"Tell me, is Vanya here?"
Translation:Скажите, Ваня тут?
Like, how would I know from this sentence alone, that the more informal version should be used? I only knew to use здесь before, and was never told I was using it wrong.
This isn't necessarily informal. Ваня is informal, but скажите is formal or plural. You might be talking to more than one person, or perhaps Ваня is a child and you're talking to his grandfather, who is more than old enough to be your father. You might use the respectful вы form with his grandfather while still calling him Ваня.
In any case, while тут is somewhat less formal it's still appropriate to use здесь in informal settings. If it wasn't accepted you should definitely report it.
Thanks for the insight, Theron. I'm glad to hear I wasn't completely off-track in my second post. The point about the grandfather is a good one, though. I hadn't thought of that.
I failed for not selecting all correct translations. Never having gotten тут beforeб, I only selected здесь and got discounted on that. I'll verify it on the second go around, but right now, I think that was why it knocked me down a peg.
Oooh! Maybe it IS because the name is informal! I did not stop to think about that. That would make sense!
Well, that's the only clue I can find about informality. The first word 'Скажите' is in formal or plural form. I guess from the fact that Ваня is used, we can then infer the speaker is addressing more than one person? So 'Скажи, Ваня тит?' would be the form if you address one person, I guess.
Trying to learn this language is like trying to cross a minefield of little clues without upsetting the bears that sleep between them. XD I enjoy the difficulty, despite how often I despair at its many pitfalls.
I guess I'll just have to take it one beartrap at a time. XD
I came here with this same question. The inferences in these lessons are frustrating. Either you're meant to guess something is formal, or informal and then a case like this it could be plural, but looks both formal and informal and you can be marked wrong! Because of these blurred lines I keep getting sentences wrong! Sitting here trying to decipher the game duolingo is playing lol...
Вот is an introductory word meaning "here is...", so it wouldn't work here either. I'm not sure about the second question but I think that accusative is usually used with the direct subject of an action, which, in case of the verb сказать, is the thing that is told. So, for instance, "Tell me the password" is translated as Скажи мне пароль - мне in dative, пароль in accusative.