"Можно мне собаку?"

Translation:Can I have a dog?

November 13, 2015

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Okay, this one made me laugh in amongst all the можно мне суп, можно мне курицу... Double take time when I saw можно мне собаку. (Of course, it's possible I'm just going slightly mad from Duolingo overdose, but I thought it was amusing...)

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

There was a Chinese restaurant in one of the small cities I lived in in the American Midwest that we called "The Puppy Palace", because the place was raided for serving dog to certain favored customers, who regarded the dish as a delicacy.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

The thing is that the Russian sentence does not specify what the asker is going to do with the dog. The sentece can also mean, "May I buy a/the dog?", "Can I hold the dog for a while?" or "May I use the dog?". You can't really tell without a context.

March 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peachtree2

Wish this wasn't open-ended translation format. I put "Can I get a dog?" but a bunch of things would be normal.

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

I don't work for DL, but my experience with them tells me that they usually pick one or two likely equivalents and leave it to participants of discussions to fill in the 'gaps' (i.e. to suggest other valid translations). DL's primary translations often leave to be desired.

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/___Jake___

for here or to go?

April 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/illirina

can I get..? what's wrong?

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GT_Shark

Seeing the text "Can I've a dog" Is simply wrong... I don't mean technically... Probably perfectly reasonable sentence. But, In speech there is a definite H in there eluding to "Can I-h-v a dog" Which would be written "Can I have a dog". I'm 45 years old and have never seen in written form "Can I've ...." Again. I'm sure its technically correct. But, I've never seen it, except in sentences like "I've never seen it" Anyone else think it looks odd? Probably just me :)

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenCavines

"Can I've" sounds completely wrong to this native speaker (USA variety). But I can't think of an example where "have", when indicating possession, is ever contracted to 've. Maybe the contraction only occurs when used as a helping verb, such as "I have seen" -> "I've seen".

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

The only time I can think of an exception when have is indicating possession is when it's acting as a helper verb to got! So yes, I agree.

August 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dirckk

British English actually does allow the non-auxiliary "have" to contract:

"I've a question."

(though even for the Brits you can't contract it when you have an inverted modal like "can"... I think the reason is that this is not the finite present "have" [which would be "has" if the subject were 3rd person], it's the bare-infinitive "have" because of the modal)

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geneven

"Can I've" is bonkers in American English.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

In standard English, contracted forms of verbs are never used in questions.

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenCavines

This statement is to general, although it may be true as a trend, or specifically related to to the abbreviation 've for have. But I can think of many contacted verb forms in questions. Can't you?

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

In "can't" the particle "not" is contracted, not the verb itself.

August 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenCavines

I see the distinction you are making, and I agree that there is a difference, although I'll beg to differ about the verb not being contracted. "can't" is the contraction of "cannot", a negative verb, similar contractions being "don't" (= "do not") and "won't" (= "will not"), etc. Clearly in the latter case there's no question of only the "not" being contracted, and in fact "not" can't be contracted by itself, outside of this sort of negative verb construction. But you are right that it is a different situation from the contraction of "have" to "'ve". You are citing a general rule that contracted verb forms aren't used in questions, but I wonder what other examples of such a rule you are thinking of other than 've? Hmm, perhaps: "I will" => "I'll". The contracted form can appear in a statement, but not in a question. Ok, we've got 2 data points, maybe we've got a theory! (Science joke.) Wait, try this: The standard way to convert a statement into a question in English is to reverse the Subject-Verb order, and this applies to the first verb, in the case of a multi-verb construction. E.g., "I can go." => "Can I go?, "You do think that ..." => "Do you think that...?", "We have seen...." => "Have we seen...?", "You will run." => "Will you run?" In the last two examples, the contraction could be made in the statement, but not in the VS-ordered question: "we've seen", "you'll run". So it may be correct to say that helping verb contractions can't appear in questions, because of the SV => VS inversion. What do you think? Of course, helping verbs are the most common contractions, so this version is almost as strong as your original statement. But it also ties in my previous point about the contraction for "have" only happening when it's used as a helping verb.

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dirckk

The linguists I trust most have argued pretty convincingly that the negative forms aren't really contractions at all: they're just a short list of (like 15 or so) negative lexemes. They don't follow the same rules as the verb contractions, several have irregular forms, and you can't really stick -n't onto a new word willy-nilly (unlike -'s, -'d, -'ll etc).

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MagnetcParticls

Contractions are perfectly legal. Just because it's not popular doesn't mean it's wrong. Styles are defined by doing things differently. Unpopular contracted words are my bag, don't knock it.

December 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveBKK

I listened to this recording 12 times and still could not grasp it.

September 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

Можно мне is often used in the sense "May I speak with" or "May I use".

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Squonkalini

What case is собаку in?

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

Accusative (among other things, it is used for direct objects)

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Squonkalini

Much obliged!

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HugoBastos93

Why is it собаку and not собака? I was under the impression that in such constructions "мне... ", what is translated as the object is, in fact, the subject; as in, the literal translation would be "is a dog possible to me? " or something like that xD thanks for any help :)

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alimgo
  • 1103

It is basically an impersonal construction. You could add an 'it' to make it sort of seem a little more logical: It is allowed to me a dog.

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

By placing собаку in accusative case, it is made the object of an unspoken verb - which is (according to other comments elsewhere) usually understood to be "to give" or "to have" -> "May/Can I have a dog?"

If it were собака, then your construction would be a logical inference.

One infers the verb from the presence of the direct object. The presence of an indirect object in Dative case doesn't detract from this inference.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdwardMarr1

Should "Can I get a dog?" be accepted?

August 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexmalaho

I guess that's a yes. Можно мне собаку and можно мне завести собаку often have the same meaning.

March 15, 2018
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