"Можете нарезать картошку?"

Translation:Could you slice the potatoes?

November 13, 2015

This discussion is locked.


How come the pronoun isn't required here but is elsewhere?


I often see the word можете, or можешь, used without a pronoun. I think it is because it often functions as an imperative-type sentence (as here), which doesn't use pronouns.


How can imperatives be questions? I thought they where affirmations.


Hmm, I'm trying to remember why I wrote this one year ago... It's not an imperative sentence per se, but it has the same effect as the imperative sentence "Нарежь(те) картошку"/"slice the potatoes".

[deactivated user]

    I don't think this sentence is in any way special and demands special treatment in Duolingo. I don't know why the course creators didn't use a pronoun here.

    In general, pronouns are often dropped in colloquial speech, but rarely dropped in written texts and in formal language. Maybe this sentence sounds colloquial so that's why the pronoun is dropped? After all, we don't often ask about cutting potatoes in a formal way... That's my guess.


    It really confused me and this sentence should be changed to use the pronoun, no reason to drop it here without any context.


    The reason is that можете is clearly you-plural form, so a pronoun вы is not necessary.


    Why is it not картошки?

    [deactivated user]

      Карто́шки can be either a accusative plural form, or a genitive singular form.

      It’s not plural because «карто́шка» is an uncountable mass noun. It behaves like «rice» in English.

      But if you wanted to use a genitive singular, you can. «Можете нарезать карто́шки?» sounds OK with genitive too. Accusative shifts the meaning towards 'all the potatoes', while Genitive shifts the meaning towards 'some potatoes'.


      I have heard the plural forms of картошка used quite often by native Russian speakers. Online dictionaries also seem to indicate that plural forms for картошка do exist, while it is formal картофель which is the uncountable collective (mass) noun.

      [deactivated user]

        Yes, I was corrected in some other topic.

        I personally don't use it in plural, but such option indeed exists.


        Excuse me, as for Лук? In another discussion it is said that луки means bown and the noun onion is uncountable. So would it be appropiate to use it in genitive in this context?


        Лук - are a type of plant or food. one piece, the lower part is an лУковица, the upper стрелка. Соответственно много - луковицы и стрЕлки. Луки can be used for different biological species of onions or for many pieces of weapons. Funny, стрелкИ из лука and стрЕлки из лука have absolutely different meanings.


        Thank you! This site is amazing :)


        Ya this is a good site


        middiefrosh has asked up above: "How come the pronoun isn't required here but is elsewhere?"................I was marked wrong for using "Can I..."

        [deactivated user]

          You can't use «can I» because «мо́жете» is a 2nd person plural form, so it can only be used with «вы» (but plural form can be used to address one person for politeness). So, «можете» implies «вы» and you can't translate it "can I", "can I" is «могу я?».

          As for accepting or not accepting pronouns: generally, pronouns are needed in written and formal speech, but can often be dropped in dialogues and in informal situations. Maybe this phrase is written without a pronoun because it's something you often hear and rarely see written, so that's why it's written with a dropped pronoun.

          [deactivated user]

            "Can you cut up the potatoes?" doesn't - erm - cut it.

            I wonder why. I'm pretty cut up about it.


            What case and number is картошку?


            Accusative Singular. You can find all the declensions of картошка here. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BA%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%88%D0%BA%D0%B0 This of course does mean either the English or Russin sentence is, as of right now, not a correct translation.


            What would we write if there is really just one potato?

            [deactivated user]

              I would say «мо́жете поре́зать карто́фелину»? (But if precision is not required, you can use the «карто́шку» for one potato too. I'm not sure about the verb, for some reason «поре́зать» sounds slightly better to my ear when speaking about one potato, but it might be just me.)

              • 1021

              Is it really картофели́ну, not карто́фелину?

              [deactivated user]

                Dictionary says карто́фелина, so your variant is the standard one.

                • 1021

                Okay, I just thought yours might be a typo or something.

                [deactivated user]

                  Well, I try to write the standard forms in Duolingo, but in this exact case I just didn't know my stress is non-standard :)

                  Upd.: I've updated my message.


                  im pretty sure "can you" can works as well as "could you" it should not be marked as incorrect


                  My question pertains to нарезать. Does it mean slice specifically? As in sliced potatoes for scalloped potatoes? If so, how do I say "cut up", "chop" or "dice" (onions, or potatoes for hash browns)?


                  my question too. Or does it mean to peel the potatoes


                  картошку is singular isn't it? Shouldn't this sentence be translated as "Can you slice the potato?"


                  From what I understand, it can be singular, plural OR mass. So "potatoes" and "potato" should both be fine.

                  However, looking at the context of the sentence, notice that the subject is plural (because можете). How likely is it that someone is asking a group of people to slice one single potato? ;)


                  можете can be used with a single person, too, to make the sentence sound polite.

                  картошку could be a singular noun or a mass noun, but not a plural noun for sure. I answered "Can you slice the potato?", but Duolingo didn't accept my answer. :(


                  It sounded like a statment


                  I said, 'Could you please ...' That was considered wrong. While I learned it is polite to say that in english.


                  There's no "пожалуйста" ("please") in the Russian sentence, for example, "Можете, пожалуйста, нарезать картошку?"


                  I wrote,"Will you slice the potatoes." It was marked wrong. Should I report it? If not, why?


                  Could you - are you able to. a suggestion rather than a request.

                  Will you = a request or possibly a threat if the answer is no.

                  Can you - same as Could you except often sarcastic - as if "Can you slice the potatoes without cutting yourself".

                  Would you - same as will you except more politely.

                  All could be used in casual speech to ask you to slice the potatoes. I personally wish that Duo would refrain from casual careless and often grammatically incorrect English. Duo seems to think that all English speakers are 8 years old.


                  Duolingo considered "May you slice the potatoes?" wrong. Should I report?


                  Typically in questions you're asking for permission to do something... typically people only say "MAY you?" when they're being passive-aggressive about someone misusing the verb can.

                  [deactivated user]

                    Yes, I think this variant is correct too.


                    Why is it not "Could I slice the potatoes?"


                    можете is the second person plural/formal conjugation of the verb мочь (Вы можете). Even though Вы is not stated explicitly, "you" (the person with whom you're speaking) is the logical subject of the sentence based on the verb conjugation.


                    Можете нарезать картошку Пожалуйста? Don't want to be a jerk about it.


                    When i should use можно?


                    Можно is more like "Is it possible" or "Can I"


                    Apart from the grammar being hard, shouldn't I be able to hear a difference between the endings on the potatoes? It doesn't sound like a "у " instead of "a". Pronunciation rules seem more like guidelines. Very hard to get used to.


                    I put "can you chop the potatoes" and it didnt accept it. Surely that is a valid answer?


                    maybe word "chop"

                    it translate like "рубить"... mean.. to cut with axe, not to slice with a knife


                    не могли бы вы нарезать картошку - could you slice the potatoes

                    можете нарезать картошку - can you slice the potatoes

                    also the pronounce of word "нарезать" is wrong


                    Does the phrase "можете verb" in Russian also imply that the speaker is requesting the listener to do verb, similar to "can you do verb" in English?


                    I don't fully understand your question. Can you provide an example of an English sentence please.


                    In English, if I said "can you slice potatoes", it can either mean "do you have the capability to slice potatoes?" or "please slice the potatoes".


                    Okay, thanks for that. Yes it can have both meanings.


                    Sure. And I'll do a spud-tacular job


                    Does this mean to peel the potatoes? In English slice would mean to cut in thin slices, as of to make potato chips.


                    It mean to cut into thin slices.

                    Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.