1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Девочка уже идёт к школе."

"Девочка уже идёт к школе."

Translation:The girl is already walking towards the school.

November 17, 2015



I submitted a "my answer should have been accepted" report for "The girl is already going to school".

In it, I mentioned that I acknowledge the given translation is better, as it doesn't leave room for ambiguity, but that my offering should be accepted also, as it's the more commonly used form to mean exactly the same thing, and the context makes it clear which meaning is meant.

Upon getting this a second time, it occurs to me that (while both the given translation and mine should be accepted too), the best translation is actually "the girl is walking to school".

The reason for "walking" rather than "going" is that it shows it doesn't merely mean "the girl is of school age and attends school".

The reason for "to" rather than "towards" is that - assuming this is the intention of the Russian, though the Russian also is a touch ambiguous here technically, and only "common sense" assumptions show us which is most likely - if one says "towards", it rather implies she might not get there.

If she is walking "to school", I fully expect that at 09:00 or whenever the appropriate time is, she'll be responding to register in the classroom.

If she is mere walking "towards school", it somewhat implies the high probability that there was a reason that I didn't say "to school", that I, as speaker/writer, know she's not going to get there; maybe she gets murdered on the way, or maybe she decides to veer off and go somewhere else instead.

The only other reason one might say "towards" in this context is if meeting someone on the way, and wanting to convey that contextually, the route is more important than the destination (not in the Zen sense, but rather, if you're walking the other way along the road, you'll meet her on the way- ok, that still sounds like a Buddhist proverb, but you hopefully get the idea).

Short version: My understanding of the Russian is the implication that the girl is walking to school at this very moment, is expected to arrive there successfully, and that this is the most important thing to be conveyed by this sentence.

If this is so, then the best translation is "The girl is already walking to school", with other translations being quite acceptable, such as "The girl is already walking towards school", "The girl is already going towards school", and "the girl is already going to school".

/surprise essay


"К" works only with a direction, but not a destination point.

"В" works with a destination point and implies that the person will come in the school (for studies or something else).


Thank you for that answer. This will help me a lot in the next lessons.. спасибо!


Your understanding of the Russian isn't quite right. This sentence says that she's walking in the direction of the school. It doesn't say that she's going to the school, that would be expressed with в школу (and в школу is what would be used in the case cherub mentioned of a little girl walking to school in the morning). The meaning is in fact what you described as the meaning of the sentence with "towards". "Is going/walking to (the) school" strongly implies that the school is her destination, which the Russian doesn't, so it won't be accepted.


Agreed. I understand the K means towards, and the picture in my mind was of a little girl walking to school in the morning, and in the US, we could say that as "The girl is already going to school."


Yup. She's going towards the school not to it. K plus dative = towards ( or toward).


"the girl is already going to the school" why not?


It has been 2 months since my last submission. In English to and towards can mean the same. There is no need to force translating к as towards. I am still surprised "to" is not accepted.

[deactivated user]

    In other sentences "to" is is already accepted. They have to change them one by one. We need to put our flexibility in understanding languages and limits.


    Exactly. The russian nuance is lost on english. I too report 'to'.


    why is it "к школе" and not "в школу"?


    I believe it's in dative case, in case you were still wondering.


    Thanks, but I should have asked, why are we using к and not в? I thought в + accusative meant "toward"--is that incorrect?


    "К" + dative works only with a direction, but not a destination point.

    "В" + accusative works with a destination point and implies that the person will come in the school (for studies or something else).


    Neon_Iceberg: "К" +dative works only with a direction, but not a destination point.

    But a sentence like я иду к врачу is a destination. This is too confusing.


    @BenYoung84 That's not correct, actually. Я иду к врачу is the correct way to say "I'm going to the doctor". The difference is that the school is a building, while the doctor is a person. It might help to remember that в is actually more like "into". В врача would imply that you intend to physically crash into him, if you intend to stop before that then you should say к врачу :-)


    Neon means in the direction of the doctor's but without necessarily reaching it.


    Thanks Theron, I appreciate you clearing up these nuances.


    "The girl is already going toward the school" was marked wrong because DL evidently wanted "towards." Sorry, but the word "toward" is correct:

    This is just per dictionary.com, but Merriam Webster agrees:

    to·ward tôrd,t(ə)ˈwôrd/Submit preposition 1. in the direction of. "I walked toward the front door" synonyms: in the direction of, to; on the way to, on the road to, en route to "they were driving toward her apartment"

    "toward" sounds like an accurate translation of "к" in this instance.


    Google tells me that Americans and Canadians prefer toward, and Australians and British prefer towards. I've reported your sentence (11/19/2017) - hopefully DL will add it at some point because I'm sure to get it wrong again if they don't ... :-)


    I've added "toward".


    Suggest they should accept both! They are both correct.


    The girl already goes towards the school. Why is this wrong?


    "already" does not fit well with simple tenses (past, present or future).


    Would a native Russian speaker ever say this? Without уже I could understand it.


    Soundsike something is going on in the schoolyard. Will the girl go there? Yes, shes already going towards the school.


    Why is this dative?


    The preposition к requires dative case.


    Surely if you are walking to school you are walking towards it!


    That doesn't mean the two sentences are identical.


    Walking tiwards a building is not the same as going into it or attending it.


    the girl is already going to the school - not accepted


    I would say that "The girl is already walking to the school" should be accepted, because in English "to the school" rather than "to school" makes it clear that she's physically en route to somewhere rather than merely going to a usual destination.


    "To the school" still specifies a destination rather than a location. It just shifts the focus to the school building rather than school as a place of learning.


    Звучит как-то странно. Так по-русски не говорят. Можно сказать "идёт в школу" или "подходит к школе", но не "идёт к школе".


    This is bad english in this context. Im also a native english speaker.


    Then please provide more information - what's wrong (ideally why) and what would be right.


    What is wrong The girl is already on her way to school??


    The fact that she's not going to school. "к школе" means that she's going in the direction of the school, but does not mean that the school is her destination. I'd say something like this if we were planning to meet outside the school, for example.

    Also, Duolingo tends to prefer more literal translations. I doubt "on her way", which corresponds to "в пути", would be accepted even if the sentence was "идёт в школу".

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