"Is it coffee or borsch?"
Translation:Это кофе или борщ?
I really wonder what this coffee must look like, if it might be confused with borsch ...
If it was supposed to be borsch but looked like coffee I'd expect the word order to be reversed. (Is that borsch or coffee?) :-)
I love that this one sounds like a lot of sass. I imagine the context could be that the speaker took a sip of some really rotten coffee haha!
What's the difference between этот and это? And why is этот wrong in this case?
это - this is (introduces a subject)
этот - this (modifies a noun)
Это is a pronoun, while этот is an adjective; этот most also inflect for gender and number.
This is a woman.
this leg / this foot (f)
this chair (m)
this tree (n)
these ears (pl)
I hope that that wasn't too confusing. For now, just know это as a pronoun, like "this is", and этот/а/о/и as an adjective, like "this thing".
If I understand this correct Это means I an unspecific "a". I you ask with Этот (this specific thing) it translates to something like "Is this coffee or is the borscht.", which sounds like you ask wether any of those exists at all.
Because "борщ" is the only correct way to spell and say "borsch" in Russian.
Where did the t come from then? My дедушка (who used to make it for when we would visit) was Russian and I'm pretty sure I was taught the word as "borscht"
Me too. English is known for corrupting words it borrows from other languages, maybe that's all?
Except that I learned the word from my father and his first language was Russian. -ponders- How is it said in Ukrainian?
Hm. According to Google Translate, it's exactly the same in Ukrainian, so I don't think that's it.
You're right in general, but it doesn't apply to this case. A lot of things in Russian are about how they sound and it just sounds wrong to a native speaker such as me. If you say "он кофе или борщ", in this case, it would sound as though you're 1) talking about a human which would make no sense, or 2) just saying something weird in general. So I recommend using "is this coffee or borsch?" in English and "это кофе или борщ" in Russian.
what is the difference between using кофе а борщ and using кофе а борщ? when i clicked on "or" it says either can be used but i got it wrong when i used "а".
I don't think that 'а' corresponds to 'or' exactly - 'а' is like a cross between 'but' and 'and'. Maybe there is a particular instance where 'а' is more like 'or' - but I don't think it's this one.
Like you can say: это не кофе а борщ - That is not coffee, but borsch
But your version with 'а' above would be: 'Is it coffee but borsch?' - which as you can see from the English, doesn't work.
HOWEVER, I am not a native speaker and looking at our levels, my Russian is not better than yours - so I don't know that for sure you can't use a here - and we'll have to await further confirmation :)
When I type in the romanized version of this sentence, it says that "borscht" is wrong. How should I spell it?
What is the difference between ш and щ? Because correct me if I am wrong, they don't sound that different
You can find your answer here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/17454475/What-is-the-difference-between-%D0%A8-and-%D0%A9
And yes, they sound almost similar with the slight difference.