"Когда было начало месяца?"
Translation:When was the beginning of the month?
Could someone explain why we're using the neuter form "было" here? Isn't month a masculine noun?
The verb is describing the start, which is neuter. I think. (I'm tiiiiired today...)
было was (neuter)
начало the start, the beginning - notice, it's neuter, this is the word that is "using" the verb - the verb is describing this noun, not месяц
месяца of the month, because it's in the genitive, the начало "belongs to" the month.
If I was asking when did the month start, I might say something like когда начался месяц? The verb would then be describing the noun month, and therefore would need to be in the masculine form.
HTH, and hopefully a native/non-ridiculously-exhausted person will correct anything I explained badly or got wrong ;-p
Но может быть, когда-нибуд, это будет ясно. Можно мечтать! :-)
[I am sorry if that Russian is utter rubbish. I tried :-) ]
Если долго мучиться, что-нибудЬ получится))) P.S. Мечтать можно, но лучше - надеяться))) Нужно надеяться!!
Yes, that is very clear, and certainly makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain so clearly.