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  5. "Как это тебе объяснить?"

"Как это тебе объяснить?"

Translation:How can I explain it to you?

November 25, 2015



Since there's no subject, I used the impersonal pronoun ONE. How does one explain this to you? Shouldn't this be acceptable?


Why is "How to explain it to you?" wrong?


It's missing the subject. In English, it's an incomplete sentence.


I think there's a difference in meaning, with "how to explain" more fitting a book cover.


'How to' books usually don't have question marks at the end of the title. On the other hand it is common to say things like: "how to put this gently?", "how to do this without screwing it up?", "how to make her understand?". If a person says that then they are obviously interested in it themselves, but they could equally well say "how can I put this gently?", "how can I do this without screwing it up?". So maybe they are interested in the solution but not determined it has to be them to execute it.

I suspect "how to explain it to you?" is a good translation.


Yeah, thanks! :)


I used the word "shall" instead of "can". Clearly there is a difference in meaning but can anyone tell me which part of the Russian sentence determines the use of "can"? Thanks


Would someone please explain why объяснить, and not объясню, since the subject is "I". Or perhaps it isn't "I" and a more accurate translation would be "How can this be explained to you?"


I'm not a native speaker and have no idea, but two comments.

Looking for examples online it seems like infinitive is used whenever the subject is omitted (I might be wrong).

Обьясню comes from the perfective aspect, so I think it implies "future". In this sentence it makes sense to use future in English, but it isn't used in the Russian sentence (which might or might not matter)


Why not объясню?


So, I guess тебе is dative, since the accusative would look just like the genitive тебя... We just have to memorize that объяснить takes dative, and not accusative, if I'm not missing anything.


Not really. What you have to remember is that "to you" is expressed with dative. объяснить can take both accusative and/or dative: As a matter of fact, in this exercise, это is accusative, because it's the direct object of объяснить while тебе is the indirect object.

Another example: объяснить тебе слово - to explain the word to you
объяснить тебе женщину - to explain the woman to you [but I'm not sure if Russian uses объяснить to explain people].


Thanks for this very clear and convincing explanation. Jeffrey has beaten the Russian native speakers in responding, but I hope they can verify this!


It seems «мне можно» is omitted in this sentence. I learned in the previous lessons that «нужно» can be omitted in questions, only when using «мне» and «нам». Then I assumed «можно» also can be omitted in the same way. But I did not know the sentence where both «мне» and «можно» disappeared all together. What kind of situations does this happen in?


"Можно" is not good in such a phrase, rather you can say "Как я могу тебе объяснить это?" or "Как это возможно тебе объяснить?", but both variants sound a little bit odd too. I don't know whether any exact rule about omitting in such constructions exists, but it seems to me, when you see "can I" and the meaning is not about only me, but general - in this case you can omit it.


Thank you for your kind explanation :) Especially the last part is very persuasive to me because in such case my native language, Japanese, behaves in a similar way.


Wow, Japanese, that's a language, which course from some European language I hope to see some day on Duolingo! :) That would be magnificent! I'm glad to see, that my comment helped you!


Japanese is exactly very different from any European languages, but it seems that there are no small grammatical similarities between Japanese and Russian. I have hardly felt such similarity between Japanese and English. If you are a native Russian speaker, I bet you will feel something familiar to Japanese ;)


Yeah, I'm a native Russian speaker, and I hope that will really help me! :)


Do I just assume it's I who will be explaining since no other subject is used


It I isn't used so why should it be assumed? I would have thought a better translation might be.. How can this be explained to you. That way anyone could be doing the explaining


I would think so.


Wouldn't it be как это тебе объясню?


How it to explain to you?


You would never phrase it like that in English. The pronoun "it' would come after the verb "explain." There is a preference to establish the what is being done, explain, and then say what is being explained.


That is very funny! You need to study the placement of pronouns in English. Object pronouns never precede the verb.


How would you change this sentence to convey "How do you explain this?", as in, what is your explanation for this?


I think that would be: Как ты это объясняешь?


Where is "can I" in Russian sentence? How can one assume it? What is the difference between "How can I explain it to you?" and "how do you explain it?"? There are a lot of questions about this Russian sentence


The English sentence needs a subject and a verb. You could also say How DO I explain it to you.


Why not эта here?


When no specific noun is mentioned, the neuter это is used. In this case it probably stands for a concept or situation or event.


To add to lucy163354's answer, "this" is a direct object here, which means it's in the accusative. While the accusative and the nominative for "это" are the same, this is not the same for "эта". The accusative for "эта" is "эту". Though even using it in the correct case would be unnatural here.


What is wrong with "How should I explain it to you?" ?


Come spiegartelo, in italiano


Why not “how will I explain it to you” ? Also “how to explain it to you” is perfectly correct. I just implies a certain level of exasperation.

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