"In the group there are 40 people" should be accepted as it's more literal and yet perfectly acceptable English.
yeah this is insane that "there are forty people in the group" is the right answer but "in the group there are 40 people" still isn't accepted
I can only hear the 'в' in the normal speed audio, but not in the slowed-down version. I was able to tell it was meant to be there, because I could hear the 'е' at the end of 'группе', but this seems to be a rare case of the slow version being less distinct than normal speed. Can everyone else hear the 'в' at the beginning, in the slow version, or has it got cut off?
It's got cut off. I pinged the staff but I think we will have to just disable the audio exercise for this one.
Thanks for the confirming I'm not deaf/insane/whatever - at least, not on the basis of this. ;)
Could that be due to the devoicing of the v > f and the f is just difficult to hear? Maybe it's worth keeping this way since devoicing consonants is a standard phonological process in Russian. Lessons should isolate and contrast phonemes just as grammatical morphemes.
I wrote "the group has 40 people", which the system marked wrong. Sometimes the answer demands literal translations, sometimes no. Tips on proceeding?
As a rule of thumb, I would say the literal translation is to be preferred, unless it would result in something no native speaker would ever say. "There are 40 people in the group" is just as natural in English as it is in Russian, so I see no reason to arbitrarily change it to: "The group has 40 people." After all, the Russian didn't use: "У группа (есть)...", which (please pardon any mistake) would be the Russian way of saying: "The group has...". So why replace what it actually says with something it doesn't, unless not doing so would result in a phrase that is unused or really weird in English?
I agree. 'Has' doesn't appear in the Russian so why invent it for the English?
Actually, we do concider these wordings equivalent—precisely because there is hardly any other way to say that in Russian. We do not use sentences like "У класса есть двадцать учеников" and rarely say something like "У моей комнаты белые стены". With enclosed spaces that have something inside and some other things that you'd use "in" with, it is almost always "В моей клмнате", "в группе".
I think English handles this sentence in the passive voice since this sentence has no active agent. A third person/impersonal construction is the most appropriate way to translate this.
So the genitive plural of человек is the same as the nominative? My dictionary is not clear on this.
More precisely, the count Genitive plural used with numbers is человек. The form людей is used in other contexts (the Nominative plural is "люди"). It is also recommended with words много and мало (but not сколько and несколько), though not every speaker follows this last norm in actual speech.
That seems weird. So, the conversation would go like this:
- «Сколько там человек, на корабле?» спросил у лейтенанта генералиссимус .
- «Там много, много людей!», пьяный воин ответил. «Вы не представляете!»
- «Ну, давайте! Скажите мне, пожалуйста, сколько там человек?» спросил нетерпеливо разгневанный офицер
- «Там сорок человек! Это очень много людей, даже больше, чем у Вас рублей на банке!»
После только одного часа, его голова упала.
this sentence could also be used to say, in a group of 40 people, and this spellcheck still marked me wrong, i should know, i'm part Russian!
I am afraid you'll be hard pressed to find an instance when a native uses «в группе X человек» to say "in a group of X people".
We would normally say something like "в группе из сорока человек", even though occasionally (rarely) in spoken speech a size of the group is mashed into the sentence right after the word группа (e.g. "по-моему, оптимально учиться в группах 3-4 человека"). Usually it implies "in groups X people each", not some other use—for example, * «Я учусь в группе десять человек» would probably be considered weird or ungrammatical by most speakers.
(it is not like we would explicitly teach this wording, though)
In other exercises, the Russian course has been quite fussy about sentences versus "fragments". In other words, you are supposed to give weight to punctuation (e.g. presence or absence of capital letters and full stops) in determining how to translate.
If I were being pedantic about it (and the Russian course is), I would say this is clearly a sentence, because it starts with a capital letter, and ends with a full stop.
Therefore it must be translated as such. "In a group of 40 people" is not a complete sentence, but a fragment, because: "In a group of 40 people what?"
That sounds weird, it's almost like saying "a group (in general) is formed only by 40 people". Or at least that's how it sounds to me...