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  5. "The cat is in a tree."

"The cat is in a tree."

Translation:Кошка на дереве.

November 6, 2015



Why can't you use в with this?


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.


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.


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.


Thank you! That helps a lot!


And what about when its an Owl in tree hole?


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


Be careful not to drop the Л


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.


I feel exactly the same


I agree! Cyrillic alphabet was a challenge at the beginning, and now I just love reading and learning these new words as if they were written in Latin alphabet.


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


kevmo314, that is really funny! :3


Why downvote this? Sheesh.


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


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"


The English sentence has to be corrected to "the cat is on the tree" if that's what they want to convey. Let's be consistent.


I would disagree. To me, "The cat is on the tree" evokes an image of a cat sitting on the very tip top of the tree.


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.


кошка В дереве


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!


I laughed so hard that I farted. Lol!


Thank you for this GEM!


How did you post that?????


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.


Thank you that helps a lot!


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


Why it can't be kOT


Why is на дереве кошка is not accepted?


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


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

There is a cat in the tree.


I don't know. I juat got pinged on the same word order. There is a similar word order for "на дереве птицы".

I get what PeterPyshn is saying but I disagree with their analysis because we are asked to translate an answer without the question for context.


Does 'In tree cat' make sense to you?


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.


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


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.


Why KOT is not accepted?


Because a Кот knows better than to get stuck in a tree, poor кошка doesn't.


Them's fighting words.


dear duo, please accept кот as well


Почему кошка на дереве, а не кот? ;)


"Кошка на дерево" is not the same? what about: "Кот на дерево"


It should be "девере" rather than "деверо" since it is in after "на". (It's in its prepositional case)


Please someone save the poor кошка


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?


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


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.


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


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


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


Difference between дереве and дерево


дерево is the base (nominative) form. дереве is the prepositional form because it follows на. For almost all nouns in Russian the prepositional ending is -е.


What is the difference between Кот & Кошка?


кот is tomcat


Can in a hat But on the tree

I think it's wrong english


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


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


No, that's fairly unnatural English.


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


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


That means "This cat is in the tree."


What's the difference between дерево and дереве ?


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


Could someone pls tell me an easy way to tell the difference between 'и' and 'е'. To me they sound really similar


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".


My thinking was Кошка на дереве. The cat in the tree (a phrase) или Кошка равняется на дереве. A complete sentence


I'd like to share some very important content to give this sentence some context. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_Nr31Lv6H8


Is there a reason why кот is incorrect? If we do not know the gender of the cat then should we say feminjne кошка? Спасибо


I think that is right. I think the default is кошка, even if you know the gender of the cat. I think you say кот if you want to emphasize that it is a male cat.


Кошки дерево?


How can we say "дома" without "на" but not just "дереве"


дома can be used in a specific way that means "at home" even though you wouldn't expect that.


How can we use "дома" only to imple "at home" but not others? Why isn't "дереве" enough to say "at the tree"


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.


In has to be "в"but it writes "на"


Ok I'm a little confuse. Isn't the right way supposed to be (на дереве кошка?) Instead of (кошка на дереве)


Both ways are fine as Russian is not that worried about word order.


Why is "на дереве кошка" not accepted?


Your sentence (with "B") means the cat is inside the tree.


yes... inside the tree...

exactly... inside the crown of the tree...


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.


i think.. if i will written... "на дереве"... it will be sounds even weirder... above the tree... or something like this...


А как будет "кошка в дереве"


The cat is inside a tree.


What is the difference between дереве and дерево?


james.s1 has already asked this above and I've answered it.


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.


    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!!


    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.

    [deactivated user]

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


      Why has spelling changed??


      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.


      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.


      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")


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

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