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  5. "Зачем тебе пятьдесят кошек?"

"Зачем тебе пятьдесят кошек?"

Translation:What do you need fifty cats for?

November 13, 2015



Where is "need" in here? I don't get why my answer of "Why do you have fifty cats" is marked wrong.

[deactivated user]

    Where is "need" in here?

    It's omited. When you have an impersonal sentence with no adverb, no personal verb (infinitives don't count) or anything like that, it's often understood as having 'надо' (it's neccessary) or 'мо́жно' (it's possible) omited. You can usually get the exact meaning from the context:

    • Где купи́ть ко́тёнка? Where (is it possible) to buy a kitten? (i.e. Where can I buy a kitten? )
    • Куда́ положи́ть кни́гу? Where (it's neccessary/possible) to put the book? (i.e. Where could/should I put a book?)

    I don't get why my answer of "Why do you have fifty cats" is marked wrong.

    Have is usually translated with «у» + Genitive, while this sentence has Dative. «Заче́м у тебя́ 50 ко́шек?» would be a better translation to "Why do you have fifty cats".

    However, I believe it this case it's a pretty vague distinction, and probably "Why do you have fifty cats?" should be accepted too. If you get this sentence again, you could use 'Report a Problem' button to bring course authors' attention to this sentence.


    В ваших примерах вопросительных предложений "(it's possible)" следует понимать как "it is possible" или "is it possible"? У вас есть Where (is it possible) to buy a kitten? и Where (it's necessary/possible) to put the book?

    [deactivated user]

      Нормативные правила предписывают ставить после where глагол, т.е. where is it possible.

      Хочу отметить: мой комментарий предназначен для носителей английского, изучающих русский. Я не гарантирую правильность моих предложений на английском. Английский мне не родной.

      Кроме того, я часто выбираю максимально близкие к русским фразы, чтобы объяснить грамматику. Т.е. они заведомо неестественны. Ожидается, что читатель будет использовать их как глоссы, не более.


      Спасибо. И ещё один вопрос. Можно продолжать писать necessary с одним (а не двумя) "с", или что-то произошло с узусом?

      [deactivated user]

        Necessary — это такая же ошибка, как отсутствие запятой перед «или» в Вашем сообщении. :3

        Вполне очевидно, что целью Вашего сообщения было не получение информации об узусе. Хотя бы потому, что узус гораздо проще проверить самому, банально сравнив выдачу поисковиков или открыв любой корпус или дескриптивный словарь. Целью было придраться ко мне. (Об этом можно было догадаться и по Вашему первому сообщению, но я предпочитаю не приписывать людям злые намерения.)

        Я считаю, что такие придирки нарушают правила сообщества: https://www.duolingo.com/guidelines (в частности, первое правило «всегда будьте уважительны») и призываю Вас быть добрее. :)


        I got this answer marked wrong for the same reason, so I went ahead and reported it just as you suggested.


        Surely the idea of "need" is such an essential one, how can it possibly not have a word?

        [deactivated user]

          Why do you think 'need' is essential here? Sentences "Why do you need 50 cats?" and "Why do you have 50 cats?" are to a large extent interchangeable. Doesn't this prove that the idea of 'need' is not essential in this sentence?


          It is DL who says that "need" is essential. And I don't think your two English sentences do mean the same thing.


          The sentences aren't exactly the same in terms of precise meaning, even if the intent of the speaker might be the same (expressing amazement over one person owning 50 cats. ;-) )


          "need" IS essential if one wants to understand why dative Мне is used. I think most of those who translated "why do you have" had mistaken тебе for у тебя


          They are not interchangable.


          They are not interchangeable.... If you want to help others then learn Russian correctly.

          [deactivated user]

            Sorry, I don’t see how learning Russian (which is my native language, by the way) ‘correctly’ would help me with making choices about what is and what is not interachangeable in English. :)

            No word is interchangeable everywhere. Even seemingly completely synonymous words can end up meaning different things in some contexts (cf. phrases juxtaposing synonyms, e.g. «не опять, а снова» — in most cases those words mean the same thing, but when juxtaposed, they reveal a subtle distinction of the meaning). There is no absolute ‘interchangeability’. All interchangeability is relative.

            And “Why do you need 50 cats?” and “Why do you have 50 cats?” are interchangeable in many contexts (as I’ve said, to a large extent), because both are used to express the amazement at someone owning 50 cats.


            Как сказать "crazy cat lady" на русском?


            'What do you have fifty cats for?' should be accepted, right? I always read зачем as 'What for'.


            If it was possible to translate as "why do you have" it would be totally obscure why dative мне is there.


            it is accepted now.


            Fifty? Seriously?


            This person needs a show on TLC.


            That is a very good question


            If I get it right the Duolingo translation is correct, and the Russian phrase (just like German "Wozu brauchst Du fünfzig Katzen"?) does not tell us whether the addressed person already has fifty cats or whether he thinks about acquiring that many. It just expresses the astonishment of the speaker, right?


            First time i've seen possesion without у вас or something close. :o


            Cats is the new babies. #YOLO


            потому что я сумасшедшая кошка леди?!


            why is "what are your 50 cats for" wrong?


            How do you say:"What do you need for 50 cats?"


            Woman lives with over 1,000 cats. This is a real video of her and her cats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qWSWdRnXaI


            So this sentence is literally, "Why 50 cats for you?", right?

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