"Его отец был весёлым человеком."

Translation:His father was a cheerful man.

November 22, 2015



why not весёлый человек?

November 22, 2015


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)


November 22, 2015


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?

February 27, 2016


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...

February 28, 2016


This language makes zero sense.

June 24, 2016


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

February 28, 2016


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 :)

February 8, 2017


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.)

February 28, 2016


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. ^_^

April 30, 2016


Спасибо большое за ответ!

December 20, 2016


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

September 1, 2016


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

May 8, 2016


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

May 9, 2016


Thank you! That was very helpful.

Vielen Dank! Das war sehr hilfreich.

Ďakujem! To mi veľmi pomohlo :)

October 28, 2017


his father was a fun man any reasin didnt work ?

February 23, 2017


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

February 23, 2017


lol i did happy man

why didnt it work??????

March 26, 2017


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

September 8, 2018


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

March 26, 2017


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.

March 27, 2017



i understand now

March 27, 2017


Duolingo Russian Course flash cards say Весёлый = happy

June 21, 2018


In that case they should accept it :D

June 21, 2018


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?

June 5, 2017


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

June 8, 2017


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

June 8, 2017


His father was a t-shirt was not accepted.

November 5, 2017


Should be totally accepted.

April 2, 2019


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

December 25, 2017


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

December 17, 2017


It can be either.

December 17, 2017


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

December 17, 2017


This shoukd be a fun man, not cheerful

April 10, 2019


Then he met his mother?

October 1, 2017


More Dostoevsky in Duolingo

June 17, 2016
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