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"Can you tell me where mom is?"

Translation:Можете сказать, где мама?

November 7, 2015

109 Comments


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

why is "скажите, где мама?" wrong?


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

It's because ''Сказать'' is the infinitive form of the verb ''to say'' and the conjugation of the modal verb would be: ''Можете/Можешь,'' that's why it is: ''Можете сказать, где мама?''


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monica67

Ah, its like in Spanish, if a verb follows another verb, the second is in the infinitive: puede decirme? Did that mean как сказать is literally translated as How is it said?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lars960133

Or rather "How to say" if сказать" is in the infinitive.


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

It's also like English, although it's less noticeable because our infinitives are often bare (no "to"). He helped me to call her / he helped me call her.


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

I believe, как сказать should be 'what is said' and not 'how it said'. Cheers!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corky583169

что сказано


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ishana92

It means Tell me where is mom, not Can you tell me where is mom


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

So is сказать the infinitive form, and if so is the verb in the infinitive because можете is a modal verb?


[deactivated user]

    Yes, you're absolutely right.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew-215401

    I wish I understood this language - the language of talking about language.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raskolnikov88

    I answered "Vy mozhete skazat' mne, gde mama?" which was marked wrong. hmm.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VictoriaRo995116

    Me too! Ive been learning Russian for a while now, its time they updated the app a bit.


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

    "можешь мне сказать где мама ?" correct too. your ansver correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clairelanc3

    And yet it was rejected just now...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FinnDavis2

    I think можете has to be conjugated differently for вы


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

    "Вы можете" is correct


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

    Почему не "можете мне" ?


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

    im not an expert, but i think its cuz можете = can you, so your answer is "can you me"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tmg2943

    Not necessarily. Мне is dative, so it means 'to me.' Of course, можете мне doesn't make sense (can you to me) so you'd need to put another verb somewhere in there. Можете мне сказать (lit. can you to me say) might work, considering word order in Russian is somewhat flexible. Not entirely sure, though.


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

    The course was written by Moscow's habitants. In this city, a few of peoples can speak russian right


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

    what about "me"? I translated "можете мне сказать ...and was given error.


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

    I suppose it hasn't been added yet.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie368826

    Why is "Ты можешь сказать мне, где мама" wrong?


    [deactivated user]

      I don't think it's wrong, I think it should be accepted.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie368826

      Thanks, I'll report it next time :)


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

      I don't know about the use of "мне", but the reason ты is not used is utilised in English also. You usually say "Tell me where mom is" rather than "YOU tell me where mom is"


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

      Would "можете мне скажать, где мама?" suit as well? I feel like it should be ok but I'm not 100% sure so I didn't want to report it as an error.


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

      "Можете мне сказать, где мама?" - that should be OK :)


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

      Aah, I always mix up those letters! My Russian has gotten way too rusty...


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

      I saw in another comment thread that Можете сказать sounds very rude. Is there any truth to this?


      [deactivated user]

        Russian is spoken in many different places, and the idea of politeness is not the same different speakers. When my Grandpa's sister came to visit us, she used «ты» to salesclerks, which come off as very rude to us. But to her, it didn't: she's older than those salespeople, so that's why she used «ты».

        So, there is a regional variation in what is percieved as polite.

        For me, «мо́жете сказа́ть» sounds polite enough:

        • you're using the Вы-form (мо́жете, not мо́жешь), and
        • you're asking if the person has the possibility («мо́жете сказа́ть»), not just giving orders («скажи́те»).

        So you've already done 2 things to be polite.

        You could increase the politeness level even more:

        • by using a version that assumes a negative answer («не могли́ бы вы сказа́ть?»), and
        • by adding a 'please' («пожа́луйста» 'please' or «бу́дьте добры́» 'be kind =please'; you can stick it anywhere inside the phrase),

        but I wouldn't say it's required. I percieve «мо́жете сказа́ть» as polite enough.

        Of course, «не могли́ бы вы сказа́ть, пожа́луйста?» is more polite, but it's not that required. For me. I'm a 26-year old male programmer from Belarus. I can't tell for other Russian speakers, because there is a significant regional and social variation.


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

        It’s not outright rude because it remains formally polite but I wouldn’t recommend using it in the beginning of a conversation when you are trying to attract someone’s attention.

        It can also sound as if you are asking whether someone is able or allowed to answer your question.


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

        @Zeitschleifer: I thought Russian had 3 different verbs for "can", because of these types of situation. One for "can = are you able to", one for "are you allowed to", one for "do you know how to..." (?)

        Edit: I just checked my notebook - уметь for "being physically able/knowing how to do something" and может for "being allowed to". Nvm.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adonis164604

        Why ''можете скажите где мама?'' is wrong :'(


        [deactivated user]

          Here, сказа́ть ‘to tell’ is used in conjunction with мочь ‘can you’. Мо́жете is the main verb, it changes its form to show who is the subject (here, ‘you’ is the subject: ‘you can’; even though it’s omitted). Сказа́ть is additional and it’s doesn’t change its from. Instead, an special form is used for it: the infinitive.

          If you’re coming from Balkan background, this might feel strange: languages like Bulgarian change the forms of the both verbs. But Russian doesn’t.


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

          This whole section is confusing and doesnt feel fun to learn at all :)


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaiser.Will

          What's wrong with "Скажите ли вы, где мама?"? A number of the desired translations are strange sounding idiomatically. Perfectly grammatical but odd sounding.


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

          I've never seen such usage of ли before. I'm not a native speaker, but I think the way you are using ли in this sentence is incorrect

          http://russian.stackexchange.com/questions/102/what-is-the-proper-use-of-the-word-%D0%BB%D0%B8

          Maybe a native speaker or someone with better knowledge of Russian grammar than I can set us straight here.


          [deactivated user]

            «Скажи́те ли» with is definitely incorrect, because «скажи́те» is the imperative mood, and «ли» forms questions, and they don't work well together.

            If I saw «скажите ли» written, I would think it's a misspelled «ска́жете ли» (since in unstressed syllables И and Е are undistinguishable, they are often substituted). «Ска́жете ли» means 'Will you tell [me]?'. However, it doesn't sound polite at all: the question is whether you're willing to share the information or not, not whether you can tell it or not. It implies, to some extent, that you know this, but might have your reasons not to tell.

            Therefore, the question «Ска́жете ли вы, где ма́ма?» sounds not too polite, and implies some enmity (i.e. it has a shade of meaning like: 'I know you might know this, but will you tell me?'). It's a wording the police officer might use during the interrogation.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaiser.Will

            That makes a lot more sense actually! Thank you for clarifying for me. :)


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaiser.Will

            Ah, I see, you might very possibly be right. Thanks for the link.

            I was used to it being used in questions of this nature though (politely asking someone to tell you, if they could, where your mother is), since it would be illogical to literally ask if a person was physically capable of telling you where your mother is. That's just asking for someone to say, "Yes" without elaborating. :) It also feels really unnatural for Russian, but I'm not a native speaker either.

            The use of particles in Russian is very tricky and complicated, so it's entirely possible I used it incorrectly.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.theroot

            Я, как носителья языка, скажу, что так говорят и очень часто. Фраза "Скажите, где мама?" - ты ждешь ответа на твой вопрос, it's like: give me answer, where my mam is. А фраза: "Скажите ли вы, где мама?", звучит как: will you say me or not, where my mam is?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clairelanc3

            Correct for " do you tell". If you want to use the particle "ли" it would have to be "можете ли вы сказать мне"...


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barnhartl91

            Why wouldn't "скажи мне пожальсто, где мама?" be accepted?


            [deactivated user]

              First, it should be «пожа́луйста». Second, this corresponds to the English "Tell me, please, where Mom is." and not to "Can you tell me where mom is?".


              [deactivated user]

                Можете вы скажите мне где мама есть. Help...why is bad?


                [deactivated user]

                  Your sentence is understandable, but it breaks one grammatical rule:

                  • «Скажи́те» is the imperative mood. But after modal verb «мо́жете», you need to use the infinitive: «мо́жете сказа́ть».

                  Also, it sounds unnatural for two reasons:

                  • We only use «есть» when the existence is emphasised. But you're not asking about whether mother exists somewhere (you know you have a mother), you're asking about her place. So, «есть» sound very unnatural in this sentence. Just drop it.
                  • The word order is not OK. If you want to move the predicate to the first place, then you need to use «ли»: «Можете ли вы сказать?» If you don't use «ли», then the word order is the same as in statements, that is, «Вы можете сказать..?»

                  Therefore, your sentence should look like this:

                  • Мо́жете ли вы сказа́ть мне, где ма́ма?
                  • Вы мо́жете сказа́ть мне, где ма́ма?

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

                  Too many questions to ask. Can someone just break down EVERYTHING about this sentence grammar please?


                  [deactivated user]

                    «Можете сказать, где мама?» It's a sentence with 2 parts. 1 part:

                    • Мо́жете = can [you]; verb «мо́чь» in present tense, 2nd person plural form
                    • сказа́ть = tell [me], infinitive 'to tell'; with мо́чь we put the main verb in the infinitive
                    • мо́жете сказа́ть has a subject omitted because it's some kind of meta-information, it's not really a part of the sentence but some additional fluff to make it more polite, therefore subject can be dropped here

                    2nd part:

                    • где́ is 'where?', a question word/interrogative pronoun
                    • ма́ма is a subject, 'Mum'; since it's a grammatical subject, it's put in the nominative case

                    This is not the only possible analysis. We could treat it as a complex sentence with «где ма́ма» being embedded inside «Мо́жете сказа́ть», being an object to the «сказа́ть». Then, «где» would be treated as a relative pronoun (not interrogative). But this analysis makes it much harder to explain why the subject is dropped in «мо́жете сказа́ть».


                    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/serdar092

                    could we use the verb говорить instead of сказать in this case?


                    [deactivated user]

                      No. Говорить is similar to 'speak', it's about speaking in general, and not about telling some fact.


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

                      "Можна лы вы скажите меня где мама?" не верно сказать?


                      [deactivated user]

                        Точно неверно. Во-первых, это должно быть «Можно ли вы скажете мне, где мама». Во-вторых, это звучит неестественно, мы просто так не говорим. (Хотя, конечно, Вас поймут.)


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

                        why is this wrong? можете сказать где моя мама ?


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

                        "Можете сказать, где моя мама?" is an absolutely correct sentence in Russian. I only wonder if it would require "my" in the English translation too...


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

                        Why does it say it's an eror if i put Вы at the start of the sentence?


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

                        There should be an option to skip a question and move on. I answered this 4 different ways and eventually gave the answer it asked for and still tells me im wrong. Now i cant progress further.


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clairelanc3

                        Посему нет " ты можешь сказать..."?


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyler238430

                        When do i use сказать and скажите


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aUC1yAPk

                        This is throwing a lot of words at me that i just saw for the first time 30 seconds ago...


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

                        "Можете вы скажите мне где мама" is wrong correct? Is it too many unneeded words? Is it technically correct?


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

                        Is the "you" already implied in the word "можете"?


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clairelanc3

                        Сказать is the infinitive. What you wrote was the second prrson of the plural.


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

                        This is so bad... so you are asking where "mom" is... Not "my mother" therefore a clear indication that this is informal... yet it expects вы


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

                        Well, there is a second option: вы as in "you (plural)".


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liza827703

                        Bad answer. Totally acceptable to use familiar when asking where you mama is.


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7otineb3

                        sometimes it accepts tell me as skazat' and sometimes as skazhite


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7otineb3

                        tell me has different endings with no explanation as to why


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.theroot

                        "Можешь сказать мне, где Мама?"- это не верно?! Вы серьезно?!


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QYB35

                        Можешь сказать мне где мама is not acceptable


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LETP3

                        По русски можно сказать.Не скажешь где мама,или не скажете где мама.Можете сказать где мама.В зависимости от контекста.


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mika560740

                        How do i pht a russian keyboard on my phone? I know this sounds dumb but what keyboard setting do i use? In settings there isnt a russian keyboard


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don396966

                        Go to the app shop and you can get ones that easily allow you to switch through different language kwyboards


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

                        I think It didn't teach me some of these words. It might just have been I didn't notice though.


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

                        Can someone please tell me the diffrence between Здравствуй аnd Привет? On the questions that I am asked to type out the answer, Привет is not excepted.


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don396966

                        Здравствуй is the forrmal way to say hello to a superior or someone you are meeting for the first time. Привет is like an informal Hi to a friend.


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don396966

                        It does not give you the choice for a correct answer. It should be Можете сказать, мне где мама? мне is not an avialable option


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

                        Why can't I use можещ?


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackie915721

                        I put "Можете скажи, где мама?" And it was marked wrong, would anyone bother to tell me the difference of Скажи/Скажите and Сказать please?


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G00d1n1

                        "Можешь ли мне сказать где мама" - не проходит


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaRoge568500

                        It still would be understood to be correct.


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

                        The fact that the hints literally do not tell me the structure of the sentence. Of course im going to get it wrong. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeff778247

                        Wait, why cant I use скажи here? It means "tell me" sp it would make sense


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EgorProc1

                        i AM RUSSIAN ALL RIGHT


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hanna244098

                        why is "Можете скачать, где мама?" wrong


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

                        What ia the difference between может and можете?


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

                        This sentence is just crap. Nobody would ask the question "Можете сказать, где мама?" Either it should be "Знаете где мама?" meaning "Do you know where the mother is?" or imperative "Скажите, где мама".


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

                        Quality of this Russian course is very poor. Do not learn pronunciation from duo! It is very wrong. I am Russian and hope that other courses that I am learning have better quality.


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

                        I fail to see where is "my" here. I think I am missinh a моя ...


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shotgun99

                        Is there a reason why "Ты можешь сказать мне, где мама?" is not accepted?


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

                        Why doesn't, "Можете сказать где находится мама?" Work?


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

                        لا اله الا الله


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sabotage8

                        I wrote "можете сказать, где моя мама." And they marked it wrong. Can "моя" not be added here?


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

                        Duo forgot the pronoun : "можете сказать мне...."


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soniamoura13

                        Is "можете сказать меня" wrong?


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soniamoura13

                        Is " можете сказать меня" wrong?


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

                        I'm not a native english speaker but, first it seems to me that "can you tell me where is mom" would be the correct sentence in english and, secondly wouldn't it be more correct to translate this question by "скажите пожалуйста, где мама?"?


                        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie368826

                        "Can you tell me where is mum" is definitely wrong in English. This is called subject-auxiliary inversion, and happens in quite a few situations.

                        Link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject%E2%80%93auxiliary_inversion


                        [deactivated user]

                          Actually, according to you link, "Can you tell me where is mum" is correct (and the suggested translation "Can you tell me where mom is?" is wrong):

                          b. *Cathy wonders what did Sam eat. - Incorrect; inversion should not be used in an indirect question
                          c. Cathy wonders what Sam ate. - Correct; indirect question formed without inversion


                          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie368826

                          OK, I'm sorry that that link was confusing. However, I can guarantee you that "can you tell me where is mum" is incorrect English. The correct word order is "can you tell me where mum is".


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

                          It looks like the same word order to me:

                          "Can you tell me where mom is?"

                          "Cathy wonders what Sam ate."


                          [deactivated user]

                            Oh, indeed, I've misunderstood it


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

                            The hover-over hints were extra useless on this one, sad face, reported Sep. 26, 2017.


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

                            What's wrong with "mozhesh' skazat'"?


                            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ishana92

                            I think (hope) nothing


                            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julimo3

                            Its eng letters dude

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