"Это великий русский писатель."

Translation:It is a great Russian writer.

December 3, 2015



"the great Russian writer" should work too, shouldn't it? Also, "it" sounds strange to me here in English. I don't think we would use "It" here very often. I think we would almost always use "he" or "she." Is "it" more usual in Russian?

December 3, 2015


I generally use "this is" for это in that case, and feel it sounds way more natural than "it is".

February 23, 2016


Это would only mean "this" if it were agreeing with a neutral noun. Это писатель - this writer, otherwise it does mean "it is." I agree, it sounds strange in English. We wouldn't call a person "it."

August 16, 2016


Yes, the English translation seems a calque. The typical usage would be: Кто такой Толстой? Это великий русский писатель. In English it would rather be he is. But I'm not sure that it's ok to translate "это" as "he is" in a separate sentence.

December 3, 2015


How about "author" for translation of писатель, is that ok?

January 25, 2016


I see that has been hit here

April 13, 2017


Да, Достоевский!

November 27, 2016


Пушкин, наше всё

April 13, 2017


Yes, this is very strange and needs to be fixed. In this example, we are translating TO ENGLISH. Therefore, in this situation, the correct answer should be "The", "This". Basically Anything BUT "It". Which is the only answer it will accept. Sorry, this is a bug :). We are translated to English to convey the correct meaning in OUR language (for this example). In English, "It" would never be used... unless something un-human was a great writer.

I know its a picky, and please know my tone is meant to be light, and helpful if possible... its no big deal.

I should put that at the end of every post. My wife tells me I always offend people... yet I never mean to :)

May 15, 2017


You are, however, correct in that "it" is incorrect in English. "The" wouldn't work because you lose это, but "This" technically should work...

As someone else whose wife says is frequently offensive, I've found one way to reduce it is to not repeat points whenever possible within a single post/spoken statement. I don't understand it myself, but it seems to work most of the time. Hope that helps you too!

May 11, 2018


"It's Tolstoy" should be accepted?

May 12, 2017



June 28, 2017


Can this be right? Это? It is? Given that Russian likes to call tables and beds "he" and "she", surely an actual human writer gets a gender? :)

December 6, 2016


See https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11536858 - это is not a pronoun and has no gender.

In addition, quite many professions may be used in masculine for both genders, like инженер (no feminine form), директор (there is директриса but it sounds informal), тестировщик (you can say тестировщица but it is also informal, even given the fact that the most russian QA engineers are female). But it never concerns writers as I see (писатель/писательница).

December 6, 2016


Why "a " is appeared here?not "the"

February 8, 2017


Is it just me or does the last word sound more like писателы?

April 10, 2017


another poorly constructed sentence. You are not supposed to use "it" to refer to a person.

August 15, 2018
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