1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Ты не видела моего папу?"

"Ты не видела моего папу?"

Translation:Did you see my dad?

November 21, 2015

58 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/servolock

Is there something wrong with "You didn't see my dad?" DL marked it wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cherub721

I put "you didn't see my father?" and was marked wrong. I'm reporting it. It's a very common way to ask that question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elarue53078

Thanks for pointing that out. I'm going to report it too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taffarelbergamin

Im not native, but shouldnt that be "didnt you see my dad?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

That's how it's normally said, but "you didn't see my dad?" is an irregular form, sometimes called an 'echo question' which emphasises incredulity, like "Really? You didn't see him? He was right there!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregoryLCh

I'd suggest a couple more alternatives.

Haven't you seen my dad?

You haven't seen my dad?

I suppose this is also within the range of the Russian original.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theron126

A number of translations have been added.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnUnicorn

I feel like every language has different rules on how to answer negative questions. How does Russian handle them?

  • Answer as if there hadn't been a negation (so, for this sentence, да means "I did see your dad" and нет means "I did not see your dad")

  • Take the negation literally and answer with regards to that (so here, да confirms that "I did not see your father" and нет means "your guess is incorrect, I did see your father"?)

  • Have a third answering particle; if you asked a German the same question, "ja" would confirm that "correct, I didn't see your father," while "doch" would mean "on the contrary, I did see your father."

  • Derail the conversation for two minutes to ask "'No as in 'no, you DID see him', or 'no you DIDN'T see him'?" as happens every single damn time in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RomanRussian

Actually, even Russians don't know how to answer negative questions properly. We have jokes like this:

Вопрос: (Question:)
Не против ли вы чтобы наш кандидат победил на выборах? (Don't you mind if our candidate will win the elections?)
Варианты (Options):
- Нет, не против (No, I don't mind)
- Да, не против (Yes, I don't mind)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PriscillaI8

We also have these confusing answers in spanish. Sometimes after someone answer we have to ask: Did you mean yes or no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WayneWestl1

Happens in English too! The candidate joke works perfectly in English as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MagoGi2

Same ambiguity in Italian. Yet, I'm not sure how the joke would work, simply because nothing works with Italian politics ;o)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/houssem28367

We have in arabic these two terms بلى " yes " and نعم " also yes" We use one to confirm the negation , like "نعم ، لم أر أباك " yes i didn't see your father . Whether the latter to deny the negation if you may say , like " بلى رأيت أباك " yes i did see your dad .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bedenkstein

If you asked a German, they would say, no, I haven't seen him. Or, doch, I have seen him. Ja, I didn't see him, while correct from a semantic viewpoint, never fails to confuse my fellow Germans.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

An American Jazz-era song, "Yes, We Have No Bananas": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hF05ik5TFQ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZezeFortun

In Portuguese it would be more like your first option (answer as if there hadn't been a negation). So if somebody asked "Você não viu o meu pai?" We could answer "Não" meaning "No. I didn't see your father" or "Sim" meaning " Yes. I saw him". Although, chiefly in the case of the positive answer, the more natural answer would be "(eu) Vi" which is the verb "Ver" (see) used in the past tense to match the tense of the question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul440929

English actually has some pretty hard and fast rules about this sort of thing. If I ask "Didn't you see my dad?" you answer just the same as if I said "Did you see my dad?" And if I ask "You didn't see my dad?", "No" on its own means you didn't see him, whereas "Yes" would sound unnatural -- you'd say "No, I saw him" instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sara_scout

I understood this as having one meaning, "Did you not see my dad?". How is "Did you see my dad?" also correct? Halp.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jbrandtgir

My Russian friends tend to ask questions like these in the negative even though they mean "have you seen him". It seems to just be a cultural thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaiirapetjan

They certainly aren't translating literally. The difference is very subtle, and your translation is more correct than theirs. I checked with my native-speaking husband. It's probably just a missed idea on the behalf of the developers and they will soon add the above suggestions as possible translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redactedname912

I believe this is similar to when we ask something like "You haven't seen my dad, have you?" in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanBeuc

Guys after all these interesting comments I'm still confused....but at a higher level


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maestronomous

Why is моего папу in the genitive here? I would have thought accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnUnicorn

It is in the accusative case; папа is one of those unusual male nouns that declines like a female noun, since it ends in -а. However, when another word refers to папа, that word treats it as male (hence моего and not мою).

The same holds true for other "intrinsically male" nouns that end in -а/я, like fellow family members дядя (uncle) and дедушка (grandfather).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maestronomous

Ah, Okay. So why is "моего́" being used here and not "мой"? I suppose that's the primary thing that threw me off.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnUnicorn

That's everyone's favorite part of Russian: the animate masculine accusative case exception. (Yaaaaay!)

Since "grandfather" is an animate noun, you use the pronoun you would use in the genitive case (моего here) instead of the usual one (мой). But the noun is still in accusative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexeiRosc1

I had the very same question. I had no idea that such an exception existed. Geeze, this is complicated, haha. Thank you for the explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandsmeier

Thank you so much. I really got stuck here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AqsaParvee

Моего папу here is accusitive only. Папа - папу. А/я into у/ю помните ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheFinkie

So would missing out the word не have the same translation, then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/servolock

This is an example of how the accent in the audio for a word in the sentence is different ("видела") than the accent for the individual word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeroen_Pelkman

That's the downside of a robot voice, I guess. It's really confusing during the listening exercises.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R_Andersson

My ears must be acting up. I head «Ты не видела моего папы?» which, technically, also would be correct since the genitive is used with negations (нет, не + verb), right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fabbol

Does the Russian не here imply “...by any chance”, or “did you happen to...?” Or is it merely idiomatic phrasing with no additional connotation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric590808

For those who get the multiple choice, the selection is [Did, you, see, my, dad, well, though, was, even]. At least that's what it was for me. I am very agitated when things like this happen in the translation, where they leave out one of the important words (in fact, all the words are important, otherwise they shouldn't be part of the lesson). "Did you NOT see my dad?" or some appropriate variation of that should be right. If I'm not allowed to play fast and loose with не and нет for these lessons, I feel that expectation should go both ways. I'm thrilled to see High Valyrian and Klingon added to this fantastic site, but perhaps allocating some of those man-hours to items like this should be a priority. Perhaps I'm just being overly cynical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielCant288913

Did you not see my dad ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guran94

I wrote "Did you not see my dad" it was correct, but duo offered me another solution and it sounds "Did you see my dad?" But where is the negative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBeebe4

Correction - It asked if you had NOT seen my dad - slight difference but it IS a difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBeebe4

After reading some more posts I would suggest changing the question entirely to alleviate the ambiguity. When I answered there was no way to express the negative and yet most of the other posts said that they HAD answered with a negative connotation thus indicating the answers had already been changed at least once so I would just change the whole thing if it cannot seem to be asked and answered both with the appropriate word bubbles.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guA212

I like DanBeuc's answer. I think logic is relative and without a final answer (statement),


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris97850

Is моего accusative or genitive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBeebe4

My answer was "Did you not see my dad" which WAS accepted but WHY was the question asked in such a negative tone? Was dad dead or what? Why not just "Видели-вы моего папу? или Вы вилели моего папу?" I just don't understand why the negative word is introduced here. -Пожалуйста


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the_grind

It's come to the point, that the syntax for the English translations is so off, I literally have to copy and paste the answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexeiRosc1

I'm sorry but how is the syntax for the English translation off here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

This sort of comment is utterly useless and a waste of everyone's time.

Since this comment was two years ago, it's impossible to assess it. It helps if, when you copy/paste things, you actually copy/paste them, then point out the mistakes you believe the sentence contains.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RogerRivero0

I wrote You didn't see my dad?

And it was marked wrong

Why.

One of the translations added.....did you?

and where is that part in the Russian sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Your answer was not in English question form, which is verb-subject - like a lot of Romance languages used to be. I have a Spanish text from the 1930s which teaches verb-subject as the proper way to ask a question in Spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rabbit223

Could it not mean: Did you NOT see my dad?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeelzeBot

Does anyone hear the "папы" instead of "папу"? I swear I have played the audio like 20 times now and always hear an "ы" at the end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndroidKanada

I just answered "you didn't see my father?", which would be a normal way for me to ask this as a native speaker, and closest to the wording in Russian, but it was marked wrong. I suspect Duolingo removes punctuation before marking, so I can see this would appear indicative. However, it's annoying as a native speaker, and distracting. It's unlikely someone would mistake this as indicative (given the question mark), so I think this should be marked correct. I don't want to have to second-guess quirks in software.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel5848

so, "didn't" is no longer an option, but i agree, the language here is strange, i would have assumed "did you not see my dad?" was the answer if i had been given the option. i would say this one lesson is wrong and strange as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stjernebarn19

Is this one of the situations where a negative question in Russian is meant to imply the feeling of "by any chance"? So "Ты не видела моего папу?" can actually be understood as "Did you see my father (by eany chance)?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/motixor

Why моего and not мой?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Your question has been answered in the comments above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Preston130314

I didn't get an option to put "didn't"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rosemaryj4

I wrote: Haven't you seen my dad? and it was marked wrong. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lillyth5

Duo tells me the correct translation is "Did you see my dad?" This is wrong, yes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rosemaryj4

No. Don't expect translations between languages to be literal. We tend to ask the question in the positive while in Russian the question is asked in the negative. The same information is being sought.

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