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  5. "Мальчик - это ребёнок."

"Мальчик - это ребёнок."

Translation:A boy is a child.

November 7, 2015

38 Comments


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

I think "the boy is a child" should be accepted, right?


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

reported the same


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

Disagree

From olimo's comments below:

"...In definition-like sentences like "X is Y", we use "- это"."

"It[это] is often used in definition-like sentences. The function is similar to the English "is", although it is not the exact translation of the word. The literal translation would be sort of "A boy - this is a child". Sounds weird in English but perfectly fine in Russian."

""X - это Y" is a definition-like sentence, so you don't use it to describe a specific boy. It is like "A mouse is an animal", "Physics is a science", etc.

The boy is a child = Этот мальчик - ребёнок. Dropping "этот" would sound unnatural here. You can also say "Мальчик ещё ребёнок", like "The boy is still a child"."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cicmic0202

Is the dash actually used in Russian writing or is it there only in Duolingo to help learners?


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

Its a part of russian. It means 'is'


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

What purpose does the hyphen have in this sentence?


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

Grammar. In definition-like sentences like "X is Y", we use "- это".


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

Ah OK. Thank you! :)


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

Okay, so like the colon in English.

Pancake: a flat cake made of thin batter and cooked on both sides.


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

What is the function of это in this sentence?


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

It is often used in definition-like sentences. The function is similar to the English "is", although it is not the exact translation of the word. The literal translation would be sort of "A boy - this is a child". Sounds weird in English but perfectly fine in Russian.


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

I thought it was referring to a specific child (ie. this): "это ребёнок." how can I know it means "is"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo
  • this child = этот ребенок
  • This child is a boy. = Этот ребенок - мальчик.
  • This is a child. = Это ребенок.
  • A boy is a child. = Мальчик - это ребенок.

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

ah, so ребёнок is masculine, so it would be этот, right? and for this sentence, english speakers would drop the 'this', but it is referring to мальчик, but I see it's not specific to the boy, just the definition. How confusing, but I think I get it now.


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

Right. In this sentence, "это" is just for the purpose of definition.


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

So can ребёнок - мальчик also mean 'the boy is a child'? And could you write Этот ребёнок это мальчик to say 'this child is a boy'?


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

Hi, english speaker here, but I think I am starting to get this:

First of all, you need to understand the purpose of the dash (and I have noticed that in duolingo, they use a dash, not a hyphen, which as far as I understand, in proper English they are actually two different things; "-" hyphen, "—" dash, but in our informal common use, rarely do we mention, or even notice this difference)

Anyway, when using the dash in english as well as Russian, you are essentially equating a subject with a definition. (Subject — definition) Most commonly in english, this is found in the dictionary (stick — a thin tree branch that has been separated from its mother plant) or it is also used when sourcing ("Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" — Robert Frost).

A hyphen on the other hand is supposed to join two words together (Latter-Day Saints) (sorry if you do not appreciate the reference, it was the first thing to come to mind) and originally, I believe, it was created in case you run out of space for a word on a page: (the dog was ru- nning up the hill)

Now in english, we use articles to fill in for the dash, making it less commonly necessary. (Tim is an actor) In Russian, these articles are not used, hence the dash is required. (Тим — актёр) But the purpose in constructing proper grammar remains the same.

Now for any native Russian speakers reading this, most English speakers ether forget, or don't really even learn this difference between hyphens and dashes, so you do not really need to worry too much about this, I put it here more or less as a reminder.

Now back to the original question ...

"Ребёнок — мальчик." actually means "the child is a boy."

Remember: subject first, then the definition you are equating it to.

So in the case of this duolingo statement:

Мальчик — этот ребёнок.

You are saying "A boy — this is a child" (much like a dictionary definition) because remember этот is referring to the subject, which is "a boy" not to the definition which is "a child"

And as for the difference between "The boy is a child" vs. "A boy is a child" you have to once again remember that Russian does not have articles, and both "a" and "the" are articles, the difference being that "the" implies this particular thing, whereas "a" implies anything that falls under the description of this word.

The need to distinguish between "this particular thing (or noun) in question" vs. "any thing (or noun) that falls into this category" is the sole purpose of the word это (or этот, эта, et cetera)

This was a lot of description, but with this knowledge, we can now understand this:

Этот мальчик — ребёнок (This boy is a child) (Would use this if there were several specific individuals who could be referred to as "the boy")

Мальчик — ребёнок (The boy is a child) (The same meaning as the last, but less specific as to which boy, likely meaning there is only one boy in question)

Мальчик этот ребёнок (The boy is this child) (Subject changes to become the word "child", not the word "boy")

Мальчик — этот ребёнок (A boy is a child)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BradMurphy3

What is the correct translation for "This boy is a child"? Or does that not make any sense in Russian?


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

Этот мальчик - ребёнок


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NOPE503852

why is this not "boy, this is a child"


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

Because dash denotes the copula - = am/is/are


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

I put in "the boy is a child" and was marked wrong. Does it have to be indefinite? If so, how would you change this sentence to a definite one? Would that be "Этот мальчик - ребёнок"? Or perhaps ""Этот мальчик - это ребёнок"? Or something else entirely?


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

"X - это Y" is a definition-like sentence, so you don't use it to describe a specific boy. It is like "A mouse is an animal", "Physics is a science", etc.

The boy is a child = Этот мальчик - ребёнок. Dropping "этот" would sound unnatural here. You can also say "Мальчик ещё ребёнок", like "The boy is still a child".


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

Спасибо! That makes sense. =)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mona153080

I don't know the impotance of (ы) and (ь) and the difference between (ш) . (щ) and(ч)


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

ы is i.

ь makes the consonant that is directly before it softer.

ш is sh as in shop or shoe.

ч is ch as in cheese or chair.

щ is shch sh+ch (ш+ч) together quickly, sounds like a hard SH

Here's a video explaining the Ukrainian alphabet which is pretty much the same in Russian. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivOFPI5arwo


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

Why not "мальчик - ребёнок", without the это, like in Lesson 1 "Тим - медик". Would that be wrong?


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

Is it correct "The boy is this child"? Because Duo doesn't accept.


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

Нет. That would be «Мальчик - этоТ ребёнок.»


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

The previous question had me translate "a girl is is a child." I did not use это but used the dash, and it was accepted, so this confuses me. Also reporting that "the child" was not accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RTog6KRX

I don t have this letter :ё


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

Shouldn't that be, "the boy is a child"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan690757

I got it wrong for not capitalizing the a......... you got to be kidding me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim137956

I thought it was "Boy, this is a child." As if you're addressing a boy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nico86873

(маль—чик) Hope this syllable breakdown is correct?

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