1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Whose sister is she?"

"Whose sister is she?"

Translation:Чья это сестра?

November 16, 2015



Чья сестра она? Why is this sentence not accepted? It seems be a logical question for Она моя сестра.

[deactivated user]

    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):

    1. Imagine an answer to your question. For example, «Она́ моя́ сестра́» 'She's my sister'.
    2. Find a correct word order for the answer. We put new information in the end of sentence, and here 'моя сестра' is new information.
    3. 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.


    Great explanation, I think ли may only ever appear as the second element in a yes/no phrase. For example it also appears second element in the nested phrase: Он спросил, передала ли она вам письмо.


    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?


    I think it's because the answer isn't мой but rather мой хлеб, so you move both those words to the front. Think of the following: они любят хлеб. Чей хлеб? Мой хлеб.


    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.


    "Чья она сестра?" !!! Хватит уже мозги парить учащимся! Мало ли как можно сказать по-русски!? Только один перевод правильный: "ЧЬЯ ОНА СЕСТРА?"


    Someone please explain why is used это instead of эта? Really confused right now..


    It's like asking, "Whose juice is this unknown thing?" You can't have agreement between это and something else when you don't know what the something else is - even though logically you know it's a female human, or a juice, or some water.

    [deactivated user]


      Why is there no "она" in here? Would someone please explain this to me? Thanks!


      It could be она, it is not incorect thing to say, but in this sentence it is used это, like "whose sister is THAT?". If there was она in the sentence it would be "whose sister is SHE?". I hope it helped.


      But, whose sister is she is what was asked. On the other hand, in this situation I would probably say it, this or that instead of she.


      But "Whose sister is she?" was the question.


      Yes that helped! Thanks a lot!


      Чья она сестра was accepted. Is there a reason? она means she, correct? Sho this would be 'Whose she sister', which when rearranged to English word order is 'Whose sister is she'. I get that, but doesn't it simply sound weird to say 'she' before sister? Why is the word order like this, is it just the way it is?


      "Чья она сестра?" Is more correct translation.


      Then please report it! :)


      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.


      I think a better solution is for Duolingo exercises to read "whose sister is it(she)?" Or "whose sister is it/she?"

      With the most accurate translation reading first.


      Чья она сестра?!!!

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