"Его отец был весёлым человеком."

Translation:His father was a cheerful man.

November 22, 2015

This discussion is locked.


why not весёлый человек?


I think it's ok. Using the nominative case here is ok if he was a cheerful man for all of his life. Another example:

  • Он был рабочий - He was a working man (for all of his life)
  • Он был рабочим - He was a working man (at some time of his life)



I didn't exactly get the reason why instrumentalis can be used here. Is the reason that it makes the sentence a bit more vague?


OK, some cooked-up "explanation": in Russian Instrumentalis is called Творительный (creating). So something to do with creating and existing?

Also somehow owning/possessing/having for skills/features rather than objects

For example, you can not say У меня есть телекинезис or Я имею телекинез, cause telekinesis is not a thing that you have. It would be Я обладаю/владею телекинезом, in Instrumentalis. Another one, Я владею русским языком - "I own Russian language" :D Я знаю русский just means you know it and a lot about it, and the former one either means you're a native speaker or a genius foreign master of Russian.

So, being a cheerful man is like a feature/skill...


This language makes zero sense.


to an english speaker conditioned to certain linguistic sensibilities perhaps. i too find these "otherworldly" conventions a bit of a hindrance, but i may have to accept that it makes total sense to native speakers while i might never attain rudimentary proficiency. still going to try though.


ah, thanks for that explanation. yeah the name "instrumentalis" already gives away that we are talking about somebody's tools (which apparently cheefulness is, too) and not about their (unchangeable) state


So, nominative for something constant, instrumental for something temporary? "Instrumental" means you acquired it by or with some method or thing for a short time, like a "tool" or "drug" (ha), but it was not innate in you :)


1) My feeling of Nom/Inst here is:

Мой пара был инженер --> My father is dead. He was an engineer.

Мой папа был инженером --> He used to be an engineer. For some period of time (which can be all his life or less). No info about him being alive or dead in the sentence.

2) Interesting question. Why exactly Instrumentalis in this pattern. No idea :D

In Polish they always use it in the present tense, never Nominative. Мужчина = Mężczyzna (Nom.). Я мужчина = Jestem mężczyzną (Inst.)


I had the same question, then I re-read the "tips and notes" for "Instrumental Case".

It is used alone with some verbs of “being”, “becoming”, “seeming” (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Instrumental-Case)

быть ("to be") is one of the verbs of "being" then. ^_^


Спасибо большое за ответ!


His father was a t-shirt was not accepted.


Should be totally accepted.


Disappointed it doesn't allow either 'cheerful chap' or 'cheerful fellow'. A perfect context to use either of those words.


Why not happy? How would you say a happy man?


Happy is счастливый. Весёлый is more like cheerful, merry, jolly. Not the internal state but external :)


Thank you! That was very helpful.

Vielen Dank! Das war sehr hilfreich.

Ďakujem! To mi veľmi pomohlo :)


I translated человек as person and Duo counted it wrong.


his father was a fun man any reasin didnt work ?


I think it should be accepted... (native speaker)


lol i did happy man

why didnt it work??????


I reported it 9/8/18; I used "fun" as well.

  • 1836

So, we use the Instrumental case here to convey the meaning of the "past habitual" (i.e. used to expressions)?


Then he met his mother?


If I have understood the discussion about the usage of instrumental in this example correctly, "used to be" might be a better translation, but it isn't accepted. Is it me or is it Duo?


No matter whether it's a "better" translation or not, it's correct so it should be accepted. Please report :)


So it wasn't me. Glad to hear, thanks :-)


Does this sentence mean that his father passed away, or that he used to be cheerful and now he's grumpy?


It can be either.


You can scroll up and read the discussion above. There are some conclusions there about the question you asking, it has been asked before :)


why doesnt "his father was a happy man" work?


That would be "Его отец был счастливым человеком"

Весёлый (cheerful, merry) and счастливый (happy) are different words and concepts, so it doesn't accept this translation.


Duolingo Russian Course flash cards say Весёлый = happy


In that case they should accept it :D



i understand now


I translated this as, "His dad was a cheerful fellow." As it was his dad, I assumed it was a male and therefore "fellow" instead of "person" although these days I suppose it's anybody's guess what gender a father is. спасибо хорошо


This shoukd be a fun man, not cheerful


More Dostoevsky in Duolingo


In a previous sentence, веселый was translated as fun. I said "His father was a fun person" and it was counted wrong. Several people have already commented about this over the past five years. This answer should be accepted.


"His father was a cheerful chap" was not accepted.....

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