I would venture a guess that the original words for "mother" and "daughter" were indeed «матерь» and «дочерь» but they were shortened over time. This guess is based on the resemblance to the English words, as well as to the German «Mutter» and «Tochter», which suggests similar words in PIE.
Am I right?
Does it drive anyone else crazy when testing for a higher level that Duolingo keeps switching back and forth (almost from screen to screen) between typing in Russian and typing in English? Why can't they have the English portion and then the Russian. A small complaint, but to me it's like the ancient Chinese water torture . . . drip, drip, drip . . .
It would be much better if several questions could be done in Cyrillic script, then others in Roman script. It is not very difficult to learn to type in Cyrillic script, which maps easily onto the Qwerty keyboard, once one has copied out a Cyrillic keyboard, and switched one's keyboard language to Russian. It is however very annoying to have to change keyboards every other question.
There is nothing in the comments about the declension of девушка. I do not understand why the translation is not "I don't have any girls." Please someone explain this. It is obvious to me that a father who has children would say he has no daughters when he means he has only sons. So please explain why the translation would not also imply that. Isn't the correct word for girlfriend подруга? Thus I completely fail to understand the developer's correct answers. I need both declension and idiomatic usage discussed, as well as for comparison the more formal usage.
подруга is a word for a friend who is a female. It is also what you might use for a girlfriend if you are that modest and shy. Девушка is the de facto standard. It gets fuzzier with boys because there is neither an agreed-on term for a young male, nor a universal word for a boyfriend. Молодой человек, even though a bit formal in sound, is the most widespread term for the latter among people approximately my age. Парень is also an option, quite informal in sound.
Девушка's plural is девушки. The word's Genitive singular is девушки, and the Genitive plural is девушек.
The word девушка also means a young woman (older than 12-15 but usually younger than 30). These are not usually possessed.
It is also what you might use for a girlfriend if you are that modest and shy
Around me, подруга is rarely used for a man's female friends. For me, this largerly is the word to describe a woman's female friends. For male's friends, I would use друг regardless of the gender (women can use друг too), and when a male calls someone подруга, this more often than not means a 'girlfriend'.
Of course, this is not universal (obviously, «Подруга дней моих суровых» can't be understood this way :D), but probably it can explain why some people suggest подруга as a translation for 'girlfriend'.
Нет requires genitive case, so "девушки" here is genitive singular, not nominative plural. If it was "girls" then the Russian would need to be "девушек". As for "girlfriend" - I too had learned that the correct word was "подруга". It seems though, based not only on this course but on everything else I've read, that that was incorrect and the correct word, in modern Russian usage at least, is in fact "девушка".
Well, sometimes it is plural, but not here.
Russian nouns have several forms called cases. The most common case is nominative, it’s used when girls is the subject of the sentence:
- Де́вушка чита́ет ‘A/the girl is reading’
- Де́вушки чита́ют ‘[The] girls are reading’
So, you’re partially right, де́вушки is indeed plural in many situations.
But to express absence, we use «нет» with a different form, genitive case. In genitive case, де́вушки is singular, and де́вушек is plural:
- Здесь нет де́вушки ‘There is no girl here’
- Здесь нет де́вушек ‘There are no girls here’
This is also the form used after «у», the a preposition to express possessor:
- У де́вушки нет книг ‘[The/a] girl doesn’t have books’
- У де́вушек нет книг ‘[The] girls don’t have books’
So, «де́вушки» can be both nominative plural or genitive singular. You need to use the context to find out the exact meaning: if it’s preceded by «у» or used with «нет», then it’s genitive singular. In other cases, it’s likely to be nominative plural.
Sentences should (ideally) be written in passable English:
- Это вода. = This (that, it) is water OR This (that,it) is the water
- Вот стул. = Here is a chair / Here is the chair.
Single words or short fragments might drop the initial article:
- вода = water/ the water
- высокое здание = high(tall) building / a high (tall) building / the high (tall) building
- крыша здания = roof of the building / roof of a building / the roof of the building / the roof of a building / a roof of the building / a roof of a building / the building's roof / building's roof /a building's roof
Why are you going to die alone? Do you want to or something? Are you already an old man, and I mean over 80? Is there something seriously wrong with you? Do you not take a shower more than once a week? If your answer to all of these is no, then why don't you come to Kyiv and make some lovely girl happy? Don't you know what the quarantine has done here? There is NO government safety net here for single moms, no work means no money which means they and their kids are lucky to have a potato a day to eat. You don't need to be perfect to be a man and adopt a family. And if you are too old to be a Dad, be a grandpa.