1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "На столе лежит яблоко."

"На столе лежит яблоко."

Translation:There is an apple on the table.

November 6, 2015



What would the difference be between "На столе лежит яблоко" and "На столе стоит яблоко"? And when would you express one phrase instead of the another?


The two mean the horizontal and vertical position of the object respectively. In Russian, these two verbs are used to clarify the state of one thing on another, which either stands or lies on it. An example of стоять: Поставьте бутылку на стол (Put the bottle [standing OR vertically] on the table).


Thanks. But what if the object is a ball? Are there times you can just interchange the two?


You can't say a ball or an apple is standing.

In fact, it is hard to define a clear rule whether you should use "стоять", "сидеть" or "лежать". There is a Russian joke about that. I made a separate post for that: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11781333


Olimo, LOL! I am Russian and never thought about it. Your post make me understand how hard it is for others to understand.


I guess I have an advantage as a native speaker of another Slavic language, so I use my intuition (or my mother tongue, Czech, respectively) in many cases here.

I'd say that the verb "stand" (стоять) is used with things which are rather high than wide (higher than wider) - e.g. a bottle (as in amins2s' example). Compare it with a standing person vs. a lying person.

When I tried the Dutch course on Duolingo, I realized that these different verbs are used in Dutch as well when describing positions of objects.


That's where a native should care to join in and comment on. I have studied Russian grammar, on and off, for almost 2 years, but to no avail. I'm even correcting native Russian speakers but I can't speak the language myself. There are simply too many rules to it. duolingo's method is probably the best way to learn it, that is, to learn it by examples, until we reach the A1 level.


matanov, what are the verbs in Dutch?


Haha! You're right! I went to so school in the Netherlands, but I never thought about it back then. De appel staat op de tafel. staat - стоять


Actually, in Dutch it would be: 'De appel ligt op de tafel', so using the verb 'to lie' just like in Russian.


Sorry, I don't remember, it's quite a long time... I suppose they are somewhat similar to the German verbs: stehen, liegen, hängen...


I remember staan, liggen, and zitten from the Duolingo course...


to stand > staan to lie > liggen


Лежит = lies, стоит = stands


What is the difference between " На столе яблоко " and " На столе лежит яблоко " ?


I think

На столе яблоко = The apple is on the table

На столе лежит яблоко = There is an apple on the table.


Why not just На столе яблоко?


Not a native, but...

  • If you mean "why isn't that counted as a correct answer?", usually because лежит was in there and Duo is picky about that kind of thing.

  • If you mean "what's the difference between keeping or dropping лежит?", my understanding is that they're synonymous, but there may be times when you want to add the verb, like to mirror a question in response, or if you want to sound more "proper".


Could the reason to use that verb here also be to be precise?


While it's not as literal a translation, could you not express this idea in English by saying that the apple is sitting on the table?


It would be quite proper to say "There is an apple sitting on the table" in English...but although that would be a proper sentence, it is not the correct translation for this Russian sentence.


But I would think that "to sit" is the basic equivalent in English for inanimate objects that are left unattended. "I left my book sitting on the kitchen table." Inanimate objects don't generally stand or lie in and of themselves.


"I left my book lying on the table" sounds fine to me and I'm a native speaker. Your right that it is probably less common than "sitting", but it doesn't sound strange at all.


How is it not correct? What would be the correct Russian verb for an inanimate object sitting on a table?


I don't know Russian that well yet, but I am native Dutch, and Dutch doesn't have a verb for inanimate objects sitting on something, and I assume it works the same in Russian. You just say 'it lies there' or 'it is there'. You can only use 'to sit' when using it as a joke or when the object is literally sitting, like with a puppet or something.


In order to say "An apple is on the table" is it also acceptable to say "Яблоко на столе"? If so, what is the difference between "Яблоко на столе" and "На столе лежит яблоко"


Is it possible to also say "На столе есть яблоко"?


It's possible but sounds awkward.


Во множественном числе, при описании блюд на столе для гостей, это более верное использование. "На столе есть яблоки? А апельсины там тоже есть?"


why not "the apple is on the table?" (It told me it had to be "an apple")

  • Both "the apple" and "an apple" are "яблоко" in Russian.
  • Except for the times when you say "one apple" which is "одно яблоко".
  • When they say that word order isn't important in Russian, it holds true in the sense that you can speak it, think about your intended words, and add them to the end of your sentence. This is not always possible in English. In English, some times you need to go back and correct the structure of your sentence.
  • After having said the points above, now I can say that, yes, word order is important in Russian, when you make direct translations.
  • There is an apple on the table - На столе лежит яблоко.
  • The apple is on the table - Яблоко лежит на столе.


On the table there's an apple == On the table is an apple. I would argue the second construction should be accepted. For this example and others.


Maybe it wasn't accepted because the "There is" was actually a word, and they wanted to make sure you caught it.


"There on thr table is an apple" is not accepted.


That's because "the" is spelled without an "R". ;)


There lies an apple on the table should be accepted.


Still not accepted on 05/2017. Reported.


Sounds like the beginning of a funeral mass for an apple. D:


Can't apples sit in English? Как вы думаете?


In Russian only animate objects sit. Inanimate objects lay or stand


Interesting; in English it's the opposite - see above.


Not necessarily, in English I could say that my umbrella was standing in the corner and you would know that I had left it propped upright, as opposed to it's lying on the floor of my car. So, something long can be stood up. I would say an apple or teacup is sitting on the table, but my book is lying on the table. I think that "sitting" is more often used in English. You can also have a picture hanging on a wall, even though it is not actively doing that either. We have secured it to the wall.


Sure... but in English inanimate objects sit all time, especially on elevated flat surfaces like shelves and tables, and that is what is meant here. In English it weird for an apple to lay or stand anywhere off the ground.


Can we just take out the лежит? Will it hold the same meaning? Itll be на столе яблоко.


I'm getting flashbacks to German and Dutch here...how strict is Russian about "you should not use is to describe location?" (Although, since Russian doesn't really use an is I guess it would be more like "how wrong is Яблоко - на столе"?)



1) You can use is for location, it's just awkward in many cases. "На столе есть яблоко" is correct, but sounds very strange in Russian.

2) In "Яблоко - на столе", the subject is the apple, so it translates to: The apple is on the table. So, like in English, it can be used if you know in advance that there in an apple, but don't know where it is. The sentence "There is an apple on the table", however, doesn't assume prior knowledge of the apple's existence.


Why is it столе here? I thought that, being in the accusative, and being an inanimate object, it would keep the nominative? ie. стол.


It's in the prepositional case here, not the accusative. The accusative case would indeed be стол.


So what I understood from the comments is that лежать is used for horizontal position and стоять for vertical position, but when do we use сидеть?


На столе там яблоко <-- is this incorrect?


My entire year plus I have been struggling through Duolingo to try to learn Russian, "на столе" has been " on the table." Today that is wrong. No lesson plans, no intro, nothing, just wrong, and now something new, unintroduced, means this. WTF, this is impossible!


Too bad you didn't copy and paste what ever it is that you are referring to. The translation at the top of this page is exactly what you say it should be.


That should be correct, but I hear ya...I haven't practiced in a long time as I plan to start over with a notebook to keep everything straight.


"There is an apple laying on the table." - Not accepted 4.11.21


I wondered about this, too. If I translated it as "On the table lies an apple," would that be wrong? Hmm.


Improper use of lie/lay.

Unless you are claiming the apple is laying something that is unidentified because of some kind of context.


And all I can think about is MC Hammer. Too лежит!


when do you use lies and stands?


I asked this very question and mosfet07 replied with a wonderful link to a StackExchange thread.

Make sure you scroll down and run the joke through Yandex or a similar translator (unless your Russian is far better than mine, then just read it).

You'll be glad you did.

(the gist is - sometimes it makes sense based on the noun and often it very much doesn't)


what is the diffrent


is it possible to reverse? would "лежит яблоко на столе" still be correct?


Лежит means lay in englisch or german. Why not in this sentence?


Duo really doesn't like "upon" here.


Is "An apple is laying on the table" too literal of a translation?


Why is "on the table lay an apple" wrong?


Since the subject is singular, you need an s on the verb: They say, he says; we lay, it lays; y'all talk, she talks


Also It should be "lies", not "lays".


Not to mention that lay used in this way is in the past tense.

Lay means to set down

Lie means to recline or rest. The past tense of lie is lay. Something lay on the table is in the past tense. (if you mean it is simply resting there)

If you are intending to make the sentence in the present tense by including is in your sentence then you must follow it with the present participle lying.

An apple is lying on the table.

However, since the reverse word order in your answer appears to be an example of literary expression in English, poetic license lets you say anything you want.

Just not on Duo though. The Duo computer's representative, the legendary green owl spits on poetry. Actually, since it can't spit, it does another different bodily function to express itself. (and I don't mean tears)

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.