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  5. "Можете помыть ножи и вилки?"

"Можете помыть ножи и вилки?"

Translation:Could you wash the knives and forks?

November 13, 2015



I think clean should be an acceptable word instead of wash. Wash feels strange to me as an English speaker.


Thank you so much for all the excellent work going into the Russian language class!


As a speaker of British English, I think "wash" is a much better translation than "clean" here. I think we talk about cleaning things rather than washing them, we are using less water or none. I wash the dishes, but I clean the table before setting it. I wash most of my clothes in the washing machine, but I take my coat to the drycleaner's to be cleaned. I wash or clean the floor. I clean the carpet, but I might wash a small rug in the washing machine.


You have the right idea. Washing is a particular kind of cleaning, which most commonly involves the use of water.


And what about wash up? I am not a native speaker, but I live in an English speaking community. "I have to wash up" is used quite often. Is it correct? Thanks.


As far as I know, wash up is commonly using in the UK and OZ. My friends from there often refer to it as doing the "washing up." In the US, I would say "wash" or "clean" the dishes would be the most common ways of saying it.


Yes, thanks for all the hard work!


They should both be valid. I'm English and I've used wash all my life.


Well, the use is different in English and Russian anyway.

  • мыть is used for washing/cleaning using water or wet cloth. Wiping sometimes works too (you can use протереть or вытереть if you want to be specific, like, wiping glasses or a table clean). The verb is also used for washing hands.
  • стирать is used for washing clothing
  • чистить is used for cleaning without water, for dry cleaning. Used with shoes, for example (if you do not use water and a piece of cloth). Dry cleaning using chemicals, which are specialised organic solvents, is «химчистка» («химическая чистка»). «Чистить» is also used in the meaning of "to peel" (potatoes, apples, carrots etc.)

As you can see, the meanings overlap but the match is far from perfect. For example, you never "clean" a table in Russian (unless you do it by using a dry brush instead of a wet rag).


Shady, you say чистить is used for washing, WITHOUT water. But that confuses me, when "чистить зубы" is used as "to brush your teeth" (or so I'v been told). Can you explain a little more on that please? And thanks for all the help you do on the course :)


You typically brush your teeth, then wash the toothpaste away with water. Мыть зубы would imply you wipe off your teeth with a piece of wet cloth or wash them in flowing water.


What word would I use for washing/cleaning my mother's false teeth, which I put in a bowl of water with a cleaning tablet and soak overnight?


It's possible that it generally means "brushing/sweeping off" which is typically without water, but with teeth it would be with.

Just guessing, though.


Thanks, it's good to know. It makes a lot of sense to me as a Czech speaker too.


I'm British and wash sounds perfectly fine !


Yeah, like washing the dishes...


I am American and I always "wash the dishes" and "wash my hands". "Clean" to me can be used in sentences like "clean up your room" or "cleaning up a spill". To me, they aren't very interchangeable. They almost always have a distinct difference about them.


Just as an extra point of interest only Americans use "clean your room" when they are talking about tidying it. Tell anyone else to clean it and they will get out scourers and detergent and start scrubbing.


Audio is wrong!!!

Emphasis on the second letter "и"!!!


вИлки not вилкИ


One thing that you should learn is languages as they are... Because in the end, if you lear any language and want something specific, you probabbly will be asking for something too diferent that you 'think is better according to your mother language'. If in russian is wash, learn it as it is... In english you talk however you want, but in another languages, you way of thinking simply will/could be wrong.


Not to me. Clean means something else. Wash means with water and probably soap. Clean might not involve either.


I would say "wash" here. I don't know if its proper English, but i am a native speaker. "Clean" would work just as well, but thinking back to actually asking this question, i say "wash" more often than "clean"


Under suggested translations it says that "may" is a use for можете, so I put "would you" and it was marked wrong. Did I try to get away with too much in this case?


Что ещё за вилкИ?


I did can you wash the forks and knives that should be accepted


In Philippine English, I do not remember any particular order regarding "knives and forks" or "forks and knives". Either of which will do. Also we use "wash" referring to dishes or any kitchen wares. It sounds awkward for us to say "clean the dishes" because mostly we interpret things literally so it would be the same as saying "clean the bedroom" if we use "clean".


помы́ть (pomýtʹ)

IPA: [pɐˈmɨtʲ]

"to wash"

pf (imperfective мыть)

по- (po-) +‎ мыть (mytʹ, "to wash"), from Proto-Slavic *myti

Cognate with Latvian maut ("to swim").

Source: Wiktionary.


Нет, я усталыи (Is that how you say that?)


We would use a verb (normally): Я устал(а).


why is it you and not we or they?


The verb мочь is conjugated for "you" (plural or formal).


right. Thank you. I did not realize


How is this can I wash and say im wrong to say "is it possible" the translation of можно


Можно = one can or may or something is possible. Можете is the plural "you" conjugation of the verb мочь and it can only refer to either one person formally or a group of people. The root is the same for both мочь и можно but it is not the same word.


If I wanted to say "CAN you wash..." it.could be "можете мыть..."?


It is the exact same in Russian, you just have some options in English. Arguably "Could you wash the dishes?" in Russian, when addressing someone very formally and politely could sound like "Не могли бы вы помыть посуду?", but that's a bit over the top for most situations I think. A better example of that might be if you're approaching a stranger on the street and are asking for directions or time - "Не могли бы вы сказать мне который час сейчас?" for instance.


Then "Не могли бы вы" it's like another way to say "Could you"?


Why is "are you able" not allowed?


Now let's throw 'rinse' into the mix!


There is something wrong wirh the stress of the words in this audio. I hear нО́жи, and I can understand it's wrong only because the O is pronounced as an A, indicating that it should be ножИ́ instead.

That makes me wonder if I am hearing "forks" as вилкИ́ correctly.


Also, every time I see вилки, it sounds to me like велки, there is this slight e-ish sound at the end like VIeLKI...


It might be my particular dialect of English (north eastern American) but knives and forks or later on uncles and aunts sounds odd to me. Does this sound odd to a Russian speaker? I've noticed the word order is generally different from English


Just as a comparison to the other answer, I grew up in the midwest and "forks and knives" sounds more natural to me, though "knives and forks" sounds okay too.

Just for fun, if you google the first you get 837,000 hits. For the second, 841,000...almost exactly the same.

However, if you google uncles and aunts, you get 8.7M, but aunts and uncles gets you 31M.


Same thing in Englidh. Could you or do you want. Just saying that there's really no difference.


"Could you" means "do you have the time and are you available to clean the forks?" "Do you want" means "do you have the desire to clean the forks". In both languages it is not the same thing. I might be able to clean the forks but I'd rather probably be watching movies or playing games >_>.


I typed this correctly but it says it is wrong. There is no option for that in the report.


What case is ножи here?


Accusative, though it is the same as the Nominative.

It is plural, of course.


Is this the conditional tense? What's the difference between can and could in Russian?


No, this is straight forward present tense ("Can you?").

The conditional could be used in a question as a very polite way of asking something. It would look like, "Не могли бы вы помыть ножи и вилки".


Knifes was seen as wrong, but it was just a typo. Should be accepted as well


In fact, knifes is a typo for sure, since the correct word would be knives, and sometimes duolingo is very strict about it. So, if sometimes a typo leads to the answer being wrong, just ignore it and write correctly next time.


Already flagged, but ever since the new voices were added this sounds wrong. The last word sounds like ложки, or maybe both ложки and вилки playing at the same time? Only managed to get it right by memorizing the answer.


вилки sounds like Polish "wilki" which means "wolves" ( and wolf in Russian is волк, so they're still very similar )


I understood Можете помыть наши вилки :-D


Maybe you can wash the knives and forks? Should be accepted. Especially since, without "you" in the original Russian, this is clearly a spoken question. There is nothing wrong with my translation in English and depending on context might be the preferred English statement. I reported it.


The Russian sentence in the title means "Can you wash knives and forks?".

How close is "could you", "will you", "won't you", "maybe you can" or "why don't you" is up to interpretation (given that Russian also has more than one way to ask for assistance).


Not only that, "Can you wash knives and forks?" literally means "Are you physically capable of washing the knives and forks"?, in English not a request to actually do so. So a person might reasonably respond: "Yes, but do you want me to wash them?"


That is why we usually accept "could you" because it is idiomatically almost one to one ( even though Russian does not literally say"could").


Why knifes is not allowed?


Because it's not a word.


Is this really "could"? The person is capable. This shoud really be "would."


Must it be "THE knives and forks", or could it be also just "some knives and forks"?


If you're adding the word "some" then the Russian translation would be different, the two words would need to be genitive instead.

Usually in these sentence just dropping the "the"s doesn't change the translation, but in this case "Could you wash knives and forks?" sounds a little unnatural and I doubt it would be said in English.


We just do not accept "some"; the sentence does not say несколько, so we do not accept it. Both "the knives and forks" and just "knives and forks" are OK.

Using ножей и вилок, however, is unlikely to be used—partitive usage of Genitive is more common for uncount nouns, and some nouns meaning food or other consumables (pens, paper, trash bags). Cutlery is rarely imagined as such. Well, maybe if you really have a lot of them, mostly dirty, and only need to wash a dozen for the party...


Интересно всё же, почему the knives и forks без артикля?!


Здесь, один "the" управляет оба слова (из-за "and")


The audio sounds mushed

[deactivated user]

    Why could and not can ? Can you wash the knifes and forks - should be right too,or?

    English is not my native language, so I don't understand the difference .


    why is "can you wash the knives and THE forks" wrong? I don't understand, (maybe because I'm not native speaker?)


    You should report that, it's a legitimate answer.


    I wrote 'the knives and the forks' which was not accepted due to the 'the' in front of forks, which, in my opinion, is correct.


    Knives and forks is an idiomatic expression. Only the initial article is required and adding a second sounds quite unnatural.

    There are many of these idiomatic pairings in English, for example: the soap and water, the rain and snow, the bread and butter, it is an open and shut case.


    That's going a bit far. "knives and forks" is more idiomatic but "the knives and the forks" is totally valid, certainly not incorrect in any way. It's especially useful when you are stressing that the forks also require attention.


    It is indeed valid and correct. I was just explaining why "the knives and forks" would be the preferred translation in this exercise, and why the second article is unnecessary in this context.

    Granted in another exercise, perhaps if I was looking at a set of cutlery where the knives and the forks had different designs, I would use both articles.


    I think the artikle "the" is not necessary here


    Stresses very ambiguous here: il should be "ножИ и вИлки", not "нАжи и вилкИ"


    I said 'please wash the knives and forks'. Does that not work here?


    I said could you wash the knives and the forks and was told it was wrong


    What verb does this come from is it a modal verb could you?


    It comes from мочь that just means "can".


    lol ...forks and knives или knives and forks . shows the flow of different languages.

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