"What are the girls eating?"

Translation:Что едят девочки?

November 25, 2015



Does word order matter for this sentence-- could you say "что девочки едят"? And if so, is one better than the other?

November 25, 2015


They are both possible. It is hard to say which is better because the sentence is so short. With pronouns "Что ты ешь?", "Что они едят?", "Что мы едим?" would definitely be more common if you do not wish to put a special emphasis on the subject. As for "girls", both work. If you were interested what girls (or the girls), of all other people present, are eating, you would use the sentence in the header. If you were just interested in what they are eating (regardless of what other people eat), "Что девочки едят?" would work rather well.

November 25, 2015


I wrote "девочкичто едят что ?" Why is this wrong? Is it simply unnatural?

July 17, 2016


Question words (such as "что") typically go at the beginning of a sentence/clause.

August 26, 2016


When I hear/read Что едят девочки (What are the girls eating), for some reason I think it means "What is eating the girls". Is that a common misconception? Is that an interchangeable meaning of the sentence? It happens often in English, where for example, reed and read are two different things that sound exactly the same in speech. Is this something where you would need more context to understand the difference?

September 18, 2017


This is where the noun cases are important, since Russian word order is not as important as English word order.

Что едят девочки? What do girls eat?

Что ест девочек? What eats girls?

In the first sentence, the subject is always in the nominative case, so the noun девочки is in the nominative. In the second sentence, the subject is что, and what it eats is in the accusative case, so the noun девочек is in the accusative.

Also "девочки" is plural, so the verb "есть" is conjugated to third-person plural "едят." "Что" is singular, so the verb "есть" is conjugated to the third-person singular "ест." So the construction of the sentence is completely different based on the subject and the direct object.

September 18, 2017


Why not "что эти девочки едят?"

February 2, 2016


That would be what are "these" girls eating rather than "the" girls.

March 25, 2016


Why is my American Russian wrong? Что девушки кушают?

March 22, 2017


You can say so also. Кушают sounds like dialectic, perhaps southern/western/jewish russian.

April 25, 2017


Kiev is definitely western lol, and my father's side of the family is Jewish. Makes sense

April 25, 2017


Aye! Moreover, Kiev is also southern. Travelling around Russia I noticed that кушают said in that regions very often, a much less in central Russia and very rare on east (where кушают in colloquial talks I heard only from Jewish). But every russian will understood you quite well.

April 25, 2017


Could this also be "What do girls eat"?

May 15, 2018


Yes it can, depending on context. In Russian there's no difference between "do eat" and "are eating." Context determines the meaning

May 15, 2018


why is девочки more correct than девушки?

May 8, 2016


Age. Девочки are definitely girls, девушки would be more like young women.

June 9, 2017


Что кушают девушки? Why is it not accepted, I have always heard the кушать to be used instead of есть by Russians that I have had a chat with?

July 25, 2018


Ч, то, ед, ят, де, во, ч, ки

July 10, 2018


i put the answer on there and it says it is wrong?

January 27, 2016


The pronunciation is so tough.

March 24, 2017


"shto ye-DYAT DYEH-vutch-kee"

March 24, 2017
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