A few minutes ago I had to translate "это лев" (This is a lion) and there was no dash. Can anyone explain is there's any difference in meaning or context if theres a dash or not?
I think the dash was there only to denote the verb "to be" in written Russian since it does not use a verb for "to be" like how English does. Perhaps not using a dash was common, because people are lazy? So, they are basically the same.
Maybe to mark the difference between 'this lion' and 'this is a lion'? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong here.
Actually no, there is another difference between 'this lion' an 'this is a lion'. 'это' means 'this is' or 'this' if your noun is neutral. Since lion is masculine in Russian, you need to use another form 'этот'. ('эта' for female nouns)
So to sum up:
'this is a lion' --> 'это лев' or 'это - лев' (no idea about that one^^) 'this lion' --> 'этот лев'
I know that one puts a dash between two nouns if they are equated, but usually not between noun and pronoun. Is this here an exception? Is it common to write "Это - медведь" or would it be more common to write it without the dash?
Should be accepted. In other sentences, 'it' and 'they' are both accepted for это in these constructions.
I hope you reported it.
I only wrote it here. They gave me a "no clutter" report. I'm still getting used to this program. I thought they may check these.
You have to be patient with Duolingo. Remember that it's a free service and the people who made the course are volunteers too. Also, this Russian course is still in beta which means it's getting improved when users like us report errors. Just hit the "Report error" button on the left side and choose the box that suits the bug.
Thanks. Like I said, I'm still getting used to the format and yes, I am thankful for a free language program!
"This is the bear" was marked incorrect for me. I figured that "Это" means "This is" and "Медведь."
Duolingo accepts both "this is a bear" and "that is a bear" but for me the meaning is not the same. How is the same distinction made in Russian?
why is это translated differently every time? sometimes it's "This is" sometimes "That is" or "It is"
If it's essentially a subject of a sentence ("What is it?" - Что это?, or "It is..." - Это ..."), then it will be... "it is". But then it can only be Это. You can also attach it to a noun to indicate "this" or "these", but then it will decline based on the gender, number and case of things it's attached to.
Are you talking about a physical Cyrillic keyboard?
If not, in Windows 10 there are three virtual Russian Cyrillic keyboards: Russian Typewriter, Russian Mnemonic and Russian touch keyboard. (There are more Cyrillic keyboards in other languages)
On the Russian Mnemonic keyboard, the - is right where the - is on a standard English keyboard. That's the only one I have loaded, but the preview imagine in Control Panel/languages/Russian/input Device/add input device has the - for the touch keyboard at the same place as the English, and for the typewriter keyboard, the - is where the 2 key is.
Yes, a physical keyboard. I happen to have a typewriter keyboard with the key on 2. Thank you! :D
That's a diminutive. For example, you would call a teddy-bear a мишка, not a медведь
Would I be correct in saying that "Это медведь" means "There is a bear" and adding the dash means "It is a bear"?
No, это медведь и это - медведь mean the same exact thing ("It is a bear" or "That is a bear"). The hyphen is added between two nouns or pronouns in the nominative to indicate that one thing is the other thing without combining the two into one.
"There is a bear", depending on the context, would be just "Там медведь" or "там и есть медведь".
As it says это is it,this,or that, why is it not "This Bear? " this is not making sense to me.....or "That Bear? "
"Это" has multiple roles.
It can be a pronoun, like in "I like this/it" (мне это нравится).
It can be a particle meaning "it is" or "this is" or "that is", etc., like in the example phrase here. That's how it is used when there's a dash after it.
One thing those two uses share is that "это" does not change form, no matter if whatever you're talking about is plural, singular, masculine, feminine, or neuter.
When saying "this bear", though, we're need not a pronoun or a particle, but determiner. And that determiner needs to agree with the noun it modifies. Not only that, it is declined! In that case, это is used only for neuter words. Given that медведь is a masculine, you'd need "этот медведь" instead.