"A chicken is a bird."

Translation:Курица - это птица.

November 8, 2015



Is the это necessary?

November 8, 2015

[deactivated user]

    No, but the sentence sounds more natural with it.

    November 8, 2015


    How so? It sounds redundant, like "A chicken is a is a bird." Is it just a rule that we must accept?

    November 9, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      Since the Russian language dropped the verb 'to be' in most cases, sentences like «X is Y» became easily confusable with appositions «X-Y». So, «Курица — птица» 'A chicken [is] a bird' can be confused with «курица-птица» 'a chicken bird, a bird of a chicken'.

      If you think this is not someone would say, you should check Russian folklore: it has lots of things like «Сирин-птица» (a bird Sirin). Well, you don't find many traditional poetic texts about chicken, alas! But still, the construction is ambiguous.

      So, to distinguish these two usages, Russian has introduced a pronoun 'э́то' in the construction «X is Y»: «Ку́рица — это пти́ца» (literally "Hen, it [is a] bird"). It might seem redundant from the English point of view, but in Russian э́то serves a purpose. And while you still can say «Ку́рица — пти́ца», it's not what Russian speaker would usually say, it would sound unnatural.

      November 9, 2015


      I am a native speaker of Russian, have lived in Russia all my life, but to me «Курица — птица» doesn't sound unnatural at all as a sentence (in fact, I've chosen it as an answer). As long as you say it with a proper intonation, it will not sound as an apposition, so это IS redundant after all. It's true that это is widely used in giving definitions, but it doesn't make it a mandatory thing.

      May 6, 2016


      Thanks for both your answers. (A) I'll put in это to start with, because there are already enough challenges to someone hearing my Russian (B) Could DL accept both options? I'll report.

      May 1, 2018


      Isn't курица a hen rather than a chicken? I would suggest цыплёнок could be accepted as well.

      May 23, 2018


      In Russian, курица rather than цыплёнок is used as a generic word for the species. Also, when it refers to food, chicken is more often translated with курица than with цыпленок. A hen is not just курица, but наседка (i.e. a bird hatching eggs).

      May 25, 2018


      Ive heard and read on a couple of occasions that during Soviet times some Russians would say

      курица не птица, Польша не заграница

      June 7, 2018


      "курица не птица, а баба не человек", ну и классическое "курица не птица, польша не заграница"

      June 14, 2018


      курица это птица. What id wrong?

      August 26, 2018


      You just need a dash between курица and это

      March 23, 2019


      Курца не птнца! ;)

      March 12, 2019


      So should "Курица птица" be accepted or not

      March 23, 2019


      «Курица — птица» should be accepted, but it makes every Russians smile because we have a proverb «Курица не птица». It used when people (often unreasonably) ridicule a certain thing as unable to meet their expectations.

      March 23, 2019
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