"Ты умеешь играть на пианино?"

Translation:Can you play piano?

December 3, 2015

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/explainsthefunny

Could this possibly be translated as, "You can play the piano?"

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

Both are fine. This is one of those US vs. UK peculiarities.

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/explainsthefunny

Well, both forms are used in the US and the UK. Each is asking for verification, but the given answer is usually asking whether or not the person plays the piano while the version I gave is usually asked to confirm that the person plays the piano.

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

My comment about the US vs. the UK concerned "playing piano" vs. "playing the piano", not the word order. As for the word order, I completely agree with you.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

Which one is preferred in the UK, ‘to play piano’ or ‘to play the piano’?

August 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Mobytoss2

'Play the piano' is the British norm, 'play piano' is a little grating to British ears

August 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Phil891051

Tough one, I think either would sound natural in conversation but after thinking about it with other instruments I would probably include the article (the) even if you're not referring to a specific instrument.

August 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

I have a feeling (based on personal observations and nothing else) that "to play piano" is more common in the US whereas "to play the piano" is more British.

August 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

@Phil891051 @zirkul Thank you both for your answers!

August 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mightypotatoe

Yes. Report it if it isn't accepted.

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

i'm sorry, but what about the strict order of words in interrogative sentence?

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

The strict order in the interrogative sentence is relevant for fully-fledged questions:
Can you play the piano? - Умеете ли Вы играть на пианино? or Вы умеете играть на пианино? (Stress on "умеете")
You can play the piano? - Вы умеете играть на пианино? (Stress on "пианино") This sentence conveys an element of surprise and asks for a confirmation - see explainsthefunny's earlier comment.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

Thanks. "an element of surprise" made it difference.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Phil891051

Seems like it might be worth a note on use of 'can' for people learning - умеешь for being capable of, можешь for being allowed to. Please correct if not the case as I'm deducing really!

May 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/twangerke

A piano and a pianino are two different instruments

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/daadaadaaren

пианино is in what case

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

Prepositional. "На" takes accusative only when it indicates a direction of motion. The declension of пианино is non-standard (its form does not change in any of the cases) because it's a loan word.

December 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hud214

It wouldn't accept "Do you play the piano?"

June 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

I agree. I is not a litteral translation of this sentence but was the first to come to my mind. Although, you can have knowledge about playing piano but don't play it regularly. In that way, there is a difference between 'can you play' and 'do you play.' Still, I think it should be accepted.

September 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SvenReichard

Literal translations are not always the most accurate...

August 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hud214

Of course there is a difference. That's where the smartass comes in. Somebody asks "Do you play the piano?" Smartass answers "No, not very often." Somebody reasks "Ok, do you KNOW how to play the piano?" Happens all the time. In America being a smartass is a fine art.

August 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hud214

Asking "Do you play the piano?" is akin to saying "I can't hear you!". Meaning "I can't hear you very well." or more to the point "I can't understand what you just said." Quite right! Literal translations are not always the most accurate...

August 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Po6Mwd

Just a general comment, but the intonation of this sentance is wrong. It sounds like a statement, rather than a questuon. In general most of Russian sentances in this course are pronounced with incorrect intonation. There is a very clear difference in Russian language between question and statement, and unfortunately this course fails in this regard

October 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BrianFarre19

Do you know how to play the piano?

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

Seems reasonable. Suggest you report it....

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/websmasha

Sounds like ugrat'

April 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/osogr1s

Why not "can you play ON the piano?"

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

Why should it be? Prepositions are often illogical and cannot be translated directly from one language to another. In any case, English does not use any prepositions with "play something", and why Russian uses "на" for musical instruments and "в" for games and sports cannot be explained logically either.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hud214

In English you could ask "Can you play "Stair Way to Heaven" on the piano?", as opposed to on the guitar.

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
Mod
  • 1399

Yes. But in this case you would need a direct object (as in your example) - the piece that is being played.

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Fladda

The same happens when they say "watch TV" but "watch something (cartoons or a film) on TV".

April 9, 2019
Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.