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.
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!"
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.
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?
Actually, even Russians don't know how to answer negative questions properly. We have jokes like this:
Не против ли вы чтобы наш кандидат победил на выборах? (Don't you mind if our candidate will win the elections?)
- Нет, не против (No, I don't mind)
- Да, не против (Yes, I don't mind)
We also have these confusing answers in spanish. Sometimes after someone answer we have to ask: Did you mean yes or no?
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 .
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.
I understood this as having one meaning, "Did you not see my dad?". How is "Did you see my dad?" also correct? Halp.
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.
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.
I believe this is similar to when we ask something like "You haven't seen my dad, have you?" in English.
Why is моего папу in the genitive here? I would have thought accusative.
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).
Ah, Okay. So why is "моего́" being used here and not "мой"? I suppose that's the primary thing that threw me off.
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.
That's the downside of a robot voice, I guess. It's really confusing during the listening exercises.
I wrote You didn't see my dad?
And it was marked wrong
One of the translations added.....did you?
and where is that part in the Russian sentence?
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.
Guys after all these interesting comments I'm still confused....but at a higher level
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?
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.
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.
Does the Russian не here imply “...by any chance”, or “did you happen to...?” Or is it merely idiomatic phrasing with no additional connotation?
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.
I thought it was . You did not see my dadты не видела моего папу. Oh well.
I JUST THINK WHOEVER CAME WITH THIS DOES NOT KNOW ENGLIS QUIET RIGHT THOUGH. NO HARD FEELINGS.
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.
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.