1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "В комнате стояло две кровати…

"В комнате стояло две кровати."

Translation:There were two beds standing in the room.

November 9, 2015

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cherub721

Why стояло? If "beds" is the subject why wouldn't it be стояли?


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

We would only say стояло in this sentence if we focus on две (the number), answering the question "How many beds were there in the room?". Otherwise (for instance, if asked to describe what was in the room) we would say "стояли"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elsantodel90

So, when reading this sentence aloud, the natural way to read it would be stressing две ?


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

Спасибо за объезнание!


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

Пожалуйста. Кстати, в слове "объяснение" корень ЯСН- как в слове "ясно" (clear).


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

О, да, спасибо. Я бы понял это: объяснить, объяснение.


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

This flips the sentence around, making it passive: "There were two beds standing" instead of "Two beds stood"


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

There is no more passive in 'were standing' than in 'stood'. To make the sentence passive, you'd have to say, "Two beds were put in the room"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RandomCanadian12

congrats on the almost 2000 day streak


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

in English, it sounds more natural to say "there were two beds in the room" without the "standing"


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

Definitely. "Standing" sounds pretty weird.


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

"Two beds has stood in the room" doesn't make sense in English. I would never have guessed that as a translation. Please correct soon.


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

"Two beds has stood" certainly doesn't make sense in English, since the subject and verb don't agree (plural subject, singular verb). The suggested translation doesn't say that now, so I'm guessing it has been corrected since this comment was posted.


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

does it make sense to say "two beds are standing in the room" in English or in Russian? I am not a native English speaker but that doesn't seem very natural to me.


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

It sounds strange in English. Like the beds are personified.


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

As a native English speaker, I would say that it is correct to say that, but it's not common in conversational speech. To say that a piece of furniture is standing in a location suggests wording more akin to a narrative description in a book. E.g., "she walked through the open door and found a vanity, a writing desk, a large canopy bed, and a looking glass standing in the room." If you said it in a conversation, it wouldn't really sound wrong, but it might sound somewhat stilted or formal.


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

The Russian sentence definitely sounds natural to me, not 100% sure about the English one, but it doesn't look that weird also.


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

well as far as I know "stand" is a verb that applies just to people, that's why I think it's a weird sentence


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

Not just to people, but I wouldn't say a bed was standing. There's such a thing as a bedstand, but that's off-topic. I got marked wrong for "In the room there were two beds". I think that should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n9yty

I also tried with "Two beds were in the room" which is how I would probably say it, but I see from the above discussion the idea of passive v active voice.... still... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sp.ark

... were standing ...


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

Okay, I consciously omitted the word "standing" when I answered "Two beds were in the room" because the notes accompanying the section that introduced стоять and лежать specifically said that Russians often use these words figuratively to mean "to be", as in "Two beds were in the room." Does anyone know if DL has changed its policy and will no longer accept a figurative translation. And if so, what else would the two beds be doing in the room if not standing? Burning?


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

Is it necessary to use стояла at all in this sentence? Is it possible to use the verb бить instead?

@native russian speakers


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

Бить means "to beat". Быть can be used indeed: В комнате было две кровати.


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

Why две and not два? Спасибо


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

Because кровать is feminine. Два is for masculine and neuter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brcp89

Bed standing makes me think that there were not in their regular position (horizontal) but rather in a vertical position. But in russian there is a ver for laying should be used like that for beds?


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

In Russian beds are considered to be standing and not lying, despite the horisontal position. This is most likely because they have legs or at least a base.

Compare it to animals. When, say, the dog is on all fours, it's position is more horisontal rather then vertical, but we still say it's standing.

One would say that a bed was "lying" in russian if is it's been knocked over, but not if it's positioned as it's supposed to be.


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

Surely you meant "lying" when you wrote "laying", didn't you?


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

Yeah, thanks, I've corrected it.


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

Yes, I agree that it sounds strange (at least to the Frenchman I am)... but it's like that in German too, I finally understood that 'stehen' (stand) in this type of context doesn't mean in a vertical position so much as in the normal position, that is the top part above and the bottom part below. As opposed to 'liegen' which would mean overturned or something like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sp.ark

It is an intricate sentence for understanding.

Structure "There + to be" indicates the present or absence of something (sometimes somewhere). There were two beds in the room.

At the same time past continuous were standing is quite capable of describing this situation. Two beds were standing in the room.

There were two beds *standing" in the room. It seems to me a redundant constraction, that can be translated like a gerund: Две кровати, стоящие в комнате.

Opinions, objections?


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

there were two beds in the room - is accepted


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

It doesn't REALLY sound natural that a bed was standing unless you meant the image below. When I saw the sentence in English, I imagined this: https://m.dohasooq.com/public/uploads/catalog/product/preview/s/t/Standing-Bed-99__1143624375.jpg


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

The picture you referred to shows кровать, поставленную вертикально. There is also a funny expression for this position for a piece of furniture: "поставленный /-ая/ -ое на попа". What word did you expect to see in the description of the normal position of a bed? Surely, not "sitting" or "lying" or "hanging". And Russian uses a wide variety of verbs to translate "There was" / "There were". Here are some examples: В комнате стоял стол. На столе лежала книга. На стене висела картина. С потолка свисала люстра. Возле дома росли деревья. В лесу водились лисы. Посреди поляны торчал пень.


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

My Russian friend says that стояли and было are okay but not стояло.


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

It is Ok to use стояло here as long as you focus on the number of objects. Your Russian friends are probably not aware of this grammatical subtlety described in numerous sources.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

The distinction being made here seem a little too nice and refined, even without knowing that much about Russian. In addition, the subject of discussion is presented by Duo without any explanation. There's terrible teaching.

In English, we'd ask "What was in the room?" and we'd reply, "There were two beds in the room." The question is not completely illogical, as it allows for the presence of nothing, of one thing, or of two or more things. The Russian seems based on something else - what, I don't know.

This exercise might be more sensible, perhaps, if it also translated the Russian for "There were five beds standing in the room." Would the verb still be singular, i.e., "В комнате стояло пять кроват"? According to the logic of comments by native speakers here, it still should be.


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

Russian doesn’t offer a universal formula for “there was”/“there were”, making up for the lack of it by putting the adverbial modifier of place at the beginning of the sentence and using a variety of “position” verbs such as стоять, сидеть, лежать, висеть, торчать, валяться to state the presence of certain types of objects in a certain place. However, when it is the number of objects that we focus on, the verb быть is more commonly used than any of the “position” verbs. Thus, we are more likely to say, “В комнате было пять кроватей”, than «В комнате стояло пять кроватей». In the present tense the verb is omitted altogether («В комнате пять кроватей».) Note that when there was only one thing, the verb must agree with the subject in gender: В комнате была/стояла кровать. В комнате была только одна кровать. В комнате был/стоял стол. В комнате был только один стол. Using быть instead of the appropriate “position” verb signals that the object is becoming the topic of the discussion.


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

Not sure it is relevant, but there is an old fact about indo-european languages : neutral plural forms tend to go with singular verbs (it's like that in ancient greek). I suspect this tendency might still be active in russian.


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

"Standing in the room were two beds", no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cameron816994

So presumably the two beds grew legs, eh?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve448292

I can easily handle the use of ""standing after I read Dmitiy's comments above. The idea that there are different verbs used to help exlain how something is situated gels with me. Look at his answer to Zkamin above. BTW, I am the first to get really P888ed off with the "Russian article police" (a, the, etc) on Duo and was ready to debate this until I read Dim's cool answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmanuelRos845529

If the tense was already established (say you were telling a story and everything else was in past or present), would you need a verb here at all? Or could you just say "В комнате две кровати"?


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

Still don't understand why the verb is not plural. What does 'we focus on две (the number) mean. How can две not be plural? Or does Russian have another meaning for the word 'plural.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elsantodel90

There are similar (not equal, but similar) expressions possible in English where a singular is used, say in a sentence like:

"Two beds was too much for her" (Maybe even better like "Two beds! That was too much!")

Or maybe something like:

"Two beds: that is what there was"

This page has a lot of instances of "two is": https://mysticalnumbers.com/number-2/

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.