"What do dogs eat?"
Translation:Что едят собаки?
As far as I know, the order does matter in Russian. It has to do with emphasis. Not a native speaker, alas, so I cannot confirm this should be accepted (or currently is, alas, I am not quite awake and wrote apples instead of dogs.. XD).
However, the word order is definitely important.
As far as I understand "есть" is "is" in english although the russians don't use it. I think you're referring to "ест" and "едят". If that't the case then the first is for sinple person as in "he is eating" (он ест) and the second one is plural as in "they are eating" (они едят).
I realised I typed 'есть' when I closed the window but I did indeed mean 'ест'. Thanks for the explanation!
No, the WH-word should go first :)
Actually, there are some situations when you can use the mentioned word order :) But they are rare and need some specific context. A rhetorical question, for example:
- What do dogs eat? Dogs eat meat of course!
- Собаки едят что? Мясо, конечно!
No. There are two reasons that wouldn't work here. The first reason is that это in your answer does not agree with собаки. We would need it to be plural (эти) to agree with the plural form собаки. The second reason is that using это produces a slightly different sentence than what they're asking you to translate. They're asking for a translation of "What do dogs eat?" but "Что эти собаки едят?" means "What do these dogs eat?" Here is a guide to using Это that might be helpful. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11536858
That might work, but I'm not sure. I'm a beginner, but I think adding это makes the sentence mean "What are the dogs eating (right now)?" (i.e., you know they're eating something but you're not sure what it is) But "What do dogs eat?" (i.e., what do dogs eat in general) is simply "Что едят собаки?"