"Vanya was explaining to his grandmother where the school was."
Translation:Ваня объяснял бабушке, где находится школа.
"Vanya was explaining to his grandmother where the school IS." (sentences implies that the school is still there) "Vanya was explaining to his grandmother where the school WAS" ( implies that the school may not be in or at its original location)
This sentence and the way the author wants it translated need revising. The translation they want doesn't match up with their english, and creates confusion in the person translating the sentence
There is this grammatical concept in English called “back shifting” where the tense of verbs of observation and explanation (such as “to explain,” “to say,” “to think,“ etc.) determine the tenses for the rest of the verbs in the clause they are a part of. This is why we say, “he said (preterit) that he wanted (preterit) to go (infinitive) to the game” as opposed to, “he said (preterit) that he wants (present) to go (infinitive) to the game,” for example. Whether or not he still wants to go to the game does not have any say in the tense of the verb. This concept does not apply if you are quoting something someone said directly, in which case you would write it exactly as it was spoken: he said (preterite), “I want (present) to go (infinitive) to the game.“
Most other languages do not do this or do something else instead; Russian is one of those languages that doesnʼt do this. In Russian, these kinds of verbs are followed by the present tense, which means for the verb “to be” in Russian, you either use no verb (since the present tense for “to be” in Russian is implied) or «находится» for emphasis.
Without trying to sound like a bad internet ad, this is one weird thing about this course. Sometimes if you infer something like "his" in a sentence like this when you're translating from Russian to English it marks it wrong, but includes it in the reverse translation.
Interesting that this confusion arises in Stonefruit as well as English. ;-)
Because Russian allows us to assume that relatives belong to the subject of the sentence if no possessive pronoun is used. Itʼs not ungrammatical to include one; itʼs just redundant.
You would need one if youʼre referring to a relative of someone other than the subject of the sentence.
Putting grandmother before is an odd word order but not grammatically incorrect. It emphasizes strongly that he was /explaining/ to his grandmother. Like the example here: Бабушка Вани пришла в школу без проблем. Он для неё написал где школа? -А! Нет. Ваня бабушке объяснял, где школа. Это было достаточно.
In this sentence (and one other in this lesson), I am told I have a typo. When I enter обьяснял, it is corrected to объяснял. My keyboard characters are the same as ever. My мягкий знак is the only difference I can see between my spelling (ь) and Duo's (ъ). Is this just a bug, or am I missing something? Thanks!
Correct. But when you talk about a place that doesn't move, находится is common. Then there's the question of the ambiguous English. "She asked where the school was" can be "where the school used to be" as well as "where the school is". But it's customary to make the second verb past unless the information is still ongoing. She asked when the store is open today. (It's still open.) She asked when the store was open today. (It might be closed now. Unknown.)
2 questions: 1. Is it ok to write both "...находится школа", And- "...школа находится"?
- This is a bit weird, but does the pronunciation of "Г" change depending on the word? Sometimes both readers pronounce it as "v" (in English). But usually I hear them use it as "g". Same happens to other letters, like "в" becomes "f", but the difference is not as significant.. Thanks.
The answer to 1. is probably.
The answer to 2. is that yes, г is a unique case where in words you mentioned and also a lot of genitive adjective endings such as красного it's pronounced as в. This is different to how a lot of voiced consonants become unvoiced at the end of words and in other limited situations. so в => ф, г => к, б => п, з => с, д => т, ж => ш.