"I am a girl, and you?"
Translation:Я девочка, а ты?
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.
Not necessarily, I would think. The French word for boy is "garcon", and we were told that this is how patrons address waiters.
"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
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 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 - ?
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.
maybe then XD I imagined a little girl in the playgroung who talks with another kid XD