"I was born five years ago."
Translation:Я родился пять лет тому назад.
Why is a тому necessary here? Couldn't it be Я родился пять лет назад?
" Я родился пять лет назад." is accepted now. Thanks for reporting and happy learning! :)
And, «Я родился назад пять лет.»? Or is word order important in this case?
I think назад always needs to be in the end. At least when talking about time.
I have the same question - The only thing I saw about it in the notes for one section was " «Тому назад» means the same thing but this use is rare in late 20th-century Russian and isn't taught here"
it is a form of pronoun "тот" (that), and it's a fixed expression, but it's kind of dated now. пять лет тому назад just means five years ago from this moment.
Does the word лет come from лето? If so, does "пят лет назад" literally mean "five summers ago"?
Exactly. You got it! In Russian, numbers of years are:
годы = years (plural, literal)
1 год = 1 year
2, 3, 4 года = 2, 3, 4 years
5-20 лет = 5-20 years
Also, except for 11-14, all numbers that end in 0-9 behave the same way as 0-9. For example, 23 года, 150 лет, 81 год, 55016 лет, but:
11, 12, 13, 14 лет
I wrote "пять лет тому назад я была родилась" - which (I believe) directly translates into "Five years ago, I was born." Is this incorrect? I understand that I switched a few parts of the sentences around, but I don't think that should have been enough to be marked as incorrect as the meaning is unchanged. Thank you! :)
"-сь" here means "was [myself/herself/himself] born". Otherwise, " родила" would mean "she gave birth [to]..."
...лет тому назад... is a narrative literary form of describing events in the past, it is not used to refer to one's own birth.
Я родился пять лет назад sounds much better.