"Whose sister is she?"
Translation:Чья это сестра?
The word order is unnatural. It should be «Чья она сестра?».
Finding the correct word order in questions can be tricky, I suggest the following algorithm (it's based on my intuition, but seems to work in most cases):
- Imagine an answer to your question. For example, «Она́ моя́ сестра́» 'She's my sister'.
- Find a correct word order for the answer. We put new information in the end of sentence, and here 'моя сестра' is new information.
- Replace the words which is the answer with a question word (моя́ → чья) and move that question word into the beginning of the sentence, keeping the rest of the sentence intact (Она моя́ сестра́ → Чья она́ сестра.). If you're making a yes/no question with «ли», put the word to which «ли» refers to the beginning, then «ли», then everything else (Она моя́ сестра → Моя́ ли она́ сестра? 'Is she my sister'). If there's a preposition, move it with the question word (Она́ у меня́ до́ма. 'She's at my place.' → У кого́ она́ до́ма? 'At whose place is she?').
So, here we should use «Чья она́ сестра́?» and not «Чья сестра́ она́?».
My algorithm might not be the best, I'd happily listen to other ideas how to choose the word order.
Ok, question: I got another question that was "Whose bread do they like", so I tried your method. I started with an answer (Они любят мой хлеб), moved the мой to the start and replaced it with чей, to get "Чей они любят хлеб", but this was marked as wrong, and it should've been "Чей хлеб они любят". Should my answer have been accepted, did I apply the algorithm wrong, or does it just not apply in that situation?
Short answer: it should be accepted as well as "Чья сестра это?", "Чья она сестра?", "Это чья сестра?" and "Она чья сестра?" Among these "Чья она/это сестра?" are the most common and the most general contextless ways of asking it, others cannot really be asked as a first line in the dialogue out of nowhere but rather as a response to something or with some person to point at.
I thought this translated to "whose sister is it?" not " whose sister is she".... I feel like people are trying to relate phrases to the more common English phrases, but that shouldn't cross the line of changing the meaning of words.... As this will make it harder to remember which Russian words to use.