"На траве собака."

Translation:There is a dog on the grass.

November 19, 2015

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Fyodor2002

I have never heard dog on the grass. I hear dog in the grass, and snake in the grass. The idiom sounds different.

November 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Siobhan009

"On the grass" rather than "in the grass" suggests that the grass is short, ie probably a lawn or formal garden or something like that, and so the implication is that the person speaking is worried the dog will spoil the nice lawn, I guess.

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DanHall10

But nobody ever actually says that. We say on the lawn, off the grass, in the grass, but never on the grass. Try to find and example in print.

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lingwat

I have definitely heard "on the grass" before

Even so, idiomatic use of prepositions like this will change in every language. Saying "in" the grass sounds right to an English speaker, but logically you're not really "inside" the grass, you're "on" it.

Any translation between languages is going to run into this kind of issue, so it makes sense to reiterate that the preposition used will be "on" in Russian.

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ZxBbc5rq

'In' would sound odd in English if the grass were short. In has more physical depth associated with it. But, prepositions ARE very hard.

June 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/eharwagon

Prepositions are arbitrary in any language, no?

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ema439209

The sign would say "keep off the grass" so the opposite would be "something is on the grass" so "A dog is on the grass."

March 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/servolock

I put "On the grass is a dog" and again DL marked it wrong because it wants me to add "There." I reported it, but I wish I could understand why DL is so preoccupied with the word "there." It seems to me that adding "there" would emphasize "собака" too much, making it into "Собака - на траве." What am I missing?

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mightypotatoe

This course is still in beta so many correct translations just haven't been added yet.

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lingwat

It depends on the context. Compare these examples:

«Где собака?» «Собака на траве» ("Where is the dog?" "The dog is on the grass")

«Что на траве?» «На траве собака» ("What is on the grass?" "A dog is on the grass.")

«Смотри, на траве слбака» ("Look, there's a dog on the grass")

As you can see, the difference isn't in "there is" as much as which part of the statement is prior knowledge. In Russian, prior knowledge is often put at the beginning of the sentence, and new or important information comes at the end. In the first example, we are already talking about the dog, but we want to know where, so the location comes at the end. In the second example it's opposite. The second example translation could have just as easily been "There is a dog on the grass."

In the third example, neither the grass nor the dog have been mentioned before, but собкак comes at the end because it's still the important information. You're pointing out the existence of the dog, not the grass. This could of course be switched if for some reason it's surprising to see a dog on grass instead of in some other location, in which case траве would want the emphasis.

While your answer should probably have been marked correct, "there is" makes plenty of sense with the second and particularly third examples. "On the grass is a dog" really just implies the word "there is". The sentence also has the peculiarity that the implicit subject of the sentence is neither the grass nor the dog, but the collection of "things on the grass", one of which happens to be a dog. This is because in English, the subject almost always comes first. And even in the few cases where it doesn't seem to, it often implies a more specific subject than the explicit components of the sentence.

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kamil.

But "собака" needs to be emphasize much because it is in the END of the sentence. (or am I wrong? there is an explanation in Tips&notes)

November 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Someone mentioned on another page that this Russian sentence would be an answer to ̣What is in the location? In English the expression "There is" is simply an introduction to something existing somewhere and is not specifying a location, so, we include the location. and we can say "There is a dog here." I put " On the grass there is a dog." We have a children's song that nests these over and over. For example....." ....and on that dog there was a flea..." Check this song: http://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/thegreengrassgrewallaround2k.php

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ishana92

I am not really sure about this translation. I mean, it does litterally mean on the grass, but if there was a dog I would say that he is in the grass, not on it. Unless I wanted to emphasize the fact (like, there is a Keep off the grass sign and a dog was on the grass).

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelGia9

I agree. I use "in the grass" regardless of length. I prefer "on" when a verb (e.g. "I am walking on the grass") but for describing where something is, I am probably more likely to say "The dog is in the grass". I'm not saying it's right, but I definitely use it that way.

February 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

But wouldn't 'in the grass' mean it's some kind of a tall grass and you cannot even see the dog at first glance? For me, на траве means it's just normal, short grass and the dog is sitting there, just as are his owners sitting and having a picnic.

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/peachtree2

Agreed. A regular lawn of grass would make him "on" the grass and tall grass would make him "in" the grass. I wonder if Russian must use на or can also в use to get the same distinction?

January 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/FilipKV

and his name is Snoop.

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/emmanuelanajao

And he knows how to rap. He sings a lot with Dre.

August 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/daughterofAlbion

Does the Russian say "on the grass" because short, well-kept grass is meant? If so, could "на траве" also be translated as "on the lawn"? How does Russian speak about long grass? We talk in English about "a snake in the grass". What preposition would one use in Russian?

June 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwenci

Short, but not necessarily well-kept. Собака на траве:

For a lawn, there is a separate word "газо́н." And yes, for tall grass "в траве" can also be used.

Собака в траве:

June 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GeneM.

Nice! Thanks for the pics and explanation!

March 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/World_is_flat

We have a famous tongue twister in Russian: "На дворе трава, на траве дрова" which means "There is grass in the yard, there is fuel wood on the grass" :)

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaydc1

трава v траве??

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Axon55

траве is used with the preposition на, whereas трава is the base (nominative) form of the noun. In Russian, noun endings are modified to deliver grammatical information too, while in English word order and prepositions deliver the grammatical information. In short, на траве means "on the grass" while "трава" just means "grass."

November 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Carol390992

So we really needed a picture to help us decide whether the dog is ON or IN the grass. :-)

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KhronosH

На траве памешанный... Пинк Флойд

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Fyodor2002

Yes I see it better. Thanks friends.

January 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/desky7

This is not a good sentence to have translated literally from Russian to English. It should be removed from the test.

April 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MarjorieLo124307

This should have been acceptable

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/O0yt8hi

does траве need to be травая because of the ending of dog is а ?

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sp.ark

How is necessary "the" here?

March 4, 2018
Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.