в with this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kevmo314

Because in Russian, в is taken much more literally than "in" in English, so Кошка в дереве would imply that the cat is quite literally embedded in the tree, or in a hollow.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knowingisgrowing

Thank you! That helps a lot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/martinkunev

The english sentence can very well be understood as a cat being inside a tree. This wouldn't be surprizing given what sentences come up in duolingo sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deltaray3

And what about when its an Owl in tree hole?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CTO_COB

Would probably be more specific then: "сова в дупле".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben491657

I was about to ask this same thing. So essentially the difference here is "in" as opposed to "upon" or "atop".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James235314

Wow, its rough translations like this that really got me into learning such a beautiful language like Russian. It is so much more fun than learning spanish because of the different alphabet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/na.di.a

kevmo314, that is really funny! :3


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdgarChvez1

Does not it happens when a cat is already IN a tree? Inside the branches?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DjZixel

No, in Russian it is always Кошка на дереве. If only a cat is not inside a tree. Fairly the sentence in English for Russians seems some kind of preposterous too because of "in"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben491657

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Greeegor

кошка В дереве


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeckyJeaned

Because of this hysterically funny visual picture of Кошка в дереве vs Кошка на дереве, I don't think I will ever make this mistake, again! Благодарю вас!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben491657

I laughed so hard that I farted. Lol!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George_Czesnin

Thank you for this GEM!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bar_an

на is closer to "on" or "at" than to "in". на is used to sescribe that something is on some kind of surface. в is used to secribe that something is literally inside something else.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knowingisgrowing

Thank you that helps a lot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenkiz92

but a cat on a tree is still on it's surface :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CTO_COB

"в" would mean the cat is physically inside the trunk... Which is possible if the tree has a hollow or something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woldemar_Lut

I've used "в" here, thinking the cat was in a hollow. )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaranGuler2

Why can't you use B with this Or it should be"cat on the tree"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben491657

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben491657

Edit: within the branches of* this fallen tree.

Sorry for the typo. I wish we could go back and edit our comments without having to delete them and retype them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZaidRockso

Is it дереве instead of дерево because tree is in the prepositional case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexFromAus

Yep. Nouns are always in the prepositional case if the follow the prepositions в (in), на (on/at) or о (about).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaborBihary

Not always. В and на mean into, onto with accusative. Thus на дерево and в дерево may be correct as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben491657

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diesch

Why is на дереве кошка is not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woldemar_Lut

На дереве кошка. It is a pretty good sentence for me, but it means something different.

There is a cat in the tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterPyshn

Because "на дереве кошка" is answer for the question "Who/what is"? But "кошка на дереве" answering "where is".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beingfollowed

Does 'In tree cat' make sense to you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YazykPineapple

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JP46622

If you were any more inbred, you'd be a sandwich.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cixx18

Why it can't be kOT


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas958610

couldn't you make it so one could hear the right sentence, as well as reading it? I learn much better with Audio and visual together.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fazilyana

Почему кошка на дереве, а не кот? ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/digigoth

Can in a hat But on the tree

I think it's wrong english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CTO_COB

"in" is okay, but "The cat is up a tree" is probably just as common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r_andres31

"The cat is on the tree" is not better?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

No, that's fairly unnatural English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikas_original

Shouldn't it be on the tree?


[deactivated user]

    The English sentence should be "the cat is on a tree" not "in". Makes it very misleading when translating the sentence into Russian.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig231800

    No, I'm an English native speaker and I have NEVER heard "the cat is on a tree". We say 'in' because the tree branches extend beyond the cat. Sorry, it's just one of those things we need to learn - like when г is pronounced в!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    It's only misleading if you assume there is perfect 1:1 matching between English and Russian prepositions, which of course there are not. To say something is "on a tree" in English is very strange, like it is right on the highest possible part.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyNameIsIkea

    For some reason, when I capitalized the 'K' in 'Кошка', it didn't count it as right even when the rest of the sentence matched the correct solution. Does it matter if the K is capitalized or not?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dolliekoo

    I'd report that; capital letters should be accepted just as well as lowercase.


    [deactivated user]

      I typed «на дереве Кошка» and it said it’s wrong??


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zabou70

      Why KOT is not accepted?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HALZDAR4

      So our phrase translated for them would be cat is on a tree. Pretty much


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shitokan

      Трудности перевода... Чтож - учимся)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dungeol

      Shouldn't "эта кошка..." be correct as well?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vPBp19

      Why should it be дереве? I mean why with the е at the end?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

      Most words end in -е when they are in the prepositional case, which is used with locations after на or в.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrigoRoMark

      Кошка на германия и кот на далеко - неграмотны и бессмысленны. Замените


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilyKress5

      Why doesn't эта кошка на дереве work in this scenario?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarthakMoh9

      What's the difference between дерево and дереве ?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

      As is the case with most words, the -е endings means the prepositional case, which usually refers to fixed locations.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leonig01

      I have never heard someone saying "in a tree", meaning "on a tree". But then again, I am not a native English speaker and might be missing something. Still, this is kinda confusing, and I think "on a tree" would make more sense here.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mari_Glotting

      As a native American English speaker, "on a tree" sounds very peculiar. We use "in" to describe things that are on the branches, viewing it as being within the area encompassed by the tree.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianFarre19

      Why isn't it ("Кошка ли в дерево." "A cat is in a tree") rather than ("Кошка на дереве." "A cat is on a tree")


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/januszekpl

      THe sentence should be changed to: The cat is on a tree. Then it makes sense.

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