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  5. "I am a girl, and you?"

"I am a girl, and you?"

Translation:Я девочка, а ты?

November 17, 2015



Is there a difference between девочка and девушка? This answer seems to accept both. I've also seen it spelled different ways on other learning sites and in exercises and such but I can't figure out why.

I'm just wondering if there's some subtlety I'm missing.


"Девочка" = very young girl, typically under the age of 12 or so, while "девушка" = a teenage girl or young woman. "Девушка" can also be "girlfriend" in some contexts, particularly when used with a possessive (e.g. "моя девушка" = "my girlfriend").


Девочка = girl; девушка = young lady. I heard that Девушка can also be used to address a waitress, even if she is not so young.


I heard sb addressing waitress like that. A young man. But isn't it rude?


Not necessarily, I would think. The French word for boy is "garcon", and we were told that this is how patrons address waiters.


Could someone please explain why "а" is used here instead of "и"?


"а" implies (at least a little) contrast. "и" is generally used for lists of things, where there is no contrast.


I don't understand - the word "and" in English never implies contrast; it links two objects or ideas that are similar, not dissimilar.


"I play football, and my brother plays rugby". That kind of contrast.

There is a great explanation on this topic by Shady_arc here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1590329

Summarizing it a lot, for Russian - English translation:

"и" --> "and"

"но" --> "but"

"а" ---> "somewhere in between the two".

So the translation could be "and" or "but" depending on the sentence. "а" Shows contrast in speech, but typically not a real factual contradiction which is more common of "но". For example, the fact that I play football does not contradict my brother playing rugby. But in my speech, I contrast these two different activities.


а is used to contrast but - это стол а это вилка но is used as but - у нас нет молока но есть хлеб и is used as add/similarity - у нас есть хлеб и молоко sorry for the simplicity


I appreciate that you are trying to explain something about Russian to me (for which many thanks), but in English "and" and "but" always convey totally different (implied) meanings. For instance, "I play football and my brother plays rugby" implies that we are both really fit sporting types, one of us playing football and one rugby. Change it to "but" and the implication is that football is the sensible sport to choose, but my brother has chosen something vastly inferior.


Yes and still no. Native English speaker (of the American flavor which may, or may not, make a difference - and it might!).

I can't speak to how this fits in with the Russian, but you're so close on the nuance in English. You're just missing it. Maybe it's just context.

"Hey, are you guys into sports?"

"I play football and my brother plays rugby" - we're both really fit, sporty types but we choose different outlets for that.

"Hey do you guys play football?"

"I play football, but my brother plays rugby" - We're BOTH STILL sporty types. I don't want my brother to seem like a couch potato just because he doesn't play football.


I agree on the English.

Having "three words" in Russian vs "two" in English, it is impossible for Russian and English to perfectly agree on "the level on contrast" present in a sentence (in relation to the "и" "а" "но" "and" "but" ). I have some notion of the use of "и" "а" "но", but the best I can do is try to interpret Shady_arc's post and keep practising the word's use in specific sentences to get the pattern and learn common examples by heart.

The following are some quite off-topic personal thoughts of mine:

It is somewhat like the distinction between почему and зачем. Being a native Spanish speaker, I have been able (I think) to understand them quite fine by relating them to "por qué" vs "para qué": however, English would most of the time just use "why" for both words, eliminating the distinction (unless one resorts to the "what for" construction, but that is less common than simply using "why").


He does this and (а) she does that. He and (и) she do this.


At least from what I understand.


It seems to me that "и" is "and" while "а" is "while" "но" is "but". You can use "and" with a sound of "while" in English too. Can someone native English and native Russian tell if this approach could work?


I'm not a native Russian nor a native English speaker, but my insight into this is the following:

  • и - and
  • а - whereas
  • но - however
  • зато - although
  • пока - while


It seems a bit strange to me to use the informal ты with someone (presumably a correspondent) whom you do not know well enough to know the gender of! Is this because if I am a девочка I must be a child, and am speaking to another child? Would a single female adult ever decribe herself as a девочка?


I used vas instead of the familiar, and this was judged incorrect - this program is not sufficiently flexible or intuitive.


"Вы" should also be accepted, but what is "vas"?


Ya doge. Posmotrite na moyu kartinu. Ochen wow!


Who even asks this kind of question? XD


Someone who is communicating over the Internet ;)


maybe then XD I imagined a little girl in the playgroung who talks with another kid XD


Who knows how anyone identifies anymore.


I used и in this sentence as it seemed it could go either way between this and а, given the question. If the "девочка" doesn't know whether to expect that the other person is a boy or a girl, why does it matter which conjunction is used - unless she is expecting the other person to be a boy, in which case there's no need for the question - ?


Would 'а тебя' be acceptable?


No, because тебя is accusative and the nominative is needed here. The implied sentence is "I am a girl, and/but you are a boy/adult/alien." So "you" is the subject of the second clause (and the verb is omitted because Russian does not use a present tense of "to be"). Hence "you" needs to be in the nominative case, which is ты.


Hard question...i ahve not decided yet whether i am a girl or not


I had every letter correct. Am I getting dinged because I did not capitalize the beginning of the sentence?


I'm a girl, and you? I'm a boy, and you? I'm a man, and you? I'm a woman, and you? I'm a лошадь, and you?




I think this question could be a little offensive ;)


A duck.. quack, bitch.

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