"It is not America but Canada."
Translation:Это не Америка, а Канада.
This bothers me every time as well. All logic tells me it should be но, but it's supposed to be а. It doesn't help that I'm Croatian, either (which actually helps most of the time!), because here we would use "nego" which is a form of но, but a simple "no" would also work.
Apparently «не X а Y» is a set expression that simply is the way it is, if I understood correctly. You just have to remember it and get used to it :/
Okay, I'm not russian myself but in my language we also use "a" and "но" as but.
You use "но" as but when you make a statement about something, and add on another clause clarifying something that is despite what you are saying.
For example: I love flowers, but not roses.
In russian: Я люблю цветы, но не розы.
Мeanwhile, you use "a" аs but when you're correcting something that has been misunderstood by someone/thing who isn't the speaker
Eg. "I love flowers, but not roses, Micheal!"
In russian: Я люблю цветы, а не розы, Майкл!
So more loosely explained, what I'm trying to say here is that "но" is used in statements, and "a" is used in responses.
Thats how I understand it, but if I'm wrong, let me know :) Hope it helps.
Excuse me, but in this case, I think, russian "Я люблю цветы, но не розы." should be translated as "I love flowers, except roses." because "flowers" includes "roses"
"I love flowers, but not roses, Micheal!" makes sense as "Я люблю цветы, НО не розы, Майкл!" with the same reason.
More demonstrative example of a usage in this case:
"I love dogs, not cats, Michael! (You misheard me!)"
"Я люблю собак, (а) не кошек, Майкл! (Ты неправильно услышал меня!)"
P.S. I apologize for not being word-perfect in English
Why is the correct translation, "...а Канада" rather than "...или Канада"? Could someone please explain the difference between "a" and "или" when used like this? Thank you!
"А" translates as "but/and" (the exact translation depends on context), while "или" is "or."
Later, this course reveals that cases exist in the Russian language. Can an advanced speaker tell me, if "Это не Америку" would be correct?
Canada is (part of) America. Canada isn't the US but it is certainly America.
in Russian, 'America' refers to the US and does not refer to the continents of America so yup in Russian America means the US
so 'a' can be used as 'but' and 'and' i mean instead of 'a' it should be 'HO' right?
How does one get a Russian keyboard so that exercises like this can be completed?
Windows: https://web.stanford.edu/group/ll/manuals/RussianTypingWinSetup.pdf Mac: http://web.stanford.edu/group/ll/manuals/RussianTypingMacSetup.pdf Then if you want, you can get Russian keyboard stickers on Amazon. I preferred just to learn to touch-type so that I didn't need the keys to be labeled. https://www.keybr.com/ is a good tool for learning to touch-type. (It defaults to English, but you can change it to Russian.) I love being able to touch-type in Russian.
It would not. "It is" and "this is" are always "это", regardless of the gender of the thing referred to. It/this is a country. / Это страна. It/this is a truck. / Это грузовик. It/this is a coat. / Это пальто.
"This (something) is ..." is эта, этот, or это to match the grammatical gender of the (something). This country is big. / Эта страна большая. This truck is big. / Этот грузовик большой. This coat is big. / Это пальто большое.
Even in English, there is overlap between "and" and "but." Consider:
- On Mondays I go to work, and on Tuesdays I go to school.
- On Mondays I go to work, but on Tuesdays I go to school.
This middleground, where you could reasonably use either, is where I've seen "а" being used most in Russian.
The most helpful advice I received about "а" was to think of it as softer than "но" and harder than "и". Use "но" for "but" situations that are a hard turnaround or a contradiction, and use "а" for "but" situations that are a mild redirection or alternative.