"Whose apples are these?"
Translation:Чьи это яблоки?
«Чьи э́то я́блоки?» is a question with the expected answer «Э́то мои́ я́блоки». «Чьи э́ти я́блоки?» is a question with the expected answer «Э́ти я́блоки мои́».
They're different uses of «э́то», in the first case it's a noun-like pronoun and it doesn't change its form, in the second it's an adjective-like pronoun modifying the word я́блоки.
It's possible but it's used much less often.
To me, «это чьи яблоки» would sound as if you're irritated somehow, like you're not expecting to see the apples and want to know who put them in the wrong place. It shifts the emphasis somehow, but I can't explain exactly how it works.
I imagine it sounds something more like "These are WHOSE apples?" As opposed to "Whose apples are THESE?"
It's not clear to me what the difference is here, nor why one of Чьи э́ти я́блоки should be marked wrong. Is it just that one is more common and sounds more natural?
There's a difference in grammatic structure. «Это» is a free-standing pronoun, «эти» is a modifier for «яблоки». Duolingo insists on you showing this difference when translating:
- Чьи эти яблоки? Whose are these apples? (эти modified яблоки, so these should modify apples in the translation too)
- Чьи это яблоки? Whose apples are these? (это is a free-standing pronoun, so these is also not a modifier for apples)
I understand the difference in grammatic structure, but I consistently fail to see the difference in meaning (i.e., I got it wrong 80% of the time I have to translate it from English to Russian).
Was there a guide written on this somewhere? I have a faint memory that last time I read something about it, I felt I almost got it...
Sounds all the same to me. There must be more important and useful grammatical distinctions to concentrate on. Now I know DL wants это. I write это and move on hoping the next sentence will be of some use. This is not.
Hey hey hey, was it so that if the English question was "whose apples are these", you use "это яблоки", but if the English question is "whose are these apples", then it's "эти яблоки"?
Is there different meaning between the two forms or is it merely a different form?
Since это is a free standing pronoun, why can't it be used at the end of the question?
I think the main purpose of Duolingo in cases like this is for us to understand the Russian grammar and not to test our knowledge of English.