"There are guests in the palace."
Translation:Во дворце гости.
Во is used instead of в before certain consonant clusters. The same pairs exist for к/ко, с/со.
«Во» (also «со», «ко») is required before some words (во всём 'in all, in everything', во мне 'in me', со мной 'with me', во сне 'in [a] dream'); before others it's optional.
Historically, «о» appeared if the next syllable had a vowel that got deleted (for example, «со мной» originally had a short vowel between м and н), but in modern Russian in is used even when the consonant cluster never had a vowel.
A read of the history of the language, here might enlighten things a bit. Short version. There used to be other letters in the russian alphabet. Look at 'Church Slvonic' to see an earlier version of the language. Letters got dropped throught history. But one letter in particular represented the cross over the world. After 1917 the soviets were trying to wipe religion out of society, so they removed that letter from the alphabet.
This is where the missing letters happen. The soviets may have a different slant to it, but that's what basically happened. (For transparency I'll add, I'm an English speaking Russian Orthodox Monk tired of only being able to read and chant the church slavonic. So im learning modern Russian.)
There's no real rule. Actually, there's quite some variation, and «в дворце́» should also be acceptable.
Please do not mislead learners with incorrect information. It may sound awful to your ears, but it's not true that "nobody" says «в дворце́». A quick Google search showed many many web sites where the phrase occurs, some of which look quite "respectable," i.e. where you would expect a decent level of Russian. https://spb.kassir.ru/teatry/dvorets-beloselskih-belozerskih
Common Russian word order with sentences describing the location of something is usually structured as [Preposition] (the) [Place], there is (a) [Noun]. An example is in the sentence, На столе мяч. (Literally: "On (the) table (a) ball". "Есть" (there is) is usually left out unless it's absolutely necessary to describe that the object exists.
When you say Госты во дворце, it may sound unnatural to a Russian speaker unless you are asking if the guests are in the palace. I'm not sure, but I believe it is also to emphasize the fact that the guests are in the palace (and not somewhere else).
Во дворце гости = there are guests in the palace - это обсуждение того, что сейчас во дворце происходит. Например: во дворце гости/чума/наводнение/генеральная инспекция - так что хрен вас кто туда сейчас пустит.
Гости во дворце = the guests are in the palace - это обсуждение вопроса где сейчас гости. Например: куда твои гости запропастились? Гости (сейчас) во дворце/в соборе/в музее/в лесу, достопримечательности осматривают.
«Е» in «дворец» is a fill vowel. It disappears once an ending is added.
Of course, it would be simpler if we could just add an ending. But language doesn't work like this. It's related to the language history.
Fill vowels appeared when extra-short vowels Ь and Ъ disappeared. (Modern Russian uses Ь and Ъ for different purposes now, but in the past they used to signify extra-short e and o.) They disappeared everywhere, except one case: when they were followed by another extra-short vowel.
So, дворьць became дворец because the last Ь disappeared, and this forced the previous Ь to remain. But in «дворьцѣ», on the other hand, because it wasn't followed by a disappeared vowels.
I believe it shouldn't: «Гости во дворце» corresponds to "The guests are in the palace" (unless you emphasise гости with intonation, and create a sentence with emphatic inverted word order; but Duolingo doesn't accept inverted word order).
I think your analysis is overly formulaic. There are no hard and fast rules as to word order in Russian, that is the benefit of declination or nouns and conjugation of verbs. More importantly, later on in this very lesson there was an answer that said another accepted solution was with the object/subject first and the location second. If I said this to a Russian they would understand. The difference between "The guests are in the palace" and "There are guests in the palace" would depend on context, not on the placement of гости within the sentence.
«На дворце» would mean 'on the palace'. This could only work if the guests are on the palace's roof.
I am just guessing here, as I am only learning Russian :) but as a person who speaks another slavic language, to use там instead of there in "there is/are" would be wrong, as там literally means there, location wise (as an answer to where => где -> там). I guess you could say там во дворце гости, meaning there are guests there in the palace. Anyway, this is all just guess work :) Anyone else any thoughts on this?
A bit late to the party and also only learning Russian (with no slavic background), I think you're right sugarplum.fairy.
"There" in English has many varieties (adverb, noun, pronoun, interjection). My understanding is that там is an adverb.
In this sentence, I believe "there" is actually used as a pronoun with a side of requiring "to be". I think it's the "to be" part that makes там inappropriate here.
It seems like if there's a "to be" in English you skip that in the Russian present tense. So I don't think a "there is" even factors in here in Russian. "In the palace are guests". So, no там.
I don't think, I could be wrong.
Е is a fill vowel, it disappears in most cases.
You could say it's irregular, but you'll see many more words where final О and Е disappear. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if a word has a fill vowel or a 'full' vowel (e.g. дворе́ц looks same as кузне́ц 'blacksmith', but genitive forms are дворца́ and кузница́), so you'd have to rely on some guesswork.
That's why many dictionaries (including those aimed at the native speakers) list genitive forms along with nominative.