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  5. "Эта комната четыре метра в д…

"Эта комната четыре метра в длину и пять метров в ширину."

Translation:This room is four meters long and five meters wide.

December 4, 2015



It's unusual for a room to be wider than it is long.


Not just unusual, it's downright impossible. Unless a static, never-changing, orientable sequence of dimensions is provided, the length trait is always given to the largest dimension of the two horizontal possibilities. This is one of the "rules" of the language. The only way this could possibly make sense is if we don't understand something about how Russians measure length.


You could also define axis X as the width and axis Y as the length. Typically the length is longer, but I don't think people follow this rule all the time. It does seem like a funny sentence though.


in 3rd world countries everything is possible.


Often the length of a room is the dimension away from the door by which you enter the room, and the width is the dimension to your sides as you stand in the doorway looking into the room.


After remodeling kitchens, laying carpet, and building basements, I must disagree with you. Length is always the longest lateral direction.

reference.com even has this to say about it: "Length vs. Width:

When looking at a two-dimensional object, it might be difficult to decide which side or measurement refers to the length and which side refers to width. If a person is looking at a rectangular shape, the length should refer to the longest side. One can equate length with the word "long" in this instance. Conversely, width would refer to the shorter side and is used to describe how wide the rectangle is."


Are you sure anybody uses it this way? Because if they do it raises endless questions and no less potential confusion.

Consider this, will entering a street from a perpendicular side street, alter the width and length of the street to suit our perspective? Yielding a 70-meter long and 20km wide street?

If not? Where do you start using relative width/length, does a door has to be involved? Then what if we go out of a building's door to a street.

Or maybe relative measurements are only when entering a space not going out of one, then what about entering, through a door, a railroad platform?

In short, while I might, grudgingly, accept the use of relative width/length for a room with one door on one wall because it's deterministic, in any other context I wouldn't know how to use or understand it.


Why в длину and not в длине?


I'm not sure of any philosophical reasoning behind it, but I do know that this construct is following the accusative case (в длину́). The same rule is used when talking about something happening on a certain day or at a specific time:

«Я пробегу́ пя́ть киломе́тров в сре́ду.» // "I will run five kilometers on Wednesday."

«Мы́ с тобо́й встре́тимся в пя́ть часо́в.» // "You and I will meet at five o'clock." (Harder to see here because many words' accusative forms are the same as their nominatives.)


In Turkish and Kurdish we have such a manner to use the dimensional concepts this way... and seemingly the same goes with Russian, not hard to grasp for me.


"в длине" would mean something like "inside of the length". "В длину" , "в ширину" are measurements in particular direction


In my experience, length is always longer than width


If you turn sideways, then it's O.K. ;-)


It might be the dialect I grew up with, but I'm pretty sure that "This room is four meters long by five meters wide" is perfectly correct English; yet Duolingo rejects it.


Agreeing that that is perfectly reasonable English, I wonder if there mightn't be a more literal method of rendering it in Russian. Perhaps using "на"? I don't know.


Эта комната четыре на пять.


My earlier question still isn't answered: Why в длину and not в длине? First, I thought it might be an unusual locative but it looks like в + accusative - implying motion?


You are asking why certain grammatical cases are used in a given situation. I'm afraid no one will answer you. Just think of it as popular word collocations: в ширину, в длину, в высоту, в глубину.

(Unexpectedly, the accusative is also used with speed and time: 100 метров в секунду, Он уехал в субботу / He left on Saturday, Он был там всю зиму / He was there all winter)


No one will answer you :p No one will answer you because no one who knows can find your question in all the chaff about dimensions. Now i will down vote myself. Why в длину?


The room is 4 x 5 meters [four by five meters]. Sounds good. As for metre v. meter: I probably see more international English than many users because I live in Asia. Km = kilometer on road signs. Learners of English may find the American spelling simpler than the original French - center, theater, meter etc.


There's a sentence about a snake who likes milk. I guess this one is not that crazy.


There's a lot of talk on this thread about the fact that in English "length" generally refers to the longer dimension of a rectangle and "width" to the shorter. My question to any native speaker available: Does this convention also apply to Russian?


What is the logic behind the different endings of "метра" and "метров" in this sentence? I understand to have it different for 1 or even 2 from other numbers but why a difference between 4 and 5?


The nominative is метр and it declines like a normal masculine noun with a normal consonant ending. The numbers 2, 3 and 4 require genitive singular (два метра) - 5 and greater require genitive plural (5 метров). Just be careful that each number in Russian is treated individually, for example "twenty-one meters" would still be двадцать один метр, forty-four meters = сорок четыре метра, etc. Six million two hundred and thirty five thousand one hundred and twenty three meters would still be Шесть миллионов двести тридцать пять тысяч сто двадцать три метра.


How is it possible to have a room 4 meters LONG and 5 meters WIDE?!?


It depends on where the door is. When you walk into a room, measuring from left to right can be considered "width" while measuring from the door to the opposite wall can be considered "length". If a room is close to being square, then it really doesn't matter.

I think the problem comes from the fact that "long" usually means a far distance, and "long" is associated with "length", so if you have a room which is definitely rectangular in shape, the longer dimension is, well, "long", so it's the "length" - even if it runs left to right when you enter the room. If you enter a very large hall, you can saw it's very long and very wide - so much so that you might not be able to say without measuring it which dimension is the "length" and which is the "width", so you don't know until you actually do the measurement.

Basically, then, all the argument here is based on people having a fixed notion of what a room's dimensions should be, but there are a lot of rooms in the world which don't fit that preconception.


Would there be any difference in meaning if it said "четыре метра длиной" or "длиной четыре метра" (mutatis mutandis for ширина)?


Длиной четыре метра is good!


It would not be any


Это тупая логическая ошибка. Длина не может быть меньше ширины.


почему нельзя в длину сказать in length, а именно long?


This should be permitted - I'd report it.


Why is "m" accepted for "meter(s)" in some examples and not others?


Because all correct answers have to be added by hand :( Report them where they're missing, and they'll get included eventually.


Thank you! I forget sometimes that the process is different for non-in-house courses!


On this point I think they're all the same, actually. Of course the in-house courses have been out for much longer and have many more users (not to mention just being closer to English to begin with, at least compared to Russian) so probably aren't missing too many answers at this point.


How can the width be greater than the length??


Both are acceptable. Meters is the American-English spelling and Metres is the British-English spelling.


Does the в длину and в ширину refer to long and wide or length and width. This room is 4 meters in length and 5 meters in width, is perfectly good English, just not sure if it reflects a good translation or not.


The nominative singular of the nouns: длина = length, ширина = width, глубина = depth, высота = height.


I'm not having this as a listening exercise, and get the whole thing right apart from typing это instead of эта.

I'm not in the mood for this.


The room is 20 square meters. You're welcome


five meters in width is marked wrong? come on.


Why are the declensions of "метр" different for length and width?


Because метра is genitive singular and метров is genitive plural.

Один (1) кот (cat)

Use genitive singular with 2, 3 and 4:

Два, три, четыре кота (2, 3, 4 cats).

Use genitive plural with 5 or higher.

Пять котов (five cats).

For numbers above twenty, always go off the final digit in the number to determine if it should be nominative singular, genitive singular or genitive plural.

For instance, сто один (101) will be nominative singular (сто один кот).

5,434 cats would be genitive singular (пять тысяч четыре ста тридцать четыре кота).

edit: So it doesn't have anything to do with length or width, it's about the numbers used.


Oh, OK, I didn't realize that the singular wasn't really singular. That's been bothering me for a while. So one through four are "singular" and five through nine are "plural"?


Not exactly. One is nominative singular; two, three and four are genitive singular; five through 20 are genitive plural.

There are instances where you'll use the numbers (and nouns) in other cases (I would say dative case is common) in which case the numbers also decline. It gets to be kind of messy which is why many speakers tend to stick to simple sentence structures when it involves numbers so they can stick to the regular nominative/genitive declensions.


OK, thanks - my confusion was why two nouns in an "and" statement are treated differently. I would have assumed any items in a list would be declined the same way because they're all filling the same grammatical role. Am I correct to say that, I wanted to give the width first, it'd still be "... пять метров в ширину и четыре метра в длину"?


When talking about the height of a room, I suppose then you say "в высоту́"

In American English, a room can have horizontal "depth", which would measure the distance from the door to the opposite wall. I suspect, however, that Russian глубина́ does not mean the same thing. Or can it?


Не слышала выражения "комната в глубину" :)


Amazing!! Russian people just see Things different...


I translated "in length" and "in width," instead of "long" and "wide," and was counted wrong. What is the error?


Эта комната означает "This room". The room правильнее переводится как "комната". Как говорится, reported)


That is wrong because length is always the longer measurment


That is wrong because length is always the longer measurement


That's wrong because length is always the longer measurement


Metre not meter.....follow Systeme International des Unities ....SI for short.


Meter is the American spelling, and this course is for speakers of American English.


Which is funny since most of us wouldn't be using meters in the first place.


So us Brits should not use it?


And of course we stupid Americans are too dense and slow to understand that "metre" actually means "meter".


SI units in American English Meter, Kilogram, Second., Newton, Joule, Coulomb, Ampere, ohm, volt CGS centimeter, gram, second. ,dyne, erg, esu etc.

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