"Tom is my cat."
Translation:Том — мой кот.
"Том — моя кошка" can't work here because the name is Tom? But "Ана — моя кошка" would be okay?
I'm confused. Why exactly can't I say "Том — моя кошка"? I was under the impression that though "кошка" was grammatically feminine, the word could refer to a cat of any sex (just like how in French, the word "personne", meaning "person," though grammatically feminine, can refer to a person of any sex).
Why is my reasoning incorrect?
But if you, for some reason, had named your female cat "Tom", would моя кошка then be valid?
The first names for a female cat that come into my mind are Мурка and Муся/Муська. For male cats, Барсик, Вася/Васька, and Мурзик are very common.
My husband had a tomcat named Тимоха (a form of Tim) when he was a boy. So, after we decided to name our son Тимофей (Timofey), the first thing his father asked was: What, after our cat? It is a family joke now, that our Tim was named after a cat :-)
No. Why should it be? There's no correlation between the gender of the noun for "cat" and for "dog". In Russian the generic word for a dog is "собака" which is feminine. There is a masculine noun "пёс" but it's only used when we know that the dog is male.
I don't think this is a dumb question...Папа obviously refers to a masculine person but grammatically the term is feminine as it ends with an а. So it would not be unreasonable to make similar assumptions about other words.
Is it common to actually write sentences like "Том — мой кот" in Russian, or are people more likely to write "Том мой кот" (without the dash)?
What are the valid word orders for this sentence? Can you say "Том кот мой" to emphasize that he is My cat?
There are tips and notes for every lesson, but they are only visible in the web app. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Possessive-Modifiers-1
Tips and notes
POSSESSIVE ENEMY MINE
There isn't much to say about words like "my" or "your" in Russian.
his/her/their do not change: его́, её, их(and they don't get an initial Н after prepositions!)
my/your/our roughly follow an adjectival pattern, i.e. they copy the gender and the case of the noun they describe. Just like этот:
Unlike English, no distinction is made between my and mine, her and hers etc.
Pronunciation: in «его», as well as in adjective endings and "сегодня" the letter Г is pronounced В. It is a historical spelling.
Nouns in Russian belong to one of three genders: feminine, masculine or neuter. If a noun means a person of a certain gender, use that one. For all other nouns look at the end of the word:
(TABLE) ENDING IN NOM; GENDER; EXAMPLES
-а/-я ; feminine ; ма́ма, земля́, Росси́я, маши́на
consonant ; masculine ; сок, ма́льчик, чай, интерне́т, апельси́н
-о/-е ; neuter ; окно́, яйцо́, мо́ре
-ь ; feminine or masculine - consult a dictionary ; ло́шадь, ночь, мать, любо́вь / день, конь, медве́дь, учи́тель
IF THERE'S A SOFT SIGN, IT ISN'T POSSIBLE TO PREDICT THE GENDER, AT LEAST, NOT ACCURATELY. HOWEVER, ABOUT 65-70% OF THE MOST USED NOUNS THAT END IN -Ь ARE FEMININE. ALSO, YOU CAN LEARN THE COMMON SUFFIXES ENDING IN A SOFT SIGN THAT PRODUCE A WORD OF A PREDICTABLE GENDER. THEY ARE:
-ость/-есть, -знь → feminine
-тель, -арь, -ырь → masculine
ALL NOUNS WITH -ЧЬ, ЩЬ, -ШЬ, -ЖЬ AT THE END ARE FEMININE. THE CONVENTION IS TO SPELL FEMININE NOUNS WITH A SOFT SIGN AND MASCULINE ONES WITHOUT ONE: НОЖ, ЛУЧ, МУЖ, ДУШ. IT DOESN'T AFFECT PRONUNCIATION, ANYWAY.
Please help! Why is there a dash for "is" instead of a "v"?? They usually use a v. What's the difference?
I can't figure out how to make the accent over the и on my Android. Anyone know?
It should be its own letter, or so I assume based on the keyboard I activated. I can't make the modified e (yeh-yoh) on my desktop keyboard, so I know what it's like to get a demerit for "misspelling".
If you use the ЙЦУКЕН keyboard, й is under Q on the English keyboard and ё is under ` (that odd key next to 1).
And if it's мой? Would that be... A masculine possessive pronoun? By the way, is it talking about the owner or the cat being the certain sex?
It is about the gender of the cat, and you can't tell the gender of the owner from this sentence.
И Спаик - мой собака. At least I think that's how you'd transliterate "Spike"
этот is unnecessary as "is" is implied by the "-". Written as you write it, the sentence would translate, "Tom this my cat."
Technically it's not incorrect grammatically, but no one ever says it like this.
Because that literally means "Tom 'exists' my cat." You need to put Tom's name in the genitive case to indicate ownership of something and precede it with у to refer to the space around Tom. Есть is only used for simple statements like this are primarily indicating whether something actually exists or not. If you were saying "he has a lot of blue cars" you would only use У Тома много синих автомобилей. In this 2nd sentence, the focus is on "a lot of" and "blue" cars. The fact that they exist is presupposed and obvious because they are being described and the issue of whether they exist or not is not the main focus; the number and color of the cars is the focus, hence no need for есть.
У меня есть машина. У меня.нет машины. I tried explaining why it means what it means, but you really just need more experience with the genitive case to kinda "get" it
This philosophy over the difference between how a feminine and a masculine cat is expressed is SO GREEK-LIKE. Go check some Greek, sincerely
I suppose this makes sense given that Russian/Cyrillic has its roots in Greek, as English and the romance languages are rooted in Latin.
"Кошка" is a female cat. While it's also a generic word for a cat, if we know it's a male cat (and I guess we are pretty sure about that if we call him "Tom") caling him "кошка" is highly unusual.
Oh, wow. That's interesting. I never would've guessed that. All of this gender, singular, plural, familiar, polite is very confusing to me sometimes.
Thank you very much for your explanation.